Pastitsada Recipe: Corfu`s Top Traditional Dish

Last updated on February 16th, 2022 at 11:46 pm

The authentic Pastitsada or Pastitsado

Here is the original authentic recipe with the ingredients and the way to make the most characteristic dish of Corfu’s cuisine.

The recipe is for about 4-5 persons and in order to be consistent with the tradition, we use roasted, of course, you can use beef or chicken meat in the same recipe.

Pastitsada
Pastitsada

Ingredients

  1. 3 big onions, Pastitsada needs a lot of onions
  2. A roasted about one and a half kilograms
  3. 200-250 grams of thick tomato paste
  4. 80 grams of red vinegar
  5. 300 grams of virgin olive oil
  6. 200 grams of red wine
  7. 1 tablespoon of sugar
  8. 1 kg of thick macaroni, or penne, or spaghetti, depending on what you like.
  9. Butter for burning the macaroni
  10. Grated cheese, kefalotyri
  11. Spetseriko, a mix of spices
  12. Salt and pepper

Spetseriko is the special mix of spices, which we use to produce the special taste of Pastitsada, usually, a small tablespoon per 4 portions is enough, or a little bit more if you like the food spicier.

The composition of Spetseriko

  1. 10 grams of grated Carnation
  2. 50 grams of Cinnamon
  3. 50 grams of Nutmeg
  4. 70 grams of sweet paprika
  5. 50 grams of Cumin
  6. 20 grams of hot pepper of red peppers, dried and grated, that is, the hot Bukovo
    Depending on how hot you want you can reduce or increase Boukhovo.
  7. 100 grams sweet pepper from grated sweet red peppers, this is the sweet Bukovo
  8. 20 grams of grated spice
  9. 30 medium laurel leaves crushed very well to make it a fine powder
  10. 25 grams of black pepper

The above quantities are for many times of cooking, up to 10 or more, keep the mix in a closed glass jar to use it for many times.

Time for cooking

  1. Cut the rooster into 4 or 5 large pieces
  2. Chop the onions into really small pieces, or better dissolve them in a blender.
  3. Put the 250 grams of olive oil in a large saucepan and let it burn hot, immediately put in the pieces of the rooster and move it until it gets some color.
  4. Pour the chopped onions into the saucepan and sauté, pay attention! we do not get the rooster out of the saucepan at this point as some others do.
  5. When the onions get a little colored, add the vinegar and continue cooking until it evaporates.
  6. Add 200 grams of wine and let it boil.
  7. When it dries a bit, add the 250 grams of tomato paste plus the rest of the wine or water which is better to be already hot.
  8. Once the mixture begins to boil, add one teaspoon or a little more of the Spetseriko mix along with the salt and a soup spoon of sugar and stir.
  9. Allow mixture to boil on low heat and take care to not stick by stirring it from time to time with a large wooden spoon.
  10. When the sauce becοmes thick, the food is ready, put the saucepan aside and prepare the spaghetti.

All the above processes should be done slowly and should take almost two hours! The food is served with pasta, thick macaroni, or penne or spaghetti.

  • 11) Spaghetti or thick macaroni is made at the end and just before serving, with the known process, after straining if you like you may burn the pasta in another utensil with butter or vegetable-based oil.
  • 12) Serve the rooster and the spaghetti together, don`t forget to put some grated cheese on top.

The same process is followed when using beef or chicken instead of a rooster.

Easter in Corfu 2019

Last updated on February 17th, 2022 at 12:22 am

See below the custom of the First Resurrection which takes place every Great Saturday at around 11 o’clock in the morning, every house or anyone in Corfu can smash some pots at the right time.

FIRST RESURRECTION 2019, outside Captain Octopus

Easter in Corfu at Liston
Easter in Corfu at Liston

This year Corfu celebrates the biggest celebration of Orthodox faith on Sunday 28th of  April.

It is the well-known Easter of Corfu which this year is expected to fill the island with a huge number of visitors and to keep alive for two weeks the festive atmosphere that is getting better year after year.

Thus, celebrations with all the customs that attract enormous interest will begin on Palm Sunday at April 21st, to culminate on Friday with the epitaphs, the Great Saturday with Resurrection at midnight in the largest square in Europe Esplanade, and at Easter Sunday with the big feast, continuing until Sunday of Thomas at 5th of May, when the weather will be like summer already.

The first week of May also may be appropriate for visits to the many beautiful beaches of Corfu.

For the most important events and customs of Corfu Easter see here and here for many photos from the celebrations of previous years.

Spring Corfu once again awaits this year’s loyal friends of Greece’s top Easter celebrations.

50+ Old Corfu Photos of 20th Century – Group B

Last updated on January 5th, 2022 at 10:22 pm

60 more old black and white photos from Corfu island were taken 100 years ago at the beginning of the 20th century.

50+ Old Corfu Photos of 20th Century – Group A

Last updated on January 5th, 2022 at 10:23 pm

More old photos mainly from Corfu town of the first quarter of 20th century are following

Holidays or Public Holidays? In Greece and Corfu

Last updated on February 14th, 2022 at 06:10 pm

What does the word holidays mean? [Public Holidays]

The word Holidays is translated as “Διακοπές” [Diakopes] in Greek but has a completely different meaning than in the English speaking countries, where the word holidays mean the public holidays.

In Greece, holidays(Diakopes) mean almost exclusively (with few exceptions of course) the days that people spend on a tourist resort during their Summer Holidays.
It has exactly the meaning of the English word “Vacations”

For the days when public services or shops are closed for religious or other reasons, and in general nothing works, we use the word “Argies” [Αργίες] which can be translated as “public holidays” in English.

So when someone wants to write an article about holidays in Corfu and is addressed to an English-speaking audience, it’s a little hard to figure out what exactly to include in this article.

Porto timoni
Porto timoni

Trapped mostly by the Greek meaning of the word we write only for the holiday days that someone will spend mostly in the summer on a sunny island.

So we refer to hotels, sights and describe activities that tourists may have when staying in Corfu.

We ignore even for informative reasons the official public holidays for each place and in our case the “argies” and semi-holidays that exist in Corfu and the Greek territory.

So on this page, we will mention the official or informal days of public holidays(argies, days off), the days when few people are working, and there are quite many in Greece and especially in Corfu.

If one of these argies happens to be on a Friday, it can be combined with the public semi-holiday of Saturday and Sunday and converted into a short 3-day vacation in a preferably nearby resort.

Public Holiday Days in Corfu and Greece

Holidays for the public sector.

  • January 1st, the first day of the Year
  • Epiphany on January 6
  • Monday, a movable festival 40 days before Easter, at the Monday marking the end of the Carnival and the beginning of the Lent for the Orthodox church, usually near the end of February or the beginning of March.
  • March 25th, Greece`s independence day, the largest national celebration, the anniversary of the Greek Revolution of 1821, which means the beginning of the modern Greek state.
  • Holy Friday, 2 days before Easter.
  • Great Saturday, a day before the Easter holiday
  • Easter
  • Easter`s second Day
  • May 1st, The Labor Day
  • 21st of May, the anniversary for the Union of the Ionian Islands with Greece, Public Holiday only in Corfu and the Ionian islands
  • The holiday of the Holy Spirit, 48 days or 7 weeks after Easter.
  • August 15th, the Virgin Mary’s assumption
  • October 28th, national celebration, the anniversary of NO, the start of Greece`s resistance against the Axis forces in 1940.
    We are the only country in the world that celebrates the beginning of the war and not its end!
    And there is a good reason for this, Greece resisted vigorously to the Axis forces for eight whole months before it was captured when other major countries fell within days.
  • December 12th, Saint Spyridon day, patron Saint of Corfu (Public holiday only in Corfu)
  • Christmas Day on December 25th
  • The Second Day of Christmas
  • All Sundays and Saturdays of the year

Semiholidays

The days when public services are running only for a few hours

  • December 24th, Christmas Eve
  • December 31st, New year`s eve.
  • All Saturdays

The aforementioned holidays are compulsory for the public sector and not necessarily for all, the mandatory holidays for all are 6, the following below.

Compulsory Holidays

  • March 25th, the day of the Greek independence, the Revolution of 1821
  • Easter day
  • The second day of Easter
  • August 15th, the Virgin Mary’s assumption
  • December 25th, Christmas
  • December 26th, Christmas second Day

There are also holidays due to a custom

  • New Year’s Day, January 1st
  • Epiphany on the 6th of the same month
  • The Monday 40 days before Easter
  • Holy Friday
  • The Labor Day on May 1st, if it falls on Easter`s Sunday, is transferred on the 3rd of May on Tuesday.
  • October 28th, the National celebration, the anniversary of NO to Axis demands for surrender

Holidays for the Education sector

  • November 17th is the anniversary of the Polytechnic student`s uprising in 1973 against the Junta.
    Holiday for Universities only, there is also a small event in schools in memory of the uprising.
  • January 30th, the three Hierarchs day, a holiday only for elementary schools.
  • The national celebrations of 28th October and 25th of March.
  • Monday 40 days before Easter
  • Labor Day at 1st of May
  • The Holy Spirit holiday, 48 days or 7 weeks after Easter.
  • All weekends
  • During the Christmas and Easter periods, we have two long holiday periods in education, for 2 weeks at Christmas (from 23 December to 7 January) and a week before Easter plus a week after it up to Sunday of Thomas.
  • Schools also stop in the summer for about 3 months (from June to early September)

Conclusion

There are plenty of Public Holidays in Greece, most of them due to religious feasts and some national anniversaries.

The public sector, what we call Civil Servants in Greece seems quite favored with several holidays.

Also in education, there are several weeks a year where schools remain closed, but this does not mean that education is poor, but the opposite.

On the contrary, the private sector appears to be the one with the least hours of free time.

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