Unveiling The Rarest Pasta, Su Filindeu, "The Threads Of God"
Image Credit: Unsplash

Only on the island of Sardinia, off the coast of Italy, is Su Filindeu, a special type of handmade pasta, manufactured. Su Filindeu, which translates to "the thread of the gods" or "the threads of god" in Sardinian, is frequently referred to as the rarest pasta because only one family in Sardinia still possesses the skills necessary to prepare the dish, which is time-consuming and labour-intensive to prepare.

There are over 300 varieties of this Italian staple, and while we all have our favourite varieties, you'd be shocked at how different they are when it comes to shaping, texture, filling, and accompanying sauce. However, one pasta is so uncommon that very few people have ever had it. Why? To begin with, it is exclusively made in Lulu, a village in Sardinia close to the city of Nuoro.

Paola Abraini lives in the area and has been producing Su Filindeu, also known as "the threads of God," for more than 300 years. The reason or method by which her ancestors created this special pasta is unknown, but the ladies have passed along the recipe and preparation method. Today, only Abraini, her niece, and her sister-in-law are capable of making Su Filindeu.

Since it takes so long and so much work to make, the thin, thread-like pasta has supposedly only been available to those who have made the 200-year-old 33-kilometre (21-mile) pilgrimage on foot or horseback from Nuoro to Lulu for the biennial Feast of San Francesco.

Why Is It So Hard To Prepare Su Filindeu?

 It takes a very specialised technique to pull and fold the dough, which entails manipulating the dough, adding saltwater at specific intervals, and relying on feel rather than sight to achieve the ideal elasticity.

 It is only offered at the twice-yearly Feast of San Francesco in the village of Lula, close to the city of Nuoro, and is revered by the locals and a large segment of the global food community.

 Learning to make this Sardinian pasta dish is challenging. There are fewer than ten people in the world who can produce this pasta. An Italian pasta manufacturer and at least one celebrity chef have given up trying to recreate the dish.

Why Is Su Filindeu Endangered?

Su Filindeu is one of the foods most in danger of going extinct since it is so uncommon. Its production future is uncertain. One of Abraini's two daughters is familiar with the fundamentals but lacks the same patience and enthusiasm as her sister, and neither of them has daughters of their own. The other two women in Abraini's family who can produce Su Filindeu are in their 50s and don't have any possible heirs among their offspring who are eager to pick up the difficult recipe and carry it on as a legacy.

Abraini made an effort to instruct girls from other families in Nuoro on how to make Su Filindeu, but they were unsuccessful. Abraini realised that her family's culinary legacy had grown to be such a significant cultural touchstone in Sardinia. She eventually invited students over, but after seeing how much work was involved in making the pasta, they left and never came back again.