A Generous Table
|Tun of Chestnut
tree Chestnut Flour [Ph. Desjobert]
The Corsican Table and Cookery, respectful of traditions, are the reflection
of this nature which is so hard to cultivate but whose richnesses, wisely
exploited, know how to bring man , the humble shepherd or plain farmer
on morning and hunter on evening; the comfort of a meal wisely prepared
and shared in happiness.
Thus the chestnut tree used to build these tuns where the wine slowly
ages, gives the chestnut to make the Pulenta and feeds the Boar or the
sucking-pig of the feasts' meals.
- The Wines
- The Labels Guaranteeing the Quality of Wine
Appreciated from the highest antiquity, the wines of Corsica are nowadays
more than loo to have deserved the grading of " Label Guaranteeing
the Quality of Wine" which rewards in the official hierarchy of
French wines, the highest degree of Quality.
Corsica has on her own 8 different Labels Guaranteeing the Quality of
Wine, situated around the isle.
- The Chestnut
- There are historical constraints which do not bring only misfortune
and grief : the one of the introducing of the chestnut tree in Corsica
in the 16th century under the yoke of the Genoese, masters of the isle;
is an excellent example.
Last in the five vegetal species (vine, fig tree, mulberry tree, olive
tree) that Corsican are under the obligation to plant in order to avoid
the food shortage, the chestnut tree quickly proved to be not only the
"breadfruit tree" of the isle but also the tree source of
richness and of fame of the mountainous region which took its name from
it : la Castagniccia , and soon
tree of life of Corsica.
- The Cooked pork meats
- It is from the meat of "running hogs" bred most of the time
in a natural state, "black like boars because of dealings they
continuously have in the woods with this kind of wild beast" (Goury
de Champgrand, History of the Isle of Corsica - 1772) that is made,
according to ancestral rituals, the corsican cooked pork meats whose
renown has since a long time crossed the shores of Corsica.
- The Sheperds and their Flocks [ Cheeses and Brucciu
- To the corsican milk production is generally associated the marketing
of meats and leg of kid - Caprettu - roasted on embers, stuck with cloves
of garlic, slighly basted with juice of grilled bacon - Panzetta -,
or cooked in a sauce and served with ravioli with brucciu is traditionally
part of the meal which marks the religious feasts notably the Christmas
evening gathering, whereas the leg of lamb - Agnellu - is prefered for
- The Game
- The boar, prince of the scrub, fed with wild berries and chestnuts
or pilferer of orchards, treated himself to grapes and figs, give the
opportunity to the indefatigable hunters to practice all week-end long,
all august and februar months long, their favorite sport under the form
of "battues" which can cover several hectares of scrub and
The meat of this animal very widespread in the isle - and whose ceremony
of the share between the hunters is a very good example of the very
marked respect due to the "elders", makes the delight of
the gourmets wheather it is served roasted or carefully simmered in
stew ( Tianu ) .
The pigeons and partridges with cabbages accompanied with a tomato
sauce with the Nepita (wild plant) make delightfully forget the roasted
blackbirds whose improper hunt is nowadays forbidden.
- The Fishes and Seafoods
- Presents of the mountain torrents, the eels and trouts formerly cooked
on the bare pebbles, heated on embers, rival with flavor those coming
from the sea: sea breams, mullets, "bianchettis", scorpion
fishes, basses, spiny lobsters, squids and the inimitable bouillabaisse
(fish soup) - the Aziminu - whereas urchins and oysters from the ponds
of Diana or Urbino can be enjoyed without anything else, under the sun
of the mild island winters.
Discover the Sea, Rivers and Fishing.
- The Soups
- Nowadays served as an entrée, with vegetables and wild herbs, with
beans and dandelions, onions, garlic and bacon, soups have for a long
time constituted the main course of countrymens'dinners.
- Heritage probably from an italian past, with the tomato sauce cooked
in olive oil of the country, pasta often stuffed with brucciu (ravioli
or cannelloni), boar (lasagne), or served with spiny lobster are often
a place of horror in the traditional cookery.
- The Other Products from Nature
- When on spring the scent of the sap and of flowers of scrub reveal
into us these inspirations which are peculiar to the artists, the bees
"daughters of light" "stagger", intoxicated by the
nectar of the flowers of "cistes", of brooms, wild hawthorns,
or lemon trees to offer this amber all of sweetness, the honey, which,
like the jello of wild arbutus berries - "strawberries of winter"
- will come sublimate the flavor of the brucciu.
But if the isle is naturally the greenest of the Mediterranean, it
is also thanks to its men, the 4th orchard of the world with an annual
crop of about 35 000 tons of Algerian tangerines known and appreciated
in future beyond its shores.
In the name of the typical and ..,characteristic products of Corsica
can also be named the jam, the liqueur or the wine of tangerine, the
wine of orange and the liqueur of arbutus berries, the crystallized
citron, the liqueur of myrtle or of chestnut without forgetting the
aperitif "Cap Corse" which has since a very long time crossed
the boundaries of the Mediterranean, and that certains like to drink
while crunching a piece of Finuchiettu (kind of biscuit not sweet
in form of the number eight stuck with grains of anise).