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Local food in Sardinian centenarians’ diet

Blue Mines is very concerned about healthy lifestyle. And it is not only a matter of cycling and walking activity: we also care about food and nutrition, providing a set of local meals. Local food has the leading role in Sardinian centenarians’ diet, and we want you to experience their lifestyle.

Sardinians longevity

Sardinia is one of the 5 “blue zones” of longevity in the world. The others are Okinawa in Japan, and in Greece, Costa Rica and California. The “blue zone” is a term that identifies places where people live longer. Indeed, Sardinian people – mostly farmers and shepherds – are particularly long-lived, partly for genetic reasons and partly because they follow a healthy Mediterranean diet, consuming lots of local food.

An article of NBC’s Today blog – due-years old but still current – explain the Sardinia’s Mediterranean diet in 10 points and an enjoyable video. Here we want to resume this 10-point list, that include several meals and ingredients we provide in our holidays.

A 10-point list of local food

1. Goat’s milk and sheep’s milk: Sheep’s milk and goat’s milk have lower bad cholesterol, and also higher nutritional value than cow’s milk. They are used to produce traditional cheese, like pecorino cheese that we can taste at Funtanazza Farm.

Sardinian Local Food
Pecorino cheese. Image from the Funtanazza Farm website

2. Flat bread (carta di musica and carasau): Original of the central lands of Sardinia, now it is spread all over the Island. It is a dry, flat bread made of high-protein, low-gluten Triticum durum wheat (the main ingredient in Italian pasta). Its name comes from the observation that it is flat and thin, like music paper.

3. Barley: It is a cereal ground into flour or cooked as ingredient for soups or fresh salads. Ironically, as several local food ingredients, barley was considered a poor man’s food.

4. Sourdough bread (modditzosu or civraxiu): Sardinian sourdough breads are made from whole wheat and use live lactobacilli (rather than yeast) to rise the dough. This type of bread is able to lower the glycemic load, reducing after-meal glucose and insulin blood levels.

5. Fennel: Its licorice taste flavors several Sardinian dishes, such as dry and fresh sausages or lamb dishes. It’s used mostly as a vegetable, but also as an herb to flavor e.g. olives in brine, or as a spice e.g. in roast sausage.

6. Broad beans and chickpeas: Eaten in soups and stews, broad beans and chickpeas play an important part in the Sardinian diet, delivering protein and fiber.

7. Tomatoes: As vegetable they are eaten raw as sider, with fennel, carrots, celery and some good olive oil. Sardinian tomato sauce is also the base for several pasta dishes, like culurgionis and malloreddus. Tomatoes are a rich source of vitamin C and potassium.

8. Almonds: Almonds are the base ingredient of almost all the traditional desserts: amarettus, biancheddusgattògueffus, pabassinas. They are also really appreciated eaten alone as a snack food.

9. Milk thistle: Sardinians drink a tea of milk thistle, a native wild plant, to “cleanse the liver.”

Sardinian local food
Chef Giorgio’s Pani frattau made with flat bread and eggs. On the table also civraxiu sourdough bread (in the basket) and some glasses of good Cannonau wine

10. Cannonau wine: Last but not least, the wine that accompany every meal. Cannonau is a native kind of grapes from Sardinia, that produces the typical red wine, rich in antioxidant properties.

After your whole day cycling and sunbathing, we are sure your hunger needs to be satiated! Why not satisfy your appetite trying the centenarians’ diet?

 

 

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