The Hilton group celebrates Italy and its wonderful locations with a project designed expressly for travelers to the Bel Paese called Flavours of Italy.
A journey characterized by traditional, intense flavours that take you back in time, rooted in different cultures, starting from the group’s most representative hotels, with the aim of sealing an even deeper bond with the territory.
One of the regions that hides hidden treasures all to be discovered is Sardinia, a land steeped in history and full of cultural influences that are unique and still firmly anchored to its roots – a land rich in excellent raw materials and dotted with dreamy landscapes.
This region is famous for its magnificent coastline with the fantastic bays of Costa Smeralda and Porto Rotondo, the very long beaches, such as those of Capo Comino with its white sand dunes, and the hidden and solitary coves, such as Cala Capra, at the foot of the characteristic Capo d’Orso. But the true essence of Sardinia lies inland, and Flavours of Italy reveals it through two distinctive elements: the famous and highly regarded Myrtle and the little-known Pompia.
Discovering the True Flavours of Sardinia
Myrtle is one of the symbols of the Sardinian territory, a vigorous plant with its small, round fruits that are rich in Vitamin C, found in the region in more than 200 varieties of black berry Myrtus Communis and about 30 white berry varieties. Many companies are dedicated to the cultivation and processing of myrtle, among them particularly interesting is the project of the Sannai company, founded in 2015 by Antonio Castelli in the heart of Gallura, a short distance from the Costa Smeralda.
Here, each plant grows in its ideal natural context, without phytosanitary treatments with perfectly organic cultivation. From these precious plants, Sannai handcrafts four varieties of liqueur and a bitter: Berry Myrtle “Maria Antonietta,” Berry and Leaf Myrtle “Beatrice,” Berry and Honey Myrtle “Giovanna,” and White Myrtle “Grazia,” with a production of only 4,000 bottles per season made entirely by hand, from harvesting to bottling.
Going further into the Sardinian Baronia, one encounters the Pompia, a citrus fruit that is still very little known and a Slow Food presidium. This fruit grows spontaneously by the natural hybridization of the citron with the bitter orange, and is considered one of the rarest fruits in the world. The custodian of this precious citrus fruit is the territory of Siniscola. The fruit, endowed with a thick, lumpy rind, can be eaten only after long and careful processing.
Few companies cultivate and process it, among them Claudio Secchi, who together with his mother, owner of Pau Bakery, grows some plants and produces and markets several Pompia-based foods. The most traditional sweet is “sa Pompiaintrea” cooked for several hours in honey to become a delicious dessert given as a gift and eaten at weddings, demonstrating the preciousness of the fruit.
Equally delicious and rare is “s’Aranzata,” made by working the Pompia together with almonds. These traditional sweets are now joined by the production of jams and alcoholic beverages, while its peel, rich in properties, is also used for the production of essential oils with multiple beneficial properties.
Sulià House Porto Rotondo, Part of Hilton’s Curio Collection
The ideal starting point of the discovery of the sea and the authentic flavors of Sardinia with Flavours of Italy is the Sulià House Porto Rotondo, Curio Collection by Hilton, a modern and elegant boutique hotel immersed in nature and suspended between the sea and the sky facing the Gulf of Cugnana and its restaurant Pasigà by Claudio Melis.
The hotel, located a short distance from the sea on the slopes of Sardinia’s rocks that descend swiftly to the coast, allows guests to admire the best views and intense sunsets in a landscape that opens the heart and inspires serenity. The scents of the aromatic herbs surrounding the hotel, the colors of the sky, the intense blue of the water, and the voices of nature frame a perfect vacation away from the crowds.
The flagship of Sulià House is the new Pasigà Restaurant by Claudio Melis, the Sardinian-born star chef who has returned to his roots with a dining concept that combines heritage and innovation, the rich culinary history of Sardinia with a fresh and innovative twist. Pasigà Restaurant’s creativity and love for the flavors of Sardinia, are also expressed with some dishes created in celebration of the use of Myrtle and Pompia in the kitchen.
These include Pistoccu with marinated cherry tomatoes, wilted myrtle berries and local tuna; Tagliolini di pasta all’uovo, cacio, pepe and red shrimp with Pompia preserved 40 days in salt; Marinated Galletto with myrtle berries and potato millefeuille; and Semifreddo di ricotta di pecora in strawberry and cherry tomato soup with candied Pompia with seaweed.
Also at Sulià House Porto Rotondo, Myrtle and Pompia enter the world of mixology, through the expert hands of Mauro Spadetto, barman at Pasigà Restaurant, who has created two special drinks: a variation of the drink Ether-with saffron-infused Mezcal, red basil and Pompia peels, Elderflower tonic water and Pompia juice with lavender mousse, Elderflower and Pompia; and a White Myrtle cocktail with red basil Mezcal, Pompia juice and lavender mousse, Elderflower and Pompia.