The Sardinian food experience:

I. Food Experience

a. Food culture
i. what’s it like to have a meal at a Sardinian family’s table
To have a meal with a Sardinian family’s (or even a group of friends) is a unique experience, especially if we are talking about people born and raised in the USA (but I think in others cultures as well, from what I can say from my experience). It is unique because you realized how food and drinks are important in our (Sardinian) life and culture, and you realize that everyone is talking about their life, politics, what is happening in the world and so on. When you think the lunch is over, you realize we just done with appetizers. It is nice to noted how well you can drink without necessarily feel drunk too much, because this is the big secret about wine: you need to eat and talk drinking it, and will help you to feel better and to have your mind flow better in your though process. You soon will realize also that everyone is kind of screaming (especially during political conversations), but is just our culture: you are right? well, you have to remark it! After you finish eating, you don’t start to take out everything from the table… you can get out some (usually women do it, just because is what we are used to, but nowadays this is changing) but there will always be your glass, a bottle of wine or mirto, and something to eat. And of course, the coffee is coming! If is a really special occasion (and when there are Americans in the table, it is!) you can also be part of a lunch-dinner-allinone event. Pretty much you sit in the table around 1 PM and you leave the table around 10PM… and believe me, you are going to be happy!

ii. formal vs informal

Formal and informal in the table is the same. Eat your food, drink your drinks, and talk!

iii. wine as an accompaniment to the meal

If you are in a table with Sardinians, and you do not drink wine, well, prepare yourself for a strange reaction… they will look at you like you are a non human or something like that… they will seriously think you are sick. But after the first seconds they will ask you if you want beer. If you do not drink even beer, they will be sure you are sick, so they will treat you even better. Ask whatever you want, and they’ll try to get it for you. Be prepared during the lunch to answer to the same question everyone will ask you: why you don’t drink wine??? 😀 Eating a little pig without red wine it is not possible for Sardinians. Eating a lobster without white wine it is not possible for Sardinians. Eating without wine, it just not make any sense!

iv. how many courses, what’s served first, etc.

Always at least 4 courses:
Appetizers (fish or meat)
First plate (pasta or soup, with fish or meat)
second plate (fish or meat, I mean the entire fish or the entire animal!)
Fruit and desert with coffee and acqua vite.

v. who prepares the meal

Female think about pasta and set up all. Males think about roasting.

vi.  talk about the tradition as it relates to who prepares the  meal, cleans up, etc.

Sardegna is a typical matriarchal society, so the woman is the one that control the house. Period. The man can be the worker, who give orders and bulshit like this, but is the woman in the house that decide all. She prepares the table, she decides what to eat and how to cook. The man is there just if there is something to roast. So he can be happy, and out of the way until the woman prepare and perfectionate all.