62-year-old Paola Abraini, her niece and her sister-in-law are carrying forward a tradition that is more than three hundred years old in Sardinia. (Photo: Youtube)
Dishes and ingredients are often a closely guarded secret in many parts of the world by their respective communities. The identity of the community is also often because of the very same ingredient. While there are many around the world, a rare type of pasta that not many know about except the people in Sardinia off the Italian coast.
Recently BBC met the only people who know about the pasta and it turns out that there are only three women, part of the same family who can produce it in its original form. The pasta called Su filindeu which literally means ‘threads of God’ is only made by 62-year-old Paola Abraini, her niece and her sister-in-law in Nuoro in Sardinia. While there were many people who did know how produce it, it was only the Abraini family who kept the tradition of the pasta and the correct method to make it alive.
Semolina wheat, water and salt are the three basic ingredients in the pasta which is made by consistently pulling and folding the semolina into exactly 256 thin strands. The final pasta is served only to devout pilgrims who complete the pilgrimage from Nuoro to Lula for the biannual feast of San Francesco or commonly known as St Francis of Assisi.
While many people have tried to replicate the pasta at the local or industrial level, none have come close to the original. The Abraini family has guarded the recipe like any other cultural gem and if not many can make it, the rare pasta will be a food of the past.