The land and climate of Sardinia are perfect for the cultivation of many Mediterranean species of plants and trees, including the cardoon. The Cardoon is a stalky vegetable that grows in Italy from midwinter to early spring. This artichoke relative is a beautiful accent with its silvery, long-toothed, deeply cut leaves that can reach 3-4 feet! It does best in cooler weather, but once established, will grow all year. The first year the cardoon produces its beautiful leaves. Year two, it will produce a beautiful blue-lavender thistle-like flower. Cardoon is a traditional dipping vegetable for the Italian bagna cauda, a hot garlic and anchovy sauce. This thick honey is very floral on the nose and palate - indeed, it pleasantly blossoms on the palate. It has plenty of acid on the finish to keep it from becoming too sweet.
The famed artisan confectioner Rau from the town of Berchidda deals directly with local beekeepers who produce some of the most flavorful honeys we've ever tasted. He buys their honey in its pristine state and packages it for sale in Sardinia, Italy and now here in the USA.
The first tourists that visited Sardinia and discovered its beauty at a time when tourism had not yet become a mass phenomenon, tasted the most genuine and best of Sardinian agricultural and food products. Rau was already there, its name and state from the very start associated with the magical moments spent in this generous wild land of Sardinia. The success of Rau products, however, was not accidental but the fruit of the experience of master confectioners, who for three generations have chosen the best materials to make Sardinian confectionery art.
Rau's main secret is marvelous nature with its profusion of unique fragrances that render the work of Berchidda master confectioners easy. Myrtle, prickly pears, almonds, hazel nuts, chestnuts, citrus fruits, grapes, fresh fruits and honey all come from the delicate, perfect biological balance of the Sardinian natural habitat, guaranteed by an unpolluted environment, certified by the wind that redresses the balance each time.