Pardulas: Sardinian sweets in an Egyptian kitchen

Italian food is well known for its homely and fresh flavour. The Pardulas, which is a sort of pie, stands testament to the passion the Italians display within the kitchen space.

The Pardulas:

The Pardulas is considered the most typical Sardinian sweet. It is commonly made on festive occasions such as Easter. It dates back to aeons ago in Sardinia, and has been a part of the staple diet for quite awhile. It also has a plethora of variations that have nuanced differences depending on the region of Italy it is being made in. The intriguing thing about the Pardulas is that it is quite hard to typify it as a ‘cake’ or ‘tart’, since it has nuances of aesthetic appearance from both, but tastes quite different from them.

The Pardulas is a popular Easter sweet in Italy.
Image Courtesy: Great Italian Chefs

The Pardulas is essentially made using ingredients such as ricotta and saffron. The quality of the ingredients is screened to a great degree in order to make sure that the product has the perfect taste. The texture and strength of the saffron flavour are what add a special punch to the dessert. The delicate ‘pies’ as one can call them, are stuffed with ricotta cheese. The dish is known as the Pardulas in South West Sardinia, but is also called the ‘casgiaddina’ and ‘casadinas’ in the Sassari and Nuoro regions respectively.

My Experience With the Pardula:

This process was my first experience with making Sardinian sweets. I was quite nervous to see what the outcome would taste and look like. I’m not even very adept in the kitchen, so I braced myself for some interesting results. I tried to maintain the original, pie like shape of the Pardulas while making them, but was unable to provide enough grounding for it to stay put in its original, neatly stuffed form. In order to salvage the Pardulas, I had to change how they looked in order for them to be edible. Despite the manipulated, contorted appearance of the dish, it seemed to be quite tasty.

 

The Recipe:

  • Mix together 15g f lard, 250g of flour and a pinch of salt in a bowl to make a dough. Add some lukewarm water before thoroughly churning them together.
The dough must be smooth and firm.
Image Courtesy: Mariam Dawoud
  • Allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes
  • Roll out the dough into sheets and then make tart like pockets. Pinch them at the ends to make them star shaped.
  • In another bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, wheat flour, plain flour, baking powder, sugar, egg yolks, saffron, lemon and orange peel. Churn the ingredients together to create a filling.
    The ricotta cheese is given an added flavour by ingredients such as saffron and orange rind.
    Image Courtesy: Mariam Dawoud
  • Fill this ricotta paste into the tart cases
The tart cases that I made were not perfect, and drastically changed the shape of the Pardulas.
Image Courtesy: Mariam Dawoud
  •  Bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees C.
The Pardulas were yummy, even though the ones I made did not look so right!
Image Courtesy: Mariam Dawoud

Even though I was quite skeptical about how the Pardulas would turn out, they tasted quite pleasant to my friends, who came to watch me cook and enjoy the exotic food I made as a part of this task. Despite how the product looked, I learnt that it is the taste and not the way the food looks that matters through this task, other than broadening my awareness about Sardinian food culture.

 

 

References:

Sardinian Easter Sweets http://www.greatitalianchefs.com/recipes/pardulas-recipe

 

  • Mariam

    I hold a master's degree in Heritage Conservation and Site Management from a joint program implemented by the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg and Helwan University, and her bachelor degree is in Tourism & Hotel Management. I have been volunteering at Rotaract (Rotary in Action) since 2008, which is a global movement of young leaders who aim to develop innovative solutions through a wide range of opportunities in order to address the world’s most pressing challenges. My competencies lie in areas including organisational and project management (planning, assessment, research, fundraising and finance), as well as in organizing workshops, events and conferences. My interests are in cultural exchange, community service, knowledge transfer, horse riding and traveling.

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