Ari's Picks

The Zingerman’s Food Tour to the Untamed Island of Sardinia

The Zingerman’s Food Tour to the Untamed Island of Sardinia.

A guided week-long visit to one of the more exceptional places to eat and drink in all of Europe

The week before last I wrote about some wonderful sardines we have from the folks at Fishwife (you can find them at the Deli and at the Roadhouse). This week, it’s Sardinia, the island, since I’ve got the Zingerman’s Food Tour on my mind that’s coming up the first 10 days of May 2024. If you’re looking for a life-changing gift to give to someone you love, consider scoring them a spot on this tour. It’s a remarkable week in a remarkable place. In fact, Sardinia is so special you may end up wanting to move there. That’s what happened to the great mid-20th century Italian folksinger, Fabrizio de André.

De André, also an introvert, was known in his homeland as “the poet of Italy.” Think Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, or Willie Dunn. De André was active in mid-20th century protest movements and his fame rose when his songs were adopted as anthems of the protests that swept Italy in 1968. Although De André grew up in the lovely environs of Liguria, the remarkably beautiful Italian Riviera, as soon as he spent time on Sardinia he was smitten:

This land is magic, it gives joy to the spirit, even when you go back home exhausted. It nourishes and doesn’t leave space for bad thoughts. To live in this dimension is the most simple but also the most profound way to live on earth. … [Sardinians] are people looking at the future with respect of the past.

Joe Capuano, long-time purchasing manager at Zingerman’s Mail Order, is also the tour leader for this special trip to Sardinia. He loves it too! Here’s what Joe wanted to share:

Lobster, octopus, mussels, and sea urchin can all be found at the markets and restaurants. One unique specialty of Sardinia is the Bottarga di Muggine, the roe of Mediterranean mullet. The mullet “caviar” is cleaned, cured in sea salt, pressed, then dried. The result is a delicacy with a salty flavor and a dense, silky texture. And one of the stops on the tour is a restaurant where every dish highlights the bottarga. There are also specially selected vineyards, one of which uses Vermentino grapes grown in the hard Sardinian soil with abundant sun, a windy climate, and temperature changes through the day and night that give birth each year to Vermentino di Gallura.

And that’s only the beginning. There’s pasta making, amazing cheese, the traditional island flatbread, Pane Carasau; cooking lessons, walking tours, and a whole lot more! In the spirit of what we will learn from Gareth Higgins next week, great stories are sure to be started—stories you will be telling for many years to come. Still not sure? Fabrizio de André said:

Life in Sardinia is probably the best a man can wish: twenty-four thousand kilometers of forests, countryside, shores immersed in a miraculous sea, this corresponds to what I would suggest God to give us as Paradise.

Score a spot

Want more from Ari?

Sign up for Ari’s Top 5 e-newsletter and look forward to his weekly curated email—a roundup of 5 Zing things Ari is excited about this week—stuff you might not have heard of!

Follow us on social media:  Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, @zingermanscommunity.