Starters are very important in Sardinian typical cuisine.
Sardinian starters in fact are prepared for special occasions, like holidays. There are a lot of recipes, and every region has its own ingredients and traditions.
Among the appetizers coming from the pastoral tradition, the most famous ingredients come from the land. Mushrooms, pickled olives, artichokes and peppers are the main characters, together with famous pork and wild boar ham, and pecorino cheese, the king of cheese both in seasoned and fresh versions.
Not only ham: bacon, loin, and other kind of cold cuts are very much appreciated, and usually served on a wooden chopping board together with typical carasau or pistoccu bread. Very popular are also meat-based appetizers. Sausages and salami from Irgoli are the main choice inland. Very popular recipes are also wild boar stew and, in hunting areas, “pilloneddus de taccula”, little wild birds boiled with myrtle and served with red wine.
If you prefer fish-based starters, widely used in Sardinia are shellfish and crustaceans. You will find recipes with mussels, seafood salad with clams, shrimps and musky octopus, and octopus salad with potatoes and tomatoes or celery and olives.
Finally, a typical product of the island is bottarga, used in many recipes accompanied by artichokes, mushrooms or musky octopus.