The Cuisine of Corfu

It is a fact that on this island to present a table laid with food is a major concern; the right food for the right season. Sofritto on Sundays, pastitsada at celebrations, bianco and horta (boiled greens) for everyday meals, and always home-made wine. In winter there is bourdetto or beans and renga (kippered herrings), salt cod and skordalia (garlic sauce) on March 25th (to celebrate both the Annunciation and Independence Day). Egg and lemon soup is on the table at Easter . In spring there’s a dish of artichokes and broad beans , during summer tomato salad and fish, and whatever wine is left.

 

Corfiot cuisine is typically Mediterranean

While it makes use of the usual ingredients, like oil, pepper, pulses, pasta and vegetables, the cuisine differs from that of the rest of Greece because of climatological conditions and certain customs of the Venetians. Certainly you will find moussaka and village salad, but it is worth searching for the authentic traditional cuisine of Corfu, the history of which began long ago.

Due to lack of game in Corfu, the people lived on the products of the soil and the sea. The soil gave them olives for oil, pulses, vegetables and greens, and from the sea came fish and shellfish in abundance. They tended to cook in casseroles rather than by frying or roasting. Of course, casserole cooking is popular all over Greece, but in Corfu, particularly in the countryside, it is habitual. From the beginning, the island’s peasants always lived in poverty and misery, a situation which intensified during the centuries under Venetian rule, due to the imposition of a policy of monoculture of olives at the expense of other crops. The peasants made their own bread, oil and wine, they picked wild and cultivated greens from the fields and caught fish; then they cooked everything together and ate it with lots of broth in which to dip their bread.

 

 

Today

Today, you will find briam and other Turkish-style dishes, which were introduced by Greeks who fled to Corfu from the Turkish-occupied mainland. From the Venetians came many dishes with pasta and meat of various kinds. You will also find delicious fresh fish, because the Corfiots (especially taverna-owners) continue to fish and cook their catch in many different ways.

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