Corfu is a beautiful Greek island in the Ionian Sea, famous for its stunning beaches, rich history, and diverse culture. But Corfu is also a gastronomic paradise, where you can taste some of the most delicious and unique dishes in Greece. Corfu cuisine is a fusion of influences from different civilizations that have occupied the island over the centuries, such as the Venetians, the French, the British, and of course, the Greeks. Corfu food is characterized by the use of fresh ingredients, such as olive oil, vegetables, herbs, fish, meat, cheese, and wine, as well as spices from the east, such as cloves, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Corfu cuisine also has some distinctive dishes that are not found anywhere else in Greece, such as sofrito, pastitsada, bianco, and kumquat liqueur. In this blog post, we will explore how Corfu developed its unique cuisine and what are some of the local specialties and delicacies that you should try when you visit this amazing island.
The history of Corfu cuisine
The history of Corfu cuisine is closely linked to the history of the island itself, which has been inhabited since ancient times and has been under the rule of various empires and nations. The first inhabitants of Corfu were the Phaeacians, a mythical people who were mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey as the hosts of Odysseus after his shipwreck. The Phaeacians were known for their hospitality, their love for music and dance, and their abundance of food and wine. They probably introduced some of the basic elements of Greek cuisine to Corfu, such as olive oil, bread, cheese, honey, and grapes.
Corfu was later colonized by the Corinthians in the 8th century BC and became part of the ancient Greek world. During this period, Corfu adopted more aspects of Greek cuisine, such as fish, seafood, legumes, nuts, fruits, and herbs. Corfu also became a trading hub between Greece and other regions of the Mediterranean and beyond, which exposed it to different culinary influences and products.
In 229 BC, Corfu became part of the Roman Empire and later the Byzantine Empire. During this time, Corfu was influenced by Roman and Byzantine cuisine, which introduced new ingredients such as wheat, pasta, meat, cheese, eggs, and dairy products. Corfu also experienced invasions from various barbarian tribes and pirates who plundered its resources and disrupted its trade.
In 1386 AD, Corfu came under Venetian rule for more than four centuries. This was a crucial period for the development of Corfu cuisine as we know it today. The Venetians brought with them their culinary traditions from Italy and influenced many aspects of Corfiot food culture. They introduced new crops such as tomatoes, potatoes, corns,