Calabria Food & Wine
Genuine with strong, distinctive flavors, Calabrian cuisine has skillfully combined the flavors and tastes of the gastronomical traditions of the populations who have inhabited the region through the centuries. Calabrian cuisine is extremely healthy because it is plain and simple.
The protagonist in this area is definitely pasta, usually home-made. The home made maccaruni, a pasta rolled around a piece of wire, fusiddi, fileja, cavateddi and maccaruni al ferreto, are always served with excellent meat sauces prepared with lamb or goat meat. There is also a rich variety of soups such as pasta with beans, pasta with chickpeas, pasta with broccoli, pasta with peas, all enriched with extra-virgin olive oil and plenty of red peppers.
Calabria has many preserved meats, such as capocollo, sausages, and pressed meats, flavored with spices, typical herbs and red peppers.
Special meat dishes are goat alla bovese, boiled with herbs, roast kid, la Frittula, pork rinds eaten hot with hot bread, soffritti and morsello, based on tripe, heart and lung of beef, seasoned with various herb and served in home-made pita bread.
Along the coastal regions, fish is, of course, the protagonist: fish soups, sword-fish, barbecued and fried fish. There is also a tradition of soaked, salted cod and pescestocco, cooked either fried or alla molinara, with tomatoes, potatoes and capers.
The dishes of the Calabrian cuisine are often seasoned and flavored with red peppers so they have a fairly hot, spicy taste.
Another essential addition to Calabrian cooking is the eggplant, which is used as a first course baked with oil, parsley, salt and cheese or in caponata, that is, stuffed, roasted, and fried with anchovies.
Traditional Calabrian cheeses include products such as sheep ricotta, pecorini, caciocavallo and the butirro (caciocavallo stuffed with butter).
The best traditional sweets are the Christmas and Easter ones. The most famous is the Cozzupa, made in various shapes as animal, human or heart figures, baked and decorated with eggs. Don't forget to try the traditional torrone, made with honey, sugar, almonds and covered with chocolate and the pignolata, a cake made of small balls of dough fried in olive oil and held together with honey.
Besides extra-virgin olive oil, Calabria is well known for the production of citrus fruits, such as the bergamot from which they extract an essential oil.
Ever since ancient times, there have been traces of wine producers in various areas of the region. Not by chance, the Greeks called this land Enotria, which means land of wines. The most noteworthy among Calabrian Doc wines are: Ciro' Rosso and Savuto Rosso. We must not forget Zibibbo, a sweet, liqueur wine produced with raisins and the dessert wine Greco di Riace.