Flavours from the Island of Corfu!

The local products of the island

Corfu’s microclimate- heavy rainfalls and humidity- as well as the mild relief of its territory are the key factors related to the fertility and fruitfulness of the blessed Corfiot land… Ever since Homer’s time, the olive tree has undoubtedly been the trademark of Corfu. The sight of vast ancient-old olive groves comprising about 4,5 million olive trees fill us with awe and admiration for the grandeur of nature.

Olive oil of excellent quality, delicious black little olives, pure natural soap and handmade furniture are some of the products deriving from this blessed tree.

Hillside vineyards put down their roots among vast olive groves, producing many kinds of grape varieties; the white kakotrygis, muscat, the red petrokoritho, skopelitiko and rozaki are the most famous mouth-watering wine varieties of Corfu, an island boasting a rich wine-making tradition.

All kinds of citrus fruits, such as Merlin sweet orange trees, lemon trees, tangerine trees and bergamot orange trees giving off a marvelous scent, are to be found on the island. Their “king” is the exotic kumquat, a product with protected designation of origin, which grows in the area of the Nymphs. This tiny, aromatic “golden orange” is a perfect ingredient for spoon sweets, marmalades, fruit glace or for the bitter sweet kumquat infused liqueur, the traditional drink of Corfu and one of the visitors’ most beloved products!

Another distinctive flavour of the Ionian Island is “tsitsibira” (ginger ale) a kind of beer which is exclusively produced in Corfu. Lemon juice, natural lemon-oil, freshly grated ginger, water and sugar, are the ingredients of this sparkling drink which is actually fermented inside the bottle.

No description of the Corfiot cuisine would be complete without mentioning its fresh dairy products; Corfu is renowned for its high quality cow butter and its mouth-watering golden graviera cheese. The island raised its culinary reputation thanks to its excellent hams as well, such as salado (a local ham) and nubulo fumicado or nombolo (smoked pork fillet), which is prepared in the traditional way in the area of Oros.

The Corfiot cuisine

Indulge your palate with the island’s unique local dishes, which are deeply influenced from the Venetian cuisine:

  • Pastitsada: veal meat or rooster cooked in red sauce flavoured with spices. It’s served with a special type of thick pasta.
  • Sofrito: a casserole dish with thin slices of veal meat cooked in white sauce. It’s served with mashed potatoes or rice.
  • Bourtheto: scorpion fish or school shark cooked in red spicy sauce. Add some lemon sauce before removing from the fire.
  • Savoro: the food of the sailors. Little fried fish marinated in a white sauce with garlic, rosemary and vinegar.
  • Pastitsio of nonna (of the granny): an alternative version of pastitsio, in which the pasta is put into pastry sheet like a pie.

After completing your meal, indulge in a delicious local sweet, such as mantolato, which is made of ground sesame, honey and whole almonds; fokatsa (the Corfiot version of the famous Italian “focaccia”) a kind of Venetian origin brioche; kolombina, a “christopsomo” (Christmas cake) in a dove shape and mantoles, made of roasted caramelised almonds.