Pane e casu – bread and cheese is the leitmotiv for Sardinian people when their appetite is whetted.
Bread and cheese have almost always gone hand in hand. Both created during the Roman Age, they came together immediately in an eternal culinary love affair.
In Utopia, Plato attributes the following words to Socrates, in which he explains that the best companion to bread is cheese, “You’re right! I forgot that they should also have a bread companion, or rather salt, olives and cheese; they shall also cook onions and various greens, namely all of the vegetables that are found in the country. And the meal shall be finished with figs, chickpeas and fava beans; and they shall roast myrtle berries and acorns over the fire, watered with the right amount of wine. And so they shall spend their existence in peace and good health, and, as one would expect, shall die late in their years, passing to their heirs another life as this”.
His ode to Rome began with bread. There is an ancient street called Via Panisperna which owes its name to Panis ac perna, ham sandwiches. In Latin cooking, the two main ingredients were flavored with sapa.
In Sardinia, it was (and still is) traditional to toast soft bread, ammodigadu, civraxiu, su tundu, etc. over the fire while simultaneously baking a young Pecorino cheese. When the ingredients were ready, they were mixed together to create a perfect and flavorsome marriage.
Choosing a good Pecorino cheese is essential, but the bread must also be carefully selected. It must be of excellent quality, purchased from a good baker, cooked in an appropriate oven and prepared using good flour and fresh yeast (starter). The bread pairs perfectly with the baked or melted cheese just when the toast reaches the right crunchiness. Alternatively, if you opt for a fresh pane poddine, pane fine or another type of fragrant bread, the Pecorino is best sliced or spread to enhance its unique flavor.