A place can leave a certain taste in one’s mouth even if eating is not actually involved.
Now these might me gross or even unfair generalisations but the point we want to make is that certain tastes and flavours are collectively associated with certain places.
What does Corfu Island taste like?
Corfu Island has a distinct kitchen with some well known dishes that include Sofrito, which is tender veal in vinegar and parsley sauce, Bourdeto, a spicy fish soup and the popular Pastitsada which involves a free-range rooster and a red pasta sauce.
A ‘taste’ is not only about how a traditional meal is cooked.
First and foremost it is about the ingredients, the smells and the spices that make up the meal. Greece is generally associated with olive oil and feta cheese but when one becomes a little more specific each area has its own olfactory identity.
Corfu Island is well known for its kumquats.Kumquats, a small citrus fruit that until recently has been reserved for a not so popular liquor, is now fast turning into fresh summer salad haute cuisine. A similar delicacy is the small crunchy deep red fruit called Tzintzoles or tzitzifa. These ripen in September and can be picked off trees on the side of country roads, left to dry in the sun or baked in the oven and then kept in preserving jars for up to a whole year.
Corfu is the only place in Greece where Tsitsibira is made.
The small local factory in the village of Kalafationes makes this drink from fresh lemon juice, sugar and pepper-roots imported from India or China. It is very similar to ginger beer. We Corfiots seem to have an affection for the sweet and spicy with a slight taste of some other land.
Free and wild capers, asparagus, and salt water plants are digested here too.
We produce a lot of honey, nougat and sugared fruits and the poor man’s Sikomaida is made from chopped dried figs, ouzo and spices wrapped in fig leaves which is intended to keep you happy and sweet through the winter months.
Corfu has many edible flowers, fresh fish and sea urchins too.
Frankly we don’t know what to do with all the abundance we have been served. The land smells of wild oregano, sage and linden trees. There is huge potential for high end gourmet food made only from local products.
The pine trees, the cypress trees and even the sea salt leave a trace of scent in the air.
If this description is not enough to awaken your senses then Corfu Island might not be for you.
At Delfinia Hotels we do our best to use local ingredients, some of which we grow our own.