The catch on the table, “sa burrida a sa Casteddaia”

Among the things to be included in your list of appointments in Cagliari there is certainly a visit to the civic markets. The most important is certainly the one located in San Benedetto, the largest covered market in Italy and one of the largest in Europe. Inaugurated in June 1957, thanks to its 8000 square meters of exposure on two levels, it has spaces dedicated to the sale of fish, meat, fruit and vegetables, groceries and various services.
The most characteristic is dedicated to fish, where you can find all of kind of fish species. At certain times of the year, in plain sight on the counters, are often found, tuna and swordfish and certainly do not miss the culinary tips from the sellers. Browsing through the fish market stalls is a fun experience, the fishmongers in fact retain that characteristic ironic and light-hearted, outspoken and authentic of Cagliari’s people.


Cagliari has a strong tradition of cooking fish and, among the various recipes, today we talk about one in particular that has been handed down for generations: “sa burrida a sa casteddaia”.  This dish seems to have a medieval origin, and with variations it is found in Provence where it is called bouride, and in Liguria known as buridda. In fact it seems to have been introduced by the Genoese. The term sa casteddaia derives instead from the fact that Cagliari, from its inhabitants, has always been called Casteddu, or Castello (castle), where resided the power center of the ancient city. The basic ingredient of this dish is the dogfish (Scyliorhinus canicula), a mustached, slender, nutritious and low-fat shark, that lives in the low coasts of the Mediterranean. If you choose south Sardinia for your holidays you can not taste it, and we will make sure that you can also cook it on your return home. Ingredients:
• 1000 grams of clean dogfish, keep the livers;
• A half full glass of vinegar;
• 300 grams of walnuts, (but you can abound);
• Garlic and parsley;
• Extra virgin olive oil. After cleaning, peeled and cut into pieces the dogfish, boil it for a quarter of an hour in salted water and sour with the addition of laurel. Separately steam the livers put aside during cleaning and, at the end of cooking, add them to the chopped walnuts, garlic and parsley after lightly browning them. Sprinkle with vinegar and cook the sauce for about 10 minutes. Finally lay the pieces of dogfish in layers with the sauce just removed from the heat. The burrida is ready, but to taste it, it is necessary to let it rest for at least 12 hours.The dish often served as an appetizer, goes with a divinely hot slice of civraxiu bread, cooked in a wood oven, and a good glass of fresh Vermentino di Gallura.Also today we thank Agostino, our chef, who in this dish, where the balance between the pungent vinegar and the sweet of walnuts reigns, reveal the truth soul of Sardinia, sour and sweet.
Enjoy your meal!

Photo by @k_o_k_o