Foods you can eat only in Corfu!
Corfu’s menu is the reflection of the gastronomic culture of all the culinary occupations of the past, the most powerful of course being the Venetians that have influenced the island in every sector of everyday life: architecture, social status and cuisine. The Italian flavors adapted to the local demands of exquisite olive oil and herbs, have created an incredible result of traditional dishes not to be missed.
Patsitsada, Sofrito and more
The best known trademark dish of Corfu, passing on from generation to generation as the top Sunday lunch of all times, is ‘Pastitsada’. Even the slightest scent of the Corfiot invention of ‘spetseriko’, a unique mix of herbs like cinnamon, nutmeg and ground clove, evokes childhood memories of lively hangouts around the family table of Pastitsada. It’s a casserole dish of thick pasta with beef or traditionally rooster that is slowly cooked in this characteristic spicy sauce that always leaves a light burning note in your mouth. Another excellent beef choice is ‘sofrito’. As the name suggests, thin slices of beef are lightly fried and cooked with a generous amount of grated garlic, parsley and wine usually served with French fries. The result, mouthwatering!
If you are a fish lover, don’t skip on tasting ‘ Bianco’ and ‘Bourdeto’. The white creamy texture of Bianco resembling a thick garlicky soup with peppered potatoes is one of the healthiest options of Corfiot cuisine, as long as you keep clear of the bread that will probably provoke you to take a dip again and again. The same applies with‘ Bourdeto’, usually cooked with fish like scorpions or bass combined with onions, lemon and quite a lot of sweet and hot red pepper thus giving a tasteful sauce which is exactly what the name means( a kind of broth, derived from the venetian word ‘brodetto’).
Corfu Beer and Ginger Beer
All these dishes are a perfect match with some of the most special products of Corfu, Beer, ginger beer, liqueur and sykomaida. Corfu beer, a recent asset to Corfu’s local specialties, is a hundred percent natural product with not a hint of chemical additives. Its maturation takes place for several weeks but it is totally worth the wait. You can even visit the headquarters of the Microbrewery in Arrilas village and get a closer look to this local wonder. Ginger beer, on the other hand, or tsitsibira as it is officially referred to by Corfiots, is a cool beverage prepared with lemon, sugar and ginger, the ideal way to aid digestion after the above mentioned meals. Ginger beer has been produced since 1860, an everlasting present from the British rule. The English were the first ones to introduce another promising product in Corfu as well and that is the famous Kumquat, native to China and Japan, thus the peculiar name meaning ‘golden orange’. This cute sweet but sour variety can be eaten raw but it is mostly cultivated to transform into all kinds of Corfu delicacies, jams, sweet bars and liqueur in an extraordinary range of souvenir bottles just in case you desire to take a piece of Corfu back home. Last but not least, a very special but weird looking pie is ‘sykomaida’ or simply fig pie. Spoiled with ouzo, wine and a strong dose of pepper, sykomaida feels like a miniature firework in the mouth.
Fortunately, all products are not hard to find. Just stroll around the old town and you will certainly come across the shop that will not let you go empty handed. As for the food, you can either go for the more unpolished taverns of the outskirts or the more refined restaurants of the upscale downtown. Whatever you decide, the taste of Corfu is going to be food for thought in the future recipes of your own.
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All the above information is a suggestion of the ilovecorfuteam with the main and unique guide to help the visitors of our island to enjoy our place better. Do not hesitate to contact us to share your experience or suggestion! It will be our pleasure to hear from you!