RECIPES FROM THE CORFIOT CUISINE
(Venetian)Thick broth from bones, strained and stuffed with little butter, mixed with beaten eggs, salt, much pepper and a few dashes of brandy. It is eaten sizzling hot.
BARLEY-SHAPED PASTA ”COLLU PIMPIRI”(Venetian)
Barley-shaped pasta with fresh tomato sauce, onions, carrots and celery, salt, cinnamon, cloves and much paprika. It is eaten consomme.
BEANS WITH SKINS
Thick venetian soup. In a saucepan, dried beans, oil, finely chopped onion, ham in cubes, rosemary, salt and pepper. At will, tomato soup and at the end little lemon soup.
A kind of colt brought by refugees from Coroni. In boiling hot water, we add corn flour, salt, oil and little pepper. It is eaten mushy.
BOUROY – BOUROY SOUP (or Kolopimpiri)
Pasta & Vegetable Soup: In Greek: μπούρου-μπούρου, pronounced BOO-roo BOO-roo This soup is a creative affair. Use any vegetables you happen to have on hand, and adjust the hot pepper to taste. Everything is cooked together in a large pot. I would call it homemade fast food, using any ingredients available in the kitchen. The locals say they usually mix all leftover pasta, something that requires a bit of attention to cooking times. The one I tried was made only with spaghetti cut in small pieces and boiled with vegetables. We used carrots, potatoes, green peppers, celery and tomatoes. They were cooked with olive oil and seasoned with red pepper and salt. This makes an exceptional, light, and colourful dish that can be either served as a first course or a light entree.
VEGETABLES, RICE AND PASTA
Fresh leaves of rocket and purslane, with slices of tomato and a few olives.
Roasted brown wild herbs with finely chopped onion and garlic, salt and red hot pepper. A good snack with wine.
WILD CABBAGES(wild herbs)
A typical daily meal of a rural family. Boiled wild herbs with juice in soup plate, with much lemon and fresh oil.
AUBERGINES ”pastrokio” Long slices of fried aubergines, dredged with cheese in layers in the oven between boiled eggs in slices, chops or ham, salami, splashed with tomato sauce and basil.
PUMPKINS IN THE OVEN
Pumpkins, aubergines, potatoes, tomatoes, all chopped in slices, with oil, salt, pepper and parsley finely chopped. A variation of ”briam” (turkish kind of meal which consists of different types of greens cooked with oil).
RICE ”Rizi-bizI” Traditional venetian rice (national venetian dish, served in Dogi on Saint Mark’s feast, April the 25th). Rice, peas, finely chopped onion and ham, salt and pepper. It is eaten when the rice is totally squeezed.
Peculiar pie with home-made pastry sheet, rice and finely chopped pieces of lamb, saute with butter, onion, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon and parsley finely chopped. Before the pie gets into the oven, it is splashed with two beaten eggs, mixed with flour, a glass of milk, salt and pepper and it is dredged with cheese.
A version of pasticcio with pastry sheets in the oven. The difference among the others lie in that spaggheti is wrapped in pastry sheets like a pie and that instead of minced-meat, the spaggheti (thick and small) is mixed with butter, tomato, salt, pepper, sugar, grated cheese, boiled eggs in slices, pieces of ham, salami and the meat (finely chopped pieces of chicken and lamb or veal) with its sauce. Moreover, cheese, a little pepper and crumbs are spread on pasticcio. It was usually the first plate of a Sunday lunch in a great meeting of the whole family.
”SAVORO”or ”SAVOURO”(traditional venetian pesse in Saor)
It was sailors meal; small fish usually sardines, bogues or large whitebaits, marinated in white sauce with garlic finely chopped, rosemary, vinegar and black raisins. To be good, it must stay at least for a week in a pot. It is kept for a long time.
BOURDETO (venetian Bordeto) Boiled scorpion-fish or tope or salted cod-fish, out of which the salt must be well soaked with red hot sauce (much paprika and full hot pepper), which in the end is quenched with fresh lemon juice.
COD-FISH (venetian Baccalaos in pastela) Salted cod-fish in thick pieces with garlic sauce out of which we have soaked the salt. The difference in other places in Greece lies in the making of garlic sauce (aglio) which is made of shelled almonds, garlic, bread, oil and vinegar.
STOCK-FISH – STAKOFISI
Known from the venetian era early in the Middle Ages (pesse stocco), just the name is a loan from the English language. It is a dried cod-fish, which is left in a renewable sea-water before eaten. Pieces of cod-fish saute with onions and red pepper are cooked in a saucepan with tomato sauce, leek and little sugar. It was another version of bourdeto for the rich.
COD-FISH BIANCO (venetian)
A cod-fish or tope with potatoes in a saucepan with white sauce finely chopped garlic, parsley, lamon juice and black roughly-cut pepper.
It is the most popular meal on Corfu island and is offered in official dinners and feasts. In town, it is cooked with veal (usually leg), stuffed with slightly-cut garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Oil, onion, cinnamon, clove, salt and pepper, nutmeg, pimento, cumin and bay leaves are used to make tomato sauce. The village pastizzada is cooked with rooster, however, it is said that it is well-cooked only when the sauce is thick enough that it spots the moustache! There are also other variations of it with fish such as ”pastitsada with lobster”.
Thin slices of fried veal steak with white sauce from finely chopped garlic, parsley, white pepper, white wine, salt and vinegar. It is served with rice or mashed potatos.
ONION STEW (El-stufadin> Venetian) – STIFADO
Meal cooked in a saucepan, well-shut and left on the ”stew” (a special small blasting at the edge of the fireplace), which was boiling for many hours or even during the whole night. It is about pieces of veal which were marinated the whole night before in wine, onion, finely chopped garlic, carrot, celery, rosemary, sage, thyme, marjoram, bay, salt and pepper.It is roasted with oil and pork finely chopped. Then it is boiled in the stew with the marinated veal, with a little sugar added. It is eaten with colt which was previously splashed with the sauce.
”EGG AND LEMON” SOUP ( AVGO-LEMONO) It is cooked with rooster or hen (free pasture) and veal or with a combination of meat. It is the traditional corfiot meal of Easter Sunday and Christmas Day (in that case the wings and throat of the turkey are added to give a flavour). The ”egg and lemon” is good only when one village egg corresponds to each soup portion, whereas the albumen of the egg must separately well beaten.
STUFFED TURKEY – GALOPOULA GEMISTI
In corfiot houses, the first day of the year, they eat turkey which has already been boiled in casserole for the making of the soup and afterwards it is cooked in the oven. It is actually the traditional greek meal of the New Year’s Day, with a certain variation of the stuffing of the turkey which consists of pork chops, thyme, dry cheese, milk, bread, veal minced-meat, eggs, pounded garlic, oil, finely chopped parsley and spice.
GARDOUBA or ”CHORDS” (The ancient Greek and the Byzantine were eating the chords, but the modern Greek eat gardouba). It consists of innards of a lamb (liver, sweetbreads, lungs) twined and tied in a knot with lamb guts dredged with much pepper, origan, oil and lemon in the oven or barbecue.
A variation of the traditional ”tripe and herbs” soup on Easter night.The difference among the other soups in Greece lies in that, it is not exactly a soup but roughly-cut lamb innards without rice with thick sauce from slightly-cut fresh onions, parsley, dill, salt, much pepper and lemon. The tradition says that the lamb legs must be purged before put into the casserole, so as the chilly-chords become better mushy.
TINGOLA (venetian intigolo)
Fried liver with onion in slices with salt, pepper and little sugar, quenched with wine, splashed with tomato juice and dredged with parsley finely chopped.
FIGADELIA (venetian figa=liver)
Pieces of veal liver wrapped in lamb suet, while they have been previously dredged with flavouring and spice: garlic finely chopped, origan, salt, pepper and cinnamon. They are done on coals.
COOKED PORK MEATS
BOURDOUNI (Boldon: sausages from blood)
Thicky veal blood in long guts with chopped onion, garlic, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg,salt, pepper and pieces of pork fat. Cut in slices, fried in deep fat and quenched in vinegar, it constitutes a rare snack with wine.
NOMBOLO FOUMIKADO (venetian)
The corfiot nombolo is of top quality and consists of pork sirloin steak, salted and all over dredged with pepper, pressed in a gut and smoke-cured on fire of thin woods and sweet-smelling twigs: sage, dried bog-bean, bay, myrtle, marsh-mallow, origan and almond skins.
Boiled pig-head with cinnamon, clove, bay, sage, pepper and salt. It is cut in slices and stuffs a wide gut without the flavouring.
CORFIOT VILLAGE SAUSAGES
Pork with deep fat and pure thin meat grinded with garlic, much salt, total hot pepper and origan, stuffed with guts purged with wine, smoke or air-dried.
SALADO (home-grown salami)
Smoke-dried pork grinded with much salt and pepper. Hung and smoked with sweet-smelling twigs.
HAM FOUMIKADO (smoke-dried)
Ham salted with nitrate and pressed with high weight for a week. Then, it is hung and smoked with sweet-smelling twigs.
The fruit of the tree ”citrus-japonica”, came in Europe from Japan in 1846. It was brought in Corfu in 1860 and planted as an experiment by the English. Ever since, its products, liqueur, candied fruit and jam, are selled everywhere on the island and everyone buys them.
A variety of tiny strawberries (like wild strawberries) with wonderful taste. Only selled in May.
FRESCAMENTA (Cactus fig) Sweet-smelling and tasty fruits from very popular cactus on the Corfu Island. Eaten iced, usually in the morning.
Dessicated jujubes with raisins and sesame which are usually served as a dessert for them who haven’t finished their wine.
Made from must and dessicated figs, the fig-pie is flavoured with aniseed, pepper and ouzo. It is eaten as a dessert, dried fruit but it can also get washed down with ouzo.
Almond burnt and caramelized, found in many patisseries of the town.
PASTA FLORA (venetian)
Daily, easy to make sweet with dough and marmelade, widely spread in the Ionian islands.
NOUGAT (venetian mandolato)
Sweet made from tahin (pulp from grinded sesame), egg albumen, honey and total almonds.
POUND CAKE (venetian Pan di Spagna)
Small cakes brought in Corfu in 1492 with the persecutions of Jews from Spain. Light but tonic sweet, dredged with pounded sugar, it was being sent as a custom to the woman in childbed, in small, round and deep tins.
KOUTSOULI PEPPERY (venetian Pevarini)
Small doughs, made from sugar, water, flour, honey, pepper, kneaded with force so as the dough becomes very soft. Baked in the oven.
We talk about the famous doughnuts, which according to the custom, are made at the feast of Saint Spiridon, the patron saint of the island. They are dredged with honey or pounded sugar.
FOGASSA (Venetian: Fogassa de Pasqua)
A kind of bun, of Venetian origin, found at all the traditional bakeries of the town and the island.
A Christmas cake in the shape of a pigeon, common in venetian times, selled even today at many patisseries and bakeries of the town.
With obvious Venetian influence. The good housewives pay special attention to the Christmas puddings, the preparation of which begins a month before.
ZALETI (Venetian)- TIGANO ( Corfiot language )
Kneaded butter with cornflour, baked in low fire. When it gets cold, we put it in the water with orange and it is dredged with sugar.
Almonds grinded with sugar, eggs and vanilla, shaped in balls and baked in low fire.
Usually with fruits (among them bergamot)
Boiled seeds of wheat with cinnamon, black raisin, aniseed, almonds, pine seeds, seeds of pomegranate and sugarplums, all dredged with sugar. On the island, they are offered by the churches sacred to the memory of Saint Spiridon at the day of his feast, after the morning service.
COFFEES – DRINKS
Frappe Ice cold frothy coffee – just try one on a warm summer morning.
Greek Coffee – (Ellinikos Kafes) A rich, intensely strong brew made by boiling finely ground coffee and water together in a long-handled, open, brass or copper pot called briki. Greek coffee can be made in four different ways. He can be sketos (without sugar, strong and bitter), metrios (medium,usually with one teaspoonful of sugar), glykys or vari glykos (almost honey-sweet) and glykys vrastos – sweet but boiled more then once so it loses most of its froth.
Greek coffee is never stirred once it has been made and served and is drunk slowly. Serve it together with a glass of cold water.
Gingeer Beer It is one of the features of the Ionian Islands since the English era; today it is produced only in Corfu. It is made from lemon juice, fresh lemon oil, grinded ginger of top quality, white raisins, water and sugar; today it is made up by a small industry of the island which kneads the historic refreshment in its Dixie’s. Delicious and refreshing, ginger-beer is ready after 3-week fermentation and is served in cafes from Easter to Autumn. Due to its great demand, it is always drunk fresh and iced.
Metaxa is a special Greek spirit invented by a silk trader named Spyros Metaxas. This happened in 1888 in Attica region, the province of Athens. Since then, the product has earned world recognition for its quality; colour and taste. The product has been marketed very well all around the world and became famous creating a very large number of dedicated lovers. Expressions of admiration and adjectives like “The Elixir of Life”, “The Nectar of the Gods”, “The Blessed Spirit” accompanied Metaxa from its birth, till this very day.
Retsina A Greek specialty, retsina in strict terms is an aromatized wine, with links back to classical times when wine was transported in pottery amphorae that needed to be sealed. The seal, made with a mixture of plaster and resin, excluded air and enabled the wine to keep better. This seal lent a slight flavour to the wine and it came to be believed that this was the reason the wine lasted. This led to the practice of adding resin to “keep” wine. Today retsina is made like any other dry white wine, but small pieces of resin from the Alep pine are added to the must, and are then left until the first racking of the young wine.
Ouzo The classic Greek drink Ouzo is made from a precise combination of pressed grapes and herbs and berries including aniseed, liquorice, mint, wintergreen, fennel and hazelnut. Ouzo is usually served as an aperitif, but is also used in some mixed drinks and cocktails. When mixing Ouzo with water it will turn whitish and opaque. The reason is that the anise oil dissolves and becomes invisible when mixed with conventional alcohol content, but as soon as the alcohol content is reduced, the essential oils transform into white crystals, which you cannot see through. The key to drinking ouzo is to eat snacks known as mezedes. These keep the effects of the alcohol from overwhelming you and enable you to sit and drink slowly for hours in a profoundly calm state of mind where all is beautiful and life is fine. In the villages where life is slow ouzo is partaken day or night. On Sundays after church the cafeneons are full of lively voices and singing, including sometimes the village priest. In many cafeneons the cooking is done by men, but in some it is a woman who does the cooking and serving and acts as den mother to the old men who come around each day.
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