Corsican gastronomy : Residence Cantu di Mare
Discovering a region's culture also means using your palate. Corsica is particularly rich in authentic products and has a range of delicious, original dishes to offer.
Pork meat is one of the pillars of Corsican gastronomy both in the quality of the pork itself and the traditional way in which it is made and meticulous care taken in smoking products with oak logs and vine stock.
Cheeses are also important, the best-known being the brocciu made with whey and enriched with goat's or ewe's cheese, eaten fresh from December to June, and which can be found in many delicious recipes.
And let's not forget the chestnut that accompanies meats wonderfully, and, when ground into flour, is used as an ingredient in many recipes, such as fritters, breads, crêpes and the traditional dish pulenta.
The olive is at the heart of all Corsican meals, which are unimaginable without olive oil, whether it is used just for flavouring or frying.
Honey is also very popular and offers an infinite variety of flavours depending on whether made with cistus, thyme, asphodel, strawberry tree, heather, scrub etc.
To give you a taste of the fragrances and flavours of this beautiful region, below are two recipes offering delicious, authentic dishes.
All vegetables that are in season, although the recipe is based on potatoes, leeks, carrots and shelled kidney beans (fresh or dry) and celery.
Peel the vegetables and dice and slice them.
Pour olive oil into a casserole dish, preferably cast iron, and fry all the vegetables without browning them. Add tomato purée or fresh tomatoes when in season. Make sure that the vegetables stay firm.
Add water, cooking salt and freshly ground pepper. Add a cured ham bone or a piece of panzetta. Bring to the boil then lower the heat. The cooking time is very important: the soup must simmer for at least 4 hours, but the vegetables must not soften to a purée.
Just before serving gently pour crude olive oil over the boiling soup.
A Sturzapreti Bastiaccia
700g fresh spinach or chard leaves
100g grated cheese (Corsican tomme)
1 teaspoon garlic and parsley, salt, pepper
2 soup spoons of oil
Blanch the spinach in salted boiling water with a soup spoon of oil. Drain and set aside.
Mash the brocciu in a salad bowl. Add the eggs, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, spinach and mix. Make ball shapes and roll in flour.
Boil 2 litres of salted water in a pot with a soup spoon of oil.
Delicately place the balls in the simmering water. When the balls rise to the surface cook for 30 seconds. Drain with a skimmer.
Place the balls in a hot oven dish, cover with grated cheese and pour over a sauce of your choice.
Serve with cabri à l'istrettu or a Corsican veal stew.