In present times we know quite a bit related to the gastronomic habits of the ancient Nuragic people of Sardinia. We know for sure that at the time when they inhabited my native island, hunting bees for honey was a dangerous, but a common practice, though reserved to men.
Nuragic people also collected wild herbs, and they were also able to apply evolved gastronomic techniques such as smoking, baking, or boiling. In some areas of Sardinia like Bargagia and Gallura, Sardinians still keep a dish alive: latuka e mele (lettuce and honey) – a dish that has been part of our heritage for more than 3000 years.
I'm sure that 3000 years ago, food storage conditions weren’t the best (no vacuum bags at that time). Ants must have been attracted by the honey, and for sure some of them ended their life trapped inside. So I imagine that people were used to consume honey, wax, bee larvae, and ants all together.
Today, this thought inspires me, and I use the ants in my dish as a 'tasty provocation' for the modern perception of insects and gastronomy.
Wow, this is shocking, insect on a salad! Did you wash it?"
Many people believe that insects is the food of the future. I prefer to look back, reflect, and put the spotlight to a dish that comes from my Nuragic ancestors.
If you want to try this yourself, this is my process:
- Collect the wild herbs and ants
- Brush herbs with honey
- Flambé them
- Add the ants
And then you’ll be ready to close your eyes and enjoy more than 3000 years of history on your palate.
Thanks go out to Giovanni Fancello for the historical data and research.
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