Sardinian Cuisine

Although Sardinia, an island southwest of Rome, is governed from the capital of Italy, in reality, it has its own turbulent history, colourful culture and interesting cuisine.

This large island was visited by eastern Mediterranean merchants well before Phoenicians who came in the 9th century BC. The Phoenicians were the merchants of antiquity who plied the Mediterranean Sea from Lebanon all the way to the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean, and every conceivable port in between.

Carthaginians, always at war with the Roman army, came in the 12th century. Sardinians fought Carthaginians tooth and nail, but when they were expelled, Romans, Vandals Byzantines, Arabs, Genoese, Pisans and Catalans came in succession. Each left their culinary mark on the cuisine of Sardinia.

Sardinian cuisine is based on local ingredients: seafood, lamb, pork, olive oil, herbs, cereal, vegetables, fruits and cheese. Its flavour comes from fresh, ripe ingredients, and skill and love in their preparation.

Islanders have learned to be suspicious of all people who come from the mainland, any mainland. Today tourism thrives particularly with people who look for tranquillity, natural beauty, and friendly people. Sardinia does not enjoy the high traffic tourism of Sicily, or even Capri for that matter, but its unspoiled beaches are much appreciated by tourists who like to spend a few weeks of tranquil vacations or recuperate.

Sardinian cooks excel in seafood stews. After all, the waters around the island teem with a large variety of fish and crustaceans.

Couscous and grey mullet pressed salted roe, flatbread originate from Arabs. Lamb is used often. Pastureland in Sardinia happens to be at a premium, therefore sheep are more adapted to terrain interspersed with stones, rocks and grass. Fully one third of all sheep in Italy live in Sardinia. Roast suckling lamb (10 weeks old) and pork sausages are much favoured. Offal (variety meats) like lungs, kidney, and heart are stuffed into the cleaned intestines of the animal and cooked in sauces or grilles. Brains and the head are also cooked.

Pastas with tomato sauce enjoy an excellent reputation and popularity. Tomato sauce in Sardinia is a naturally dark red more flavourful than on the mainland mostly due to the strong sunshine and heat in the summer.

Sardinian bakers are famous for their skill in creating a range of breads (round leavened, baked, or flatbreads, semolina bread, coarse-textured pizza dough and cakes).

Nuts also figure largely in Sardinian recipes – a legacy of Arabs.

Family meals are extended affairs, planned carefully and well in advance. Everything is purchased fresh and all family members get involved.

First, a few little homemade berry-based drinks may be taken “to wet” the appetite. This is then followed by marinated or grilled seafood, or snails in season. Then comes pasta flavoured with thick tomato sauce, which in turn is followed by wild fennel infused roasted lamb. Everything is washed down with hearty Sardinian red wine generally made of the Cannonau a.k.a Garnacho or Grenache. In Spain and France, this red grape yields fine red wines; here it tends to be tannic requiring long ageing.

Garnacho originated in Spain, but southern French vignerons made it famous. Spaniards introduced the grape to Sardinia.

Today, many consider it the best red wine grape on the island. Sela e Mosca is the largest winery with a range of wines including Cannonau di Sardegna a D O C quality wine well worth looking for.

Fresh fruits follow the main course, which in turn is followed by the ubiquitous pecorino. This cheese on the island has a particularly deep flavour mainly due to the diet of the sheep. Some of the specialties of Sardinia are: roast baby lamb with wild fennel, rosemary flavoured baked flatbread, grilled mushrooms drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, gnocchi with tomato sauce, flat bread lasagna, fava bean and pork stew, grilled baby eels, and cookies.

As can be expected, butter and beer are rarely if ever used. Steaming, poaching or sautéing give way to roasting, baking, grilling and deep-frying.

Sardinian cuisine is every bit as ingenious as Sicilian cuisine and can only be enjoyed on the island. No one can duplicate it elsewhere because the ingredients will never be as fresh as in Sardinia.

Chocolate Fountain Canada

Like something straight out of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, the latest must-have for your next party is a show-stopping chocolate fountain from Chocolate Fountain Canada. Whether you are planning a wedding, bar mitzvah, corporate event, trade show, fundraiser or Christmas party, guests will be awestruck by the gently cascading fountain of decadent chocolate that will without a doubt be the focal point of the whole event.

In the past, these interactive showpieces have been relatively hard to find unless you were lucky enough to hire a party-planner or caterer that happened to own one of the very expensive machines. This was the problem Sheri Beam ran into when planning her wedding. In true entrepreneurial fashion, Sheri decided to solve her own problem while at the same time create a fantastic business, and that’s how Chocolate Fountain Canada was born.

Now you can rent one of these delightful and elegant fountains for your next special occasion. Available in two sizes, the small fountain will serve 150 and rents for $375, and the large fountain will serve 400 and rents for $450. With every rental comes a professional “Chocolatier” (fountain attendant). Your Chocolatier will come to your event and set up the chocolate fountain, decorate the area to match the decor, assist guests, answer questions and in the end, disassemble and clean the machine.

Customers can choose from creamy milk, rich dark or stylish white chocolate to have melted into velvety smoothness. Whichever you choose, only the highest quality Belgian chocolate or Swiss Lindt is used.

And what does one dip into a chocolate fountain? “Almost anything,” says Sheri, “You’re only as limited as your imagination.” Their most popular items for dipping are strawberries, marshmallows and mini-biscotti, but the options are endless – fresh fruits, dried fruits, candies, cookies, Rice Krispie squares, brownie-bites, pretzels, and even salty ruffled potato chips.

When ordering with Chocolate Fountain Canada, customers can choose to have dipping items included with their order for the great value of $1.50 per person, or they can just order the fountain and supply dipping items themselves.

Some of you may have already seen these incredible machines in action at a variety of fundraisers and events throughout the G.T.A. You can take a peak at some of the great events Chocolate Fountain Canada has done on their website or you can go check them out in person at their monthly demonstration and tasting at Best Invites in Mississauga at

Sheri says she can’t believe the fantastic response she has received in the short time she’s been in business. Open only since March 2004, she is already swamped with bookings in the Toronto area and has expanded into Kitchener and Ottawa, and will be coming to the Niagara area as well.

So don’t wait, transform your next special occasion from mundane to memorable with a delightful and delicious chocolate fountain. For more information or to make a reservation, visit Chocolate Fountain Canada at their website or contact them by phone at 416.451.8397 or 1.800.707.2741.

Chocolate Fountain Canada
Phone: 416.451.8397, 1.800.707.2741

Canadian Cuisine at Killarney

You don’t have time to go away for the whole weekend, but you’d like to spend the day doing something fun, adventurous and romantic with your honey. What’s a person to do?

Step One: Phone Killarney Lodge in Algonquin Park and make a 6 PM dinner reservation.

Step Two: Buy a nice bottle of vino and save it for supper.

Step Three: Spend your day getting there. There are beaches close by that you can visit and great hiking to be had in the area. You can also check out the logging museum. By the time you arrive for your supper, you will have built up your appetite from your day outdoors.

Step Four: Change into something clean. The dress code at Killarney Lodge is Smart Casual. (No cut off jeans, bathing suits, scruffy t-shirts etc).

Owners Eric and Poppy have been receiving guests at their lodge for over 20 years. The dining lodge was built in 1935. The beautiful beamed ceiling, fresh cut flowers, flickering oil lamps and birch bark menus will put you in the mood for a romantic meal.

The menu changes nightly in this warm and relaxing atmosphere with attentive service. The Lodge features Canadian cuisine and the set menu costs $47.95 per person (including tax and gratuity). This includes an appetizer (juice, soup or salad), a choice of four entrées, hot homemade rolls and dessert.

The night we went, we started our meal with the Caesar Salad which had a good garlicky kick. We then enjoyed the Charbroiled New York Sirloin topped with sautéed mushrooms and red wine butter compound. The nice sized steak was juicy and tender and served alongside a baked potato with sour cream, cubed squash, steamed broccoli and a baked crab apple. We also enjoyed the moist and delicious Slow Roasted Half Chicken with herb stuffing, gravy and baked potato.

Killarney Lodge tries to accommodate all dietary restrictions, and there are always vegetarian choices as well for the non-carnivorous.

Although the dining cabin does not have a liquor license, you can bring your own bottle of wine and uncork it yourself. (Remember Step Two?) A corkscrew and glasses will be provided for you.

Killarney Lodge is famous for its scrumptious homemade desserts. Each night of the week features one or two specialties and word has it that customers will time their trips around the dessert menu.

There’s talk about the famous carrot cake, brownies, strawberry rhubarb pie and butter tarts. We were lucky to sample the famous homemade pecan pie. The flaky crust, crunchy pecans and creamy centre were all enhanced by a scoop of French vanilla ice cream.

After you’ve finished the last crumb of pie and washed it down with some good coffee, pack up your sweetie in the car and drive off together into the sunset. Now doesn’t that sound fun, adventurous and romantic?

Killarney Lodge
Lake of Two Rivers
32 km inside the West Gate of Algonquin Park off Highway 60
May to October Phone: 705.633.5551
Winter Phone: 416.482.5254