Couscous carlofortina – mixed cuisine
Carloforte great tasted. Carloforte was founded in the 18th century by around 30 families of coral fishers, originally from the Ligurian town of Pegli, near Genoa. They had left their hometown in 1541, and had settled in the island of Tabarka, off the coast of Tunisia, to fish for coral.
After centuries, the coral in that area was exhausted and the families, while setting off back to Italy, found there was plenty of coral in the sea off the Sardinian west coast. They asked the King of Piedmont-Sardinia Charles Emmanuel III for permission to settle down on the once uninhabited San Pietro Island instead.
When he granted them permission, the island was colonized (1739); the name Carloforte (“Charles the Strong”, but also the “Carlo’s Fort”) was given to the town they then proceeded to found, in the Piedmontese king’s honour.
To this day, Carloforte maintains strong cultural ties with the mainland towns of Pegli and Genoa: the population still speaks a variety of Ligurianlanguage called tabarchìn (or tabarchino, in Italian), separate from both Italian and Sardinian, which is used even by most children and taught in the island’s schools.