A Sardinian saffron festival in mid November

Some might not be aware of the fact that saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. I discovered this in  an Egyptian market in Cairo, whilst buying some for my father and ended up spending a fortune. It comes  from a crocus characterised by exceptionally beautiful mauve colour flowers, the precious parts  used in cooking are the dried stigmas located inside the flower. WHY IT'S EXPENSIVE...  The spice has a deep orangey red colour and in Italy is often referred to as “red gold”. What makes it so expensive is that the stigmas can only be picked by hand. The picking takes place in a two week period ranging from the end of October to the beginning of December, depending on how the season is. The stigmas are picked at the crack of dawn when the crocuses are still closed. Once they have been picked the three stigmas are extracted from the flower and are then toasted and often ground. (more…)

Happy new year in Sardinia!

The New Year is approaching and many might well be starting to squeeze their brains..so to speak..thinking of where to spend the phantasmagorical  last day of the year.  Hopes, fears, promises, expectations and resolutions all roll into one in a night made special by  its aura of well wishing and cheer. A definitely different and fun alternative is Sardinia! Celebrating the arrival of the new year in Sardinia is a unique experience, be it standing in a main square wrapped in a coat and scarf enjoying the music, dancing and conviviality at a concert, or sitting comfortably at a table delighting in Sardinian nectars at the “Cenone di San Silvestro” the sumptuous end of year evening meal. (more…)

Eat, drink and be merry in Milis!

Wine lovers ahoy..the “sagra del vino novello” will be in  the village of Milis from the 13th to the 14th of November! In case you were wondering, “vino novello” literally means new wine, it is made with the first crop of grapes in November  with a  process called  carbonic maceration. To put it simply, whole grapes are placed in stainless steel tanks   and  the juice ferments while still inside the grape because (unlike the traditional method) it hasn’t been crushed. The procedure lasts roughly 20 days and the resulting wine is light and fruity and needs to be drunk pretty soon as it has practically no tannin, therefore  lacks the structure for long-term ageing. It can be compared to the Beaujolais nouveau, as they are practically identical. I have come to the simple conclusion:  you either love it or you hate it.. Every year in Milis, a small town near Oristano, the “sagra del vino novello” celebrates this fresh and joyous wine and represents the most important regional event of its genre in Sardinia. (more…)

An international Jazz event in Cagliari!

From the 18th to the 21st of November, the city of  Cagliari will host the sixth edition of the European Jazz Expo. Thirty  years on from the first concert in  1980 with the Art Ensemble of Chicago, this popular international event will take place in the prestigious  locations of the Conservatory Auditorium   and in the “Teatro Lirico” of Cagliari. It’s a great opportunity to listen to extraordinary new talents  as the Festival is the ideal meeting point between emerging artists and record companies in search of  musical prodigies. At the event, as well as outstanding music, there will be the chance to attend a variety of seminars on the subject and visit the stands exhibiting an assortment of books  and dvds covering all the nuances and history  of the  jazz world.   (more…)