Maristanis Wetlands offer a wide choice of fish-based dishes that bring to the table the best of the centuries-old lagoon and marine culinary tradition in Sardinia, in addition to the more classic dishes of Sardinian cuisine.
There are numerous recognized food and wine excellences: from mussels to Vernaccia, passing through the precious mullet roe. Let’s find out together what you absolutely cannot miss!
One of the Sardinian excellences is found in Arborea with Nieddittas, the Arborea fishermen’s cooperative (CPA) born in 1967 from the association of some fishermen. Today it is one of the most important mussel farms in Sardinia. The mussels here can be tasted green or au gratin or in a seafood risotto with clams and clams and these dishes are offered in many restaurants in the Oristano area as a main course.
Also in the lagoons of Arborea, in Corru S’Ittiri and Marceddì, clams are fished, small animals found on sandy bottoms. Arborea with both mussels and clams (different from clams because they are smaller and more valuable) is one of the most important realities in Sardinia. They can be tasted in risotto with seafood, in pasta and these dishes are offered in many restaurants in the Oristano area as a first course.
Mullet and Bottarga
Mullet roe is mainly produced in Marceddì and Cabras. Cabras of the two realities is the best known for the production of bottarga. The pond of Cabras is one of the most fishy as far as mullet is concerned and it is from there that the roe is obtained, the mullet roe is extracted and put in salt and then dried. Mullet is eaten both roasted and made “a mreca”, a typical Cabrarese dish, and smoked. Bottarga is served either as an appetizer accompanied by PDO spiny artichoke, or in grated pasta and is the main dish that we can find in many restaurants in the Oristano area.
In the Maristanis territories, the pond of Santa Giusta is known for its abundance of eels. Eels are freshwater and brackish water fish, they have a cylindrical and elongated shape which makes them very similar to a creeping reptile; moreover, given its ability to cover some land tracts outside watercourses, amphibious-like characteristics have been attributed to it. In the Oristano area, eels are eaten marinated after a few days of maceration, seasoned with oil, mint, bay leaf, onion, garlic, salt and pepper.
Within the Maristanis municipalities, as well as in the rest of Sardinia, the spiny artichoke is a DOP product, mainly produced within the Sinis territories. The artichoke is usually served as an appetizer in combination with mullet roe.
The territories near the lower valley of the Tirso are excellent and known for the production of rice where various local realities work in the production of rice such as the Ferraris with prized canaroli.
Within the Maristanis territories, more precisely in the municipalities of Cabras, Oristano and its hamlets, Riola Sardo, San Vero Milis, Santa Giusta, Nurachi and Palmas Arborea, a DOC wine is produced that is very different from the vernaccias widespread in northern Italy. The term Vernaccia di Oristano indicates the denomination of controlled origin of this important wine produced in the lower valley of the Tirso. Due to its high alcohol content and particular taste it is considered a dessert wine but it can very well accompany foods with a spicy flavor such as bottarga. The best-known Vernaccia in the Oristano area is that of the Oristano cellar and that of the Contini di Cabras winery.