Oliena's agro-pastoral vocation comes from ancient times: it is the expression of its sober but excellent cuisine, connected to the seasons and the earth cycles, made of strong tastes, enriched with its mediterranean landscape and wild mountains where the food is prepared with endless patience and skilful ability.
Among the products of this area, the most noticeable are the full-bodied and scented wines and the robust and fragrant olive oils. One of the most ancient and renowned Sardinian wines is the 'Cannonau' , a generous red that originates from the dolomitic mountains of Oliena and Dorgali and from the Ogliastra valleys. Ovine and goat cheese is delicious. In the Barbagia area, it is still a tradition to make 'sa merka', a sheep or goat milk curd which was usual in the ancient Roman cuisine (it was called melka). It is used for cooking soups or for tomato salad dressing in summer period.
The famous carasau bread (or musicpaper) delightfully accompanies the traditional local dishes. The carasau bread is very versatile; it can be eaten hard and crispy or wet with water to mop up sauce with bread. As far as concerns the first courses, the main important dishes are: maccarrones a bocciu ( hand-made Sardinian gnocchi: malloreddus), ravioli stuffed with sheep cheese or ricotta (a soft white unsalted Italian cheese) and the pane frattau (a pane carasau-based dish with stock, tomato sauce, poached eggs and sheep cheese). As regards the second courses, meat is the master: lamb, kid and pork roasted on the barbecue or cooked on a spit with aromatic wood. Sausages are superb, seasoned in the mountains with aromatic herbs. Last but not least, at the end of the meal, a little glass of myrtle liqueur (made with wild myrtleberries) or the famous marc grappa (filu e ferru).
In the last few years, Masiloghi restaurant has supported important initiatives to promote the territory and to increase the upland tourism.