Last updated on 29th June, 2018 at 02:41 pm
What we call Corfu cuisine is the gastronomic tradition that was shaped in Corfu and all the Ionian Islands and which is a special category of Greek cuisine with complex tastes and delicious dishes.
The 411 years of Venetian occupation influenced the cultural identity of Corfu in all areas of both culture and everyday life.
Like architecture, poetry, literature, language, and local cuisine has been catalytically influenced by the Venetians.
All Corfiot cuisine and recipes come from Venice, adapted to the local products and the climate of the island.
The Venetians had a kitchen based on meat, fish and hunting with a large dose of spices and, of course, spaghetti.
They enriched the Mediterranean cuisine of the islands, which was limited to the few fish, oil, wine and a few greens with their elaborate and complex tastes.
Much unknown until the early Byzantine years products such as tomato, beans, peppers, corn, coffee, chocolate and many more like sugar and expensive spices arrived here with the Venetians.
They brought the olive tree here, until that time the vineyards dominated the island, most of which during the Venetian period was replaced by olive groves that produced plenty of good oil, which were also exported to Venice, since the climate there did not favor the cultivation of the olive tree.
The Venetian cuisine was adapted to these products and especially to the oil, in order to create the Corfiot cuisine.
Along with the products that arrived in the land of Corfu in the 20th century, macaroni were also produced by three factories that unfortunately closed a few decades ago.
It was the milling-pastry factory of I. Daleetos & Baklis, Kallibokas factory and the pastry factory of Zafiropoulos.
The gastronomy of Corfu can therefore be said to be mediterranean due to Italian origin and geography, but with substantial peculiarities.
Foods may be based on the same ingredients, but they are much more spicy, they contain much more calories, and cooked with lots of spices.
Of the characteristics of the Corfiot cooking style is the marinade for several hours and the slow cooking on a mild fire, in order to enhance the variety of flavors.
In addition to spices, many herbs such as oregano, garlic, onion, parsley, basil, dill, peppermint and spearmint are used.
The process of making food in the homes until a few years ago was time-consuming and resembled a ritual, especially on Sundays, the Pastitsada was the main dish of the day, Potsichada with rooster and not beef.
If we try to describe it in a few words, the Corfu cuisine is aimed at gourmets with a strong stomach and not on those who are on a diet.
Recipes of Corfiot cuisine
The recipes that make up what we call Corfiot cuisine are many and complex, below will try to describe the most popular and well-known, both in terms of food and pastry recipes, which are a special and important part of the gourmet paradise of Corfu.
Corfu’s No 1 recipe for official meals and celebrations until a few years ago was not missing from the Sunday table from any home.
The traditional dish is made with cranberries, but can also be made with veal meat.
Cook the rooster or the meat together with oil, spices, onions and a little garlic that is not necessary, but leave with a little wine and add cinnamon, laurel, nutmeg, fresh tomato and pulp and a little sugar.
Served with thick pasta and top chopped kefalotyri.
Very rare recipe coming from ancient Rome, difficult to impossible to find it in a restaurant.
On top of a layer of dough are spread well-cooked pieces of beef, roe, lamb, pork, hunting (usually woodcocks or hatcheries), sausages, boiled egg rolls, hams, salad and corn with pasta with grated cheese and dill , all covered with tomato sauce, pepper, sugar, grated cheese and another layer of dough.
Over the dough another layer of sauce with pepper and grated cheese!
Result; feast of tastes but 5000 calories a portion, we said the Corfiot cuisine is for stout stomachs!
This food does not make for those who have cholesterol.
It was the humble food of the poor families, today these wild greens are eaten cooked with oil and lemon as a salad.
A type of fish soup that is not a soup, however, the fish are cooked with garlic, oil, black pepper and lemon juice.
In Bianco there is no onion.
Another dish with fish or other seafood.
Cook the onion with a lot of red pepper, half sweet and half hot, turn off with lemon.
We never put tomatoes in the bourdeto.
The best fish for bourdeto is generally the deepsea fish such as scorpions and bass, if there are no sxorpions we can use yaks. (In Corfu we call them Vopes)
But a very nice bourdéo is also made with chestnut or dogfish.
Bourdeto with octopus
A Fantastic dish.
Cut the octopus into pieces and sauté it safely on low heat until it pulls out its liquids.
After adding a little, pour in oil, pepper, a large onion cut in four pieces and water or white dry wine until it is covered.
Let it boil until it is dry and then pour in pieces of potatoes, add a little water or white wine.
The food is ready for serving when it is spotted and left with the oil.
Attention, do not use at all any salt during cooking!
Poulenta or else Koronia
Its boiled corn flour and water as a cream.
Savoro is a sauce used for a sort time conservation of fried fish, it is spicy as it contains oil, vinegar, garlic and herbs
Thin slices of veal meat, after frying lightly, put in the pan for a while, then add garlic grated, parsley, pepper, white wine and salt.
Also water can be used instead of wine.
Served with french fries or rise or with puree, but also with spaghetti, or what else you like.
From the English stock-fish
Dry hake sautéed with onions and red pepper, cooked with tomato and a little sugar.
It is no other than wild greens boiled with chopped onion, garlic, red hot pepper and salt.
The Easter Magiritsa of Corfu, cut bowls cooked with chopped onions, parsley, dill. It is not a soup, but a thicker one, we straw in a lot of lemon.
Wrapped in slices of liver with garlic, pepper, oregano and cinnamon.
Sweets and drinks
Corfiot sweet from dried figs, figs are spoiled with ouzo, mastic and sweet wine and with a solid dose of pepper, looks like a big burger and is wrapped in walnut leaves.
Ginzollas or otherwise Tzitzifa
In fact it is a tree fruit, red, in size of large olives with pimple, eaten and dried.
Syrupy sweet in the shape of a big melomacarone.
The Easter brioche of Corfu.
The favorite confection of the Venetians, honey, sugar and egg whites are made meringue filled with almonds.
The mandolato is in all the Ionian Islands, the good mandolato must be very hard, not bend but break, the name means almond in Italian, the Italians call it Mantorlato.
Tzaletia (from Italian Giallo = yellow)
Shredded fried dough dumplings with sugar and cinnamon look like the well-known donuts only that absorb less oil cause they are fried in a shallow pan.
Special local products
Koum quat is a kind of small mandarin that exists in China, came and thrives in Corfu since the British domination.
From this it produces a very delicious liqueur and also the homonymous sweet spoon.
Spicy cheese made from cow’s milk, a copy of the Italian Pecorino.