Corfiot cuisine features some very enticing dishes that will make your visit to the breathtaking island worthwhile. Although Corfiot dishes take after the island’s German, Greek, Italian, and Turkish conquerors, the food is slightly different from your average Mediterranean or Greek cuisine. The most significant part of Corfu’s culture comes from the past 400 years when the area was a Venetian colony. This is the reason you’ll see many Corfiot dishes simply recreated from Venetian recipes.
Let’s explore the top six authentic Corfu foods that are incredibly famous around the island:
Pastitsada, the most popular food amongst locals, was passed down directly from the Venetians. It is a casserole cooked dish featuring a cockerel and a combination of fresh tomatoes, cinnamon, onions, garlic, olive oil, paprika, cloves, or nutmeg. You’ll usually get the dish served with traditional thick pasta such as spaghetti or penne.
Beef can be used instead of the rooster, which will create a variation of the dish closer to the actual Venetian dish, the Spezzatino. The choice of meat is seared and then sautéed in tomato sauce with the rest of the ingredients. Pastitsada is usually topped with grated cheese. It’s an exceptional recipe for family gatherings, holidays, and celebrations.
This Franko-Venetian recipe is served extensively around the island, especially in households. Sofrito is a traditional dish that consists of beef or veal cooked in a delicious white sauce with garlic, vinegar, and white pepper. It is generally eaten with pasta or mashed potatoes.
The perfectly cooked meat that immediately melts in your mouth is what makes Sofrito so popular in Corfu. The intense vinegar and garlic taste, isn’t suitable for everyone. However, if you’re a fan of these flavors, you can’t leave Corfu without indulging in Sofrito.
Bianco gets its name from the Italian word for “white” and is made from whiting fish, grey mullet, or Scorpionfish. It is another casserole recipe that incorporates potatoes, black pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, onions, garlic, and coriander.
The ingredients are first combined and cooked well in a pot, and then fish is added and simmered in the mixture. The dish is served with a delightful balance of olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and chopped parsley.
Tsigareli is a spring-inspired dish made from tender greens, onions, herbs, and olive oil. The food traditionally got its red color from paprika or chili pepper. However, the modern recipe calls for tomatoes for the red appearance instead. Though Tsigareli is found throughout the Greek islands, the stewed dish is quite popular on Corfu.
Locals prefer using young, bitter greens for the recipe, while others might want to look for tender greens that are easier to chew – there are no set rules.
Savoro is another popular fish-based Corfiot dish you need to try while you’re on the island. Typically, the meal consists of white fish that is first dusted with flour and fried in olive oil. Then, a sauce is made using rosemary, vinegar, garlic, and raisins, and is served on top of the fried fish.
This food is specially made on Palm Sunday or on March 25th, which is a national and religious holiday.
Also known as Bourdetto, this is perhaps one of the most famous Corfiot dishes. You’ll find this scrumptious dish in nearly all restaurants on the island. It is made using a fish, most popularly Scorpionfish, which is then prepared in a spicy tomato sauce. The sauce can have potatoes, too.