History and gastronomy of Corfu
As often said, the corfiot cuisine is clearly venetian.
Corfu has been a venetian port for many years, that’s why it was named the “collarbone” of the Adriatic, and as expected, the passing ships gave corfiots many things, and learned them many more. The influence of the venetian conquerors was critical for the corfiot gastronomy since it introduced many unknown products to the local population, such as corn, potatoes, tomatoes, beans, peppers, coffee and chocolate. Later they brought the gastronomical treasures of Europe, after the discovery of America, such as spices and sugar. Thus, the gastronomy of Corfu is one of the richest of Europe.
The corfiot gastronomy absorbed all the foreign influences, always maintaining though the Mediterranean character in its dishes, and by fusing them in a creative way with oil, legumes, vegetables, pasta and fish. Some smaller influences were also reported by other conquerors.
Briefly we mention the English influence who brought the tsitsibira, the coum couat, and sweet potatoes, and the Russian influence who made us familiar with butter or grease cooking, since they couldn’t get used to oil.
Widely used during cooking is the casserole and the “savouro”, which is a way of cooking and preserving fish and vegetables. It was the main way of nutrition of sailormen because they could be preserved for long periods and its consumption was protecting sailormen from scurvy.
Fish and seafood recipes are widespread in the gastronomy of Corfu and those dishes are in abundance.
“Spetsieriko” is a very famous mixture of spices and aromatic botanies, which is destined for many recipes. Traditionally, this was something made by pharmacists, but every housewife and every cook has their own spetsierika, the secret ingredients that made their dishes unique. Even nowadays in Corfu, the spetsierika are an integral part of the everyday cooking routine.
Be sure to taste all the famous dishes while in Corfu and feel free to taste different flavours; I am sure that the gastronomy of Corfu will be one of your favourites!
Πηγή: Magna Grecia Mare