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Honey, meat, fish: all of the natural essences and perfumes of the land. Mussels, to put it simply. No, just a joke, but only just, for these are the jewels of local cuisine.
It is only natural that the products of Gallura, and therefore the ancient agricultural culture of meat and cheese are inevitable, fundamental components: capretto al mirto, zuppa cuata, zuppa gallurese and mazza frissa, that is, fried semolina which very much resembles cream at the end of the preparation stage. These were the traditional dishes of the old timers.
To finish, there are the priceless sweets made with honey: seadas, or even tiliccas. Sinple cuisine, without frills, as we have said, influenced by where it comes from and the dietary habits of those who lived, and live today, in Olbia.
Besides meat, cheeses and sweets, one can well affirm that there exists a great respect for the more classic cuisine of the central part of the island. The influence of the sea is again prevalent. Derived from a tradition of food enriched by simple but appetising dishes, the results of the old style cuisine of the fishing community.
These enrichments are much sought after and, in those sea-dishes, and not only fish, we find our point of reference. Ricci, we may name immediately. These sea urchins adorn, and embellish with their eggs, some of the finest meals served in the best restaurants of Olbia; in the right season, they can also be appreciated raw, in some of the smaller restaurants among the sprawling backstreets of the old town.
The other main flavour of the sea is without doubt bottarga, or mullet eggs. Bottarga functions primarily as a condiment, a taste that is at once sharp and most agreeable; it can be eaten alone, or with a little celery, in plentiful abundance or as antipasti, and is increasingly requested by those just beginning to discover Olbia.
Another starter which derives from the sea, lovely and no less pleasant, is ortidas: fried sea anemones passed through bread and rosemary oil.
The umpteenth dive into local cuisine is, inevitably, the famous mussels. Mussels and oysters, cultivated all over the gulf, are indeed a focal point of local eating, and not only in the summer months. Mussels au gratin, raw mussels, enriched solely with lemon, boiled mussels, according to the multi-cultural tradition introduced by the first tarantini cultivators at the end of the 19th century.
Another traditional dish in the spectrum of Olbia's cuisine is burrida: gently boiled and seasoned with fish liver sauce.
The map to a veritable treasure trove, then, that which we have seen up until now, but we mustn't neglect also the more elaborate dishes, the spigole and orate, zuppe di pesce and all manner of crustaceans, cicale, aragoste and capore di mare. The wines which accompany an evening of fine food, Olbia-style, cannot but come from the surrounding cellars. Products of the life of the plains and the agricultural zone of Olbia, but also from the hinterland of Monti, Tempio and Berchidda.,