Corsica: an island for food lovers
The island of Corsica is oddly shaped, think of a bunch of grapes held up by the stem at the top. The wild and incredibly beautiful Cap Corse forms the stem. The balance of the group is reflected in the enormously varied topography, the mountain peaks (120 summits exceeding 2000 meters), the river gorges, the sandy beaches and the lush plains. My husband and I were told by friends that Corsica is like a mini-France, offering a little bit of everything in a small space. Without a doubt, the island offers the traveler a rich and tasty experience within its 1000 km of coastline. The people of Corsica are very proud of their locally produced food and drink, we felt it our duty to sample the wide variety of products available during our stay.
The following are the ABC’s of Corsica’s offerings for the hungry and thirsty traveler:
Sand Estate – one of the best valued wines on the island that offers excellent varieties of reds and whites. This winemaker is located in the Heritage region. They were one of the first vineyards to begin the arduous process of replanting classic Corsican grapes like Biancu Gentile. The wine is made in an organic style, and it’s delicious.
Brocciu – the cheese is made with sheep’s milk whey (brebis) or goat’s milk. It has a texture similar to ricotta but is suitable for lactose-free diets. Brocciu is considered one of the national foods of Corsica. Cheese is remarkably versatile; it is used in everything from buñuelos (doughnuts) to tortillas and pastas.
chestnuts – considered the “tree of life” in Corsica. The tree is mentioned as early as the 13th century in Corsican records. However, studies have indicated that the tree was present in the Neolithic. The tree flowers in May and June and the chestnuts are harvested in autumn (October and November). The fruit is dried, peeled, sorted, heated, and finally ground into flour. The flour is sold everywhere and is used in a wide variety of cookies, cakes, breads, and even a porridge called pulenda.
Bread of the Dead “Bread of the Dead” – this sweet bread is a specialty of Bonifacio and its surroundings. It is made with raisins and walnuts. The bread can be found in all the local bakeries and at the market on Tuesday mornings. Traditionally served on the eve of All Saints (Halloween), now it can be found throughout the year.
Aubergine (aubergine) – obviously this is not originally from Corsica, but a traveler would have a hard time missing the signs for Aubergines stuffed a la Bonifacienne. A delicious vegetarian dish of eggplant, bread, milk, cheese and eggs.
the fiadone – this is a Corsican cheesecake made with brocciu cheese as a base. It is essentially a cheese flan, suitable for gluten-free and dairy-free diets as it is made without flour.
grapes – have existed in Corsica since the Phocaeans in 570 BC. Beginning in the 1960s through the mid-1970s, the areas with planted vines expanded to quadruple the previous coverage. Today there are nine Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) regions on the island with a total production of 13 million bottles. Production is usually in microplots. Many of the regions have marked “wine routes” for thirsty and curious visitors.
Sweetie – it would be difficult to say that this is a product with exclusively Corsican roots. Honey can be found in many regions of the world. What is unique are some of the flavors, such as chestnut and maquis.
Indulgence – countless opportunities for fresh seafood, tempting pastries, charcuterie and fresh fruit.
jam jam) – it would be difficult to say that jam was invented in Corsica. However, there is an important industry around the cultivation of fruits and the production of jams. Some unique flavors include fig and walnut, clementine, and sweet chestnut.
Main ingredients – typical Corsican plants, herbs and flowers grow wild in the bushes or wild thickets. These ingredients greatly influence the flavor of meats, cheeses, honey and local dishes. Some of the typical plants found in the maquis are rosemary, laurel, juniper, sage, thyme, mint, lavender, myrtle and many others. The strongly aromatic smell of the maquis is a key ingredient in the island’s gastronomy.
Lonzu – Pork Meat
Muscatel – a very popular grape variety in Corsica. The wine can be sweet or quite dry. There is even a sparkling variety. It is usually served as an appetizer.
Hazelnut (hazelnuts) – Although not as prominent as the chestnut, the hazelnut is a re-established crop. The nuts are used in honey, oils, flours, and candies.
olives – grow profusely as is common in Mediterranean climates, in Corsica the fruit is left to ripen on the tree. Ripe olives are picked by hand from November to January or in nets from February to May. The olives are made into oil, soaps and other products.
Pompelo and Clementina – Citrus production in Corsica is generally located in the far north of the island. Citrus fruits are consumed on the island or exported exclusively to France.
by excellence – In the Mediterranean region, it would be difficult to say that a food or product is exclusive to an area. Centuries of maritime trade in Corsica influenced the development of products and industries. What is unique about Corsica is that the island offers a wide range of products due to the diversity of terrain, altitudes and the long coastline.
Pink – Nielluccio is the common grape in rosé wine and is one of the indigenous varieties of Corsica.
Sciacarello – a red wine grape mainly from the Ajaccio region.
tianu – a game administrator.
Corsu – the traditional language of Corsica that sounds a bit like Italian.
Vermentinu – a dry white wine grape.
Wild pig – frequently served with red wines from Corsica.
X-Extra special – The food in Corsica is similar to that of many Mediterranean countries. It is influenced by the weather, the sea and to a great extent history. What is admirable is the Corsican pride in producing goods that are “100% Corsican”.
Y-Last Name – the traditional spelling of surnames in Corsica is the letter “i”. However, when the Corsicans arrived in Puerto Rico (starting in 1830) the Spanish wrote their names with the letter “y”.
Zilia – a sparkling water, other popular brands are St Georges and Orezza
Enjoy your next trip to Corsica!