If you wander around the island you will easily see that Corfu’s local cuisine is a distinctive mixture of the Mediterranean diet. Orchards, vineyards, fishing boats and flocks of sheep and goats are all evidence of the locals’ agricultural habits.
Salads, vegetables, fish, a little meat, cheese, virgin olive oil and plenty of fruit are part of the daily dinner. Bearing the influence of Italy, the Balkans, and England and based on the traditional ancient Greek cuisine, Corfiots cook masterpieces. They are particularly fond of red pepper (paprica), garlic, onions and parsley.
Typical dishes include bourdeto (fish in paprika sauce), bianco (fish in garlic sauce), pastitsada (beef in red sauce and spaghetti), stakofisi, cod with onions, cuttlefish with pasta, vegetables in red, paprika sauce, veal lungs, sofrito.
Food in Corfu is accompanied by exquisite wine, especially “Kakotrygis” wine, known since the time of Thucydides.
Local desserts are not as easy to find as nowadays they are rare delicacies made from local old specialists with experience and knowledge.
And this is our list of “Must Taste” while on the island:
Mandolato: Glucose, honey, sugar, meringue, rosewater and brown almonds. Mandolato, mandoles and koum kouat are the trademark of Corfu Island.
Tsitsibira: A pure Corfiot drink, free of preservatives.. It is made from fresh lemon juice, sugar and pepper-roots imported from India or China. Very similar taste to ginger beer.
Noumboulo: Made from fillet of pork marinated in wine and spices, wrapped in animal intestines and smoked for 30 days.
Salami: Made from pork meat and fat cut into cubes with garlic and spices, wrapped in animal intestines and smoked. Left hanging to mature for 30-40 days.
Freskamenta (pavlosika or fragosika): Sweet aromatic tasty fruit from the cactus plant (prickly pears) and is very popular with the Corfiots. They are eaten, cold with lots of water, usually in the morning or early evening.
Tzintzoles or tzitzifa: Small tasty deep red fruits with a pip. They are eaten fresh, left to dry in the sun, boiled in must or baked in the oven and can be kept in preserving jars for up to a whole year.
Fogatsa: Typical Corfiot Easter cake.
Loukoumades: Usually made on the name days of Corfiots and of course the Eve of Saint Spiridon day.
Sikomaida: Made from chopped figs left to dry in the sun, hand kneaded with almonds, must, orange peel, nutmeg, pepper, cinnamon, fennel, and ouzo. It is then wrapped in fig leaves and left to dry from days to weeks. Served cut into pieces to accompany a Corfiot’s afternoon coffee.
Tzaletia: A kind of donut made from corn flour and water with raisins, hand-kneaded and fried. Served dusted with sugar.
Bourou-Bourou: Spaghetti broken into short lengths with tomato sauce, onion, olive oil, chopped potatoes and lots of red pepper.
Kolopimpiri: Boiled well-drained spaghetti with fresh olive oil and lots of black pepper.
Savouro: Fried fish usually sardines or white bait with sauce made from rosemary, vinegar, garlic, and raisins.
Stakofissi: Delicious specialty of sun-dried cod, soaked for several days in water then cooked in a white sauce with pepper, spices, fresh finely chopped garlic, salt, chopped potatoes, water and olive oil. It is the traditional dish for Palm Sunday.