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What To Eat in Corfu!

Updated: Feb 1


What to eat in Corfu. Cofiot cuisine signature dishes
What to eat in Corfu. Cofiot cuisine signature dishes

"Food, in the end, in our own tradition, is something holy. It's not about nutrients and calories. It's about sharing. It's about honesty. It's about identity."

- Louise Fresco

(Dutch scientist and writer known for her work on globally sustainable food production.)



Dear Traveller,

Hello, and thank you for visiting our blog! Below you will find some of the local cuisine foods - dishes we believe a traveller must taste when in Corfu!


We kept the list as short as possible to help you make a confident and as easy as possible decision on what to eat at a local cuisine restaurant - taverna.


Corfiot cuisine  must taste dishes
📷: Corfiot cuisine dishes- Ambelonas Corfu

If you plan to spend more than a day or two in Corfu, we strongly recommend taking some time and reading our posts on "What to eat when in Greece generally" and "What to drink when in Corfu, Greece". We also believe that you will find extra inspiration and helpful tips to experience real Corfu in our blog post "Discover the Signature Products of Corfu!".


Corfiot cuisine has been shaped by various cultures and civilizations throughout its history. Italian (Venetian), Greek, French, Russian, and British cuisine influences the island's culinary traditions. These diverse culinary traditions have all played a role in shaping the island's unique cuisine.


Local and Greek creative cuisine chef Aristotelis Megoulas, creator of the Pomo d’ Oro restaurant, in one of his interviews, describes the cuisine of Corfu as “the epitome of poor Mediterranean cuisine based on seasonality and the intelligence of the people who are expected to manage the available raw materials.”and we couldn't agree more with him!


Cookbook with Corfiot cuisine recipies available in various languages
📷 : Ambelonas Corfiot cuisine

Below are some of Corfiot cuisine's signature dishes- flavors that we, as locals, believe a traveller should taste.


If you have limited time in Corfu and can only try two signature dishes of the local cuisine, we highly recommend 'Sofrito' and 'Pastitsada' if you are a fan of veal. If you prefer fish, then 'Fish Bianco' and 'Bourdeto' are must-try dishes from the local seafood dish selection! And for those with a sweet tooth, don't forget to grab a Sikomaida (fig pie) and a couple of Kumquat delicacies!"


Find below the local dishes index list and navigate fast and easy to your favourite dish:

Pastitsada (Veal, beef, chicken or rooster meat)

Sofrito (Veal or beef meat)

Noumboulo foumicado (cold cut - pork)

Salado (cold cut - pork + beef)

--------------------------------------------

Sweet Tooths' Section

Kumquat & Bergamot spoon sweets, marmalade or deserts


 

"Bourdeto"

Fish cooked in spicy wine sauce. Traditionally it is spicy hot sauce. Some locals prefer to add tomato to the sauce, while others do not. In both cases, the dish has a red coloured sauce because of the ground paprika spice. (My grandmother used to cook potatoes with the red scorpionfish in the sauce).


Fish Bourdeto Corfu must try-eat local food
Bourdeto - 📸: gastronomos.kathimerini.com.cy

bourdeto corfiot signature dish made with scorpio fish- must eat/taste
Bourdeto with red scorpionfish - 📸: dogma.gr

"Fish Bianco"

Fish & potatoes cooked in white wine sauce, with loads of garlic, black pepper and a drizzle of freshly squeezed lemon juice.


fish Bianco Corfiot cusine must eat in Corfu
Cod fish Bianco 📸: Συνταγές για παιδιά

"Savouro"

Fried fish preserved and marinated in red or white wine vinegar with various Mediterranean herbs, garlic and sometimes raisins.


Corfu must try-EAT food fish Savoro
Fish Savoro - 📸: unknown

"Pastitsada"

Beef or Veal meat cooked in spicy red wine and tomato sauce. This dish is served with bucatini-style pasta. Boukatini looks a lot like traditional spaghetti. However, it's more round, and a hole through the middle gives each noodle a hollow centre. Traditionally, this dish used to be cooked with a rooster. Sometimes it is also served in modern times with fried potatoes.


Pastitsada corfu must eat food
Pastitsada - 📸: makvel.gr

What makes Pastisada stand out from other stew recipes that contain tomato sauce is the spice mixed called in the local dialect "Spetseriko". "Spetseriko" is a mixture of various spices. Each family - home has a slightly different analogy of the spice mixture. My grandma used to mix cinnamon, sweet red pepper, allspice, nutmeg, clove, black pepper, red hot pepper, cumin and salt. She also used to add one bay leaf per four portions.

You can find the "Spetseriko for Pastitsada" spice mix recipe here!


"Sofrito"

Beef or Veal meat thinly sliced, cooked in white wine & vinegar sauce with plenty of garlic, fresh parsley and black pepper. Served with rice or potato puree and sometimes with french fries.


Sofrito must eat corfu local dish
Sofrito - 📸: project Corfu

Pork "Dolce garbo"

Slow-cooked pork in white wine sauce with onions and spices, such as cinnamon, clove, black pepper and fresh rosemary! Served with polenta, pasta or rice.


MUST TASTE- EAT WHEN IN CORFU Pork Dolce Garbo - Ambelonas Coockbook
Pork Dolce Garbo - Ambelonas Cookbook

"Neratzosalata"

Spicy orange salad (ideally, if you are lucky, you will find it an add-on to a green leafy salad).

🍃Vegan-friendly, unless paired with an animal protein source such as cheese or cold cuts


corfu must taste food
Ambelonas Corfu green salad with orange

"Bakaliaros Skordalia"

Battered-fried salted Cod fish served with garlic-infused potato puree. My family always pairs this dish with a warm salad of wild-boiled greens!


bakaliaros skordalia corfu must eat, corfu must taste
Bakaliaros skordalia - 📸: petros-syrigos.com

"Tsigareli"

Wild greens cooked with spicy red hot paprika and tomato paste (rare to find at a restaurant).

🍃Vegan-friendly if the dish does not contain an animal protein as an add-on (salted cod fish is the most common add-on source of protein).


tsigareli corfu must eat , corfu must taste
Tsigareli - 📸: corfustories.com

"Noumboulo Fumikado"

Smoked Cold cut made of pork tenderloin, cured with salt and spices and marinated in wine. You can enjoy it thinly sliced on fresh bread or as a perfect complement to leafy green salads or a cheese platter.


noumboulo corfu must taste , must eat
Noumboulo - 📸: nomeefoods.gr

corfu must eat salads
Green salad with noumboulo and sikomaida - 📸: ert news

Salado

"Salado" is the traditional Corfiot smoked air-dried salami, made from pork and beef, flavored with whole black peppercorns and garlic, and smoked using locally grown herbs. It's the perfect addition to a cheese platter and pairs wonderfully with grape spirits (such as tsipouro or ouzo), beers, red wines, or mature white wines.


Must try when in Corfu Salado, air-dried smoked salami
Salado - Corfiot air-dried smoked salami

 

"Sweet Tooths' Section."


Tzaletia

Tzaletia are the Corfiot cuisine pancakes! They take their name from the Italian word 'Giallo,' which translates to yellow. The pancakes are made with cornmeal flour, giving them a yellowish color. They also contain orange juice, orange zest, and black raisins. They are served drizzled with cinnamon, honey, or sugar.

They are great for breakfast, as an afternoon treat and as a dessert if you had a light meal! This local delicacy is 🍃vegan-friendly if it contains margarine instead of butter!


For me, Tzaletia is one of the most characteristic delicacies of the local 'Cucina Povera' – the humble but tasty, traditional kitchen!


must taste tzaletia when in Corfu
Tzaletia 📷: argiro.gr

"Sikomaida"

Sikomaida is a delightful combination of minced sun-dried figs with hints of black pepper, anise, and grape must. It pairs perfectly with a cheese platter or can be enjoyed alongside cognac or Metaxa. My grandmother used to cover "Sikomaida" with sundried bay leaves and add ouzo to the fig and must mixture.

This local delicacy is 🍃vegan-friendly!


Corfu must taste- EAT sikomaida
Sikomaida

Kumquat & Bergamot spoon sweets, marmalade or deserts infused with their citrus aromas and flavours!

Spoon sweets are made by boiling fruits and preserving them in thick sugar syrup.

The name 'spoon sweets' refers to the fact that the fruit or nut concoction is so sugary that it can only be eaten one spoonful at a time, often as an afternoon treat, tempered by a dollop of yoghurt. Spoon sweets would typically be served with a Greek coffee and a glass of water.

The spoon sweets, marmalades - jams and glace fruits are 🍃vegan-friendly!


corfu must taste and est bergamot spoon sweet
Bergamot spoon swett

corfu must taste and eat koumquat spoon sweet
Koumquat spoon sweet - 📸: Flynews.gr

Papagiorgis Patiserie-Gelateria must taste Koumquat glacé
Papagiorgis Patiserie-Gelateria - Koumquat glacé

"Mondoles"

Caramelized almonds.

🍃Vegan-friendly treat!


corfu must taste mandoles
Mandoles - 📸: sesoulas-kefalonia.gr



"Mandolato"

Soft nougat is traditionally prepared with a light meringue base enriched with honey, sugar, and almonds. Nowadays, you can find creatively modern and tasteful versions of Mandolato. Chocolate, hazelnut, kumquat, and strawberry flavours are some of the creative additions to the traditional recipe!


corfu must taste mandolato, corfu signature products
Mandolato - 📸: taste atlas

Before leaving you we would like to share with you the following clarification regarding the local cuisine signature dishes - recipes!

Chef Aristotelis Megoulas points out in an interview that when we talk about classic Corfiot dishes like Burdeto, Pastitsado (or Pastitada), Sofrito, and Bianco, it's a misconception to call them merely recipes. In reality, they are cooking techniques, developed based on the ingredients available in each region and during different times of the year. 'People used these techniques with whatever protein was available, whether it was plant-based or animal-based,'. For example, the famous Pastitsada has been historically prepared with various protein resources, including rooster, beef, lamb, and mutton, or even with octopus in fishing villages, and sometimes simply with olives.


As locals, we have put together a list of the most characteristic foods you should try while on vacation in Corfu.




Kind reminder: Regarding food, it's important to prioritize freshness, locality, and seasonality.

💡 Insider tip: 

Locals, especially those in the villages, still grow potatoes, legumes and vegetables. Some local tavernas and restaurants serve homegrown potatoes and vegetables like peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines, and zucchini.


In Greek, "Kali sas orexi" is a way of saying "Enjoy your meal," which literally translates to "Have a good appetite" or "Bon appetit" !


Καλή σας όρεξη!!! Kali sas orexi!!!


Yours Sincerely,

Katerina


Info main sources:



"Corfiot Cousine" Cook book available in English.
Vasiliki Karounou "Corfiot Cousine" Cook book available in English.



Corfiot cusine cooking book
Nadia Sarantopoulou - Yannis Sarantopoulos "Edesmatologion of Corfu' Authentic cooking and pastry recipes

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