The function of bread in society not just as a simple food but a sign of civilization.
One of the reasons why I decided to visit the Su Gologone hotel for the last few years it’s because I was intrigued by this small outdoor restaurant located in the hearts of the borgo where once a week (generally on Fridays) Sardinian women dressed in typical costumes from Oliena, demonstrate how bread is and was made for centuries.
The whitewashed floors and walls small patio features a few centennial olive trees under which a few garden chairs in a bright turquoise and tables dressed for dinner in cotton or linen tablecloths. Orange and blue candles illuminate the festive evening . They are elegantly placed on top of antique iron scales appended o tree ranches- they used in the old days to measure flour potatoes, and beans . The intense blue cobalt sky is a promise for after dinner stargazing at the Terrazzo dei sogni (Terrace of dreams)) a few stairs up.
Amaretti and Guciu aperitivi are served on trays by the staff while hotel guests find their tables. The buffets on a natural wood bench is rich but yet so simple. Cured meats are delightful: Parma ham, sausages, bacon with thistles, coppa with artichokes. The locally made cheese in small round shapes and placed on a reclaimed wooden platter surrounded by large basil leaves sun-grown in the hotel’s herb garden. Among a few, Pecorino cheese with pears, Goat cheese from Oliena served with carrots and zucchini and the soft freshly made ricotta to be savored with millefiori honey or sophisticated jams such as pears with peppers, arbutus or blackberries.
But the real star of this dinner is the bread. Mostly in round shape traditionally to imitate the shape of the sun and symbol of life. The first , a crisp, wafer-thin flatbread is called Pane Carasau was used by shepherds because its lasted days. It is based on yeast, salt, water, and hard wheat flour. Franca the long time chef, puts the dow in the oven , moves it a few times until in seconds the dow disk swells like a round pillow and removed from the flame. Her assistant will split the two faces and return them to the oven to ” carasate“( toast). The hot bread served with olive oil and rosemary is then shared on a traditional baskets among tables.
The next bread , Casadina is my favorite. More like a thick pizza dow ( Franca says it’s much better) , the salted bread originally is an Easter product and native to the Nuoro area. It consists of a sheet of flour, lard and salt filled with fresh cow or sheep cheese. A true delight!
Panneda bread, bacon and rosemary focaccia , tomato and basil are prepared but we must leave a place for dessert. The latter are ‘The Delights of Nenna” , ricotta ice-cream with Myrtle, peaches and wine, a large mellons with port wine , the traditional ” “Marigosos“, delicious Sardinian soft meringues washed with a delicious Sardinian prickly pear liquor offered by the charming Maitre’d Matteo with a welcoming smile.
Well designed glass displays across the Nido del Pane illustrate Su Gologone’s collection of Sardinia’s breads: those made for special occasions, those dedicated to the saints, and even play breads that were baked for children. The pine tree growing at the centre has its own story…
Nido del Pane – For reservations:
Loc. Su Gologone – 08025 OLIENA (NU) SARDEGNA
Fax +39 0784 287668