After writing about Island Cheeses a few weeks ago, it's only fitting that I follow up on another of life’s guilty pleasures: bread. Here are a number of unique breads to go with your cheese of choice and you can find on our Sardinia and Sicily bike tours.
I must begin with the most famous of island breads :pane carasau. This Sardinian flatbread is also called carta di musica (music parchment) due to its close resemblance to the paper that music scores are written on. Traces of this bread were found in the nuraghi (traditional Sardinian stone dwellings), proving it was already in existence before 1000 BC. It was a favorite among sheepherders since it had a long shelf-life and is made of high-protein Triticum durum wheat. It could last up to a year, nourishing the shepherds for months at a time.
A typical bread coming from Barbagia di Seulo (in the center of the island) is is a fresh, round bread made from a mother dough starter. Sometimes it's baked with potatoes or with fried pork fat to make civargedda cun erda. This bread has ancient origins to the Sardinian Middle Age where full houses were dedicated to the baking of this bread. The oral tradition around Barbagia has a number of proverbs dedicated to bread themes.
The famous “Sicilian bread” is actually a type of filone that comes from Palermo. The western side of the island has a number of North African influences, including sesame seeds found on the top of the filone. Cuddura means “long bread” and it is typically prepared with coarse flour and hard wheat.
Another ancient bread, it's also known as u pani ri casa because local women made this bread at home and brought it to the local oven to bake. It's also made from a mother dough made from a leavening mixture of yeast and lactic acid from possibly hundreds of years ago. This allowed the bread to be made with less water and thus had a longer shelf life, remaining good to eat for the whole week.
We'd love a chance to break bread with you on one of our Sicily and Sardinia bike tours—find out more below.