In Sardinia, pastoralism has been at the heart of cultural identity for millennia. Such activity has shaped the landscape by sustainably managing its elements over the centuries. We conducted 30 semi-structured interviews regarding the uses of wild plants as well as their contribution to sheep breeding over the last few decades in two villages of Barbagia di Ollolai. We recorded the use of 73 taxa belonging to 35 families. Over one-third of the vernacular food taxa were mentioned as raw snacks. Specifically, 22% were used only as raw snacks, while another 22% were used as raw snacks in addition to other uses. Indeed, there is a subcategory of raw snacks represented by thistle plants, named cardu, referring to thorny herbaceous taxa. Cardu are often related to the pastoral realm in the Mediterranean Basin as they are gathered, often with the help of a knife, peeled with the blade, and consumed on the spot while grazing sheep, but ultimately, their crunchiness provides a pleasant chewing experience. In addition, cardu may have been used as thirst quenchers. We conclude that pastoral activity has significantly contributed to the development of a distinctive food heritage and cultural landscape.

Wild Food Thistle Gathering and Pastoralism: An Inextricable Link in the Biocultural Landscape of Barbagia, Central Sardinia (Italy)

Giulia Mattalia;Renata soukand;
2020

Abstract

In Sardinia, pastoralism has been at the heart of cultural identity for millennia. Such activity has shaped the landscape by sustainably managing its elements over the centuries. We conducted 30 semi-structured interviews regarding the uses of wild plants as well as their contribution to sheep breeding over the last few decades in two villages of Barbagia di Ollolai. We recorded the use of 73 taxa belonging to 35 families. Over one-third of the vernacular food taxa were mentioned as raw snacks. Specifically, 22% were used only as raw snacks, while another 22% were used as raw snacks in addition to other uses. Indeed, there is a subcategory of raw snacks represented by thistle plants, named cardu, referring to thorny herbaceous taxa. Cardu are often related to the pastoral realm in the Mediterranean Basin as they are gathered, often with the help of a knife, peeled with the blade, and consumed on the spot while grazing sheep, but ultimately, their crunchiness provides a pleasant chewing experience. In addition, cardu may have been used as thirst quenchers. We conclude that pastoral activity has significantly contributed to the development of a distinctive food heritage and cultural landscape.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3727252
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