Corfu’s Special Cuisine
Corfu’s special cuisine includes dishes like sofrito and pastitsade and
the chance to try ginger beer and kumquats.
Kumquat Liqueur Bottles from Corfu
Ginger Beer and
One was introduced by the British, the other came from Asia,
and the two together show how different Corfu cuisine is from the Greek island
norm. Nowhere else in Greece, and indeed in very few places in the world, would
you get to sample a dish such as chicken in a kumquat sauce, one of the
specialty dishes of the Rex Restaurant in
The kumquat plant only came to Corfu as recently as 1846,
imported from Asia, and the only two places in the Mediterranean where it still
flourishes are here and on Sicily. You might see it growing almost anywhere on
Corfu, and it looks like a small orange tree, or a big bush.
It is hard to distinguish except when it is fruiting and the
small orange fruit appear, though the productive period is quite long and you
might see fruit at any time during the first four or five months of the year.
Kumquats Growing on a Tree
Corfu’s Kumquat Trees
There are about 6,000 cultivated kumquat trees on Corfu,
almost all of them around the area of Nýmfes, south of Róda, which has proved
to have the ideal conditions for their growth. You know they grow well from the
sheer volume of kumquat liqueur that is produced each year and on sale in the
Some Cool Corfu Souvenirs
Paleokastritsa Luggage Tag
Corfu Cypresses Capri Leggings
The liqueur comes in various strengths and tastes, ranging
from a low-alcohol, watery, sweet liqueur to a more robust drink that is more
like Grand Marnier. Don't be put off if you try it once and don't like it. Try
a range of them, perhaps at a tasting at the Vassilakis Distillery or their shop
outside the Achilleion Palace, or at the Agricultural Cooperative in Nýmfes.
And if you still don't like the liqueur, settle for a jar of jam or marmalade.
The other drink that is unusual and associated with Corfu is
ginger beer, or Tsitsibíra, to give it its Corfiot name. This is seen less and
less on island menus, though, and it seems that the taste for it is not as
strong as for kumquat liqueur. Only one factory, near Kelafatiónes, still makes
the drink to the traditional recipe with lemon juice, natural lemon oil, grated
ginger, water and sugar. It's a drink which was introduced by the British, the
ideal cooling drink to enjoy while watching a game of cricket.
There are several food dishes that are also distinctive to
Corfu, and which you will see on a lot of restaurant menus. One is sofrito, a
casserole made of veal and served with a white sauce produced from wine,
garlic, onion and pepper. Every chef has his own version, though, and you will
also find beef sofrito, served with a red sauce, and other variations too. As
with the kumquat liqueur, you need to try it more than once to taste the
Pastitsada is the other great Corfu meat dish. It is
basically meat of some kind served in a tomato sauce over pasta, but the true
version will use cockerel meat, which has a more gamey taste to it than
chicken. It isn't always available, and the more common version uses veal.
Corfu Fish Dishes
For those who prefer fish and seafood to meat, you will also
find lobster pastitsada on many menus, though not served in the average Corfu
household. Another popular fish dish that is very traditional on Corfu is
bourdeto, and this is a casserole using white fish, onions, olive oil, and
spicy red peppers, which give the dish quite a bite.
If you see any of these dishes on a menu you ought to give them a try, as these are true island dishes. You can try asking for the recipe if you like, but they are all different. The only thing they have in common is that they’re all sure to contain the chef's own secret ingredient!
Where to Stay on Corfu
Other food and drink pages
Visiting Santorini wineries is a popular activity on this Greek island in the Cyclades, whose volcanic soil provides a distinctive terroir.
Greece Travel Secrets’ pick of where to stay in southern Corfu including hotels in Moraïtika, Paramonas, Messonghi, Agios Georgios, and near Benitses.
Greece Travel Secrets picks where to stay in northern Corfu with budget and luxury hotels in Sidari, Daphnila Bay, Kontokali, Ipsos, Barbati and more.
Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to stay in north-west and central Corfu including luxury mansions, inexpensive rooms, and resort hotels.
This is the Greece Travel Secrets selection of where to eat in northern Corfu, from classy restaurants and traditional tavernas to beachside fish tavernas.
Greece Travel Secrets has its list of favourite places where you can eat in north-west Corfu, including in Paleokastritsa, Pelekas, and Ayios Stefanos.
Donna Dailey of Greece Travel Secrets visits Albania by boat from Corfu Town, staying overnight and seeing archaeological sites with Sipa Tours.
The main two Corfu saints are Saint Spyridon, the patron saint of Corfu who saved the island four times from disaster, and Saint Theodora Augusta.
From Nero to Nicolas Cage, the invasion of Corfu goes back to Roman times and through to Hollywood today!
The Corfu Trail runs from the southernmost point of Corfu at Cape Asprokavos and winds for 220km (137 miles) to the northernmost point near Andinioti Lagoon.
Southern Corfu has busy beach resorts like Benitses, historical buildings like the Achilleion Palace and Gardiki Castle, and wildlife at the Korision Lagoon.
This Southern Corfu drive starts and ends in Moraïtika, taking in hill villages, secluded beaches, lovely views, and a visit to Gardiki Castle.
This guide to southern Corfu’s beaches and villages includes busy resorts, quiet beach, hill villages and the southernmost tip of Corfu at Cape Asprókavos.
Northern Corfu is the most diverse part of the island, with Corfu's highest point, Mt Pantokrator, and beach resorts like Sidari and Palaiokastritsa.
If you want to tour northern Corfu in three days you can see busy resorts, quiet fishing villages, Mount Pantokrator, and the Andinioti Lagoon.
There are two sides to every Greek island, the tourist and the traditional, and this drive from Corfu Town through northern Corfu shows the two faces of Corfu.
Northern Corfu’s beaches and villages include busy resorts and secluded beaches, with several hill and mountain villages well worth visiting.
North-West Corfu’s beaches and villages include busy resorts, quiet beaches, hill villages, and places ideal for watching the sunset,
These fun facts about Corfu include how the island got its name, who wrote the Greek National Anthem, and the eccentric Englishman, the Earl of Guilford.
Corfu or Kerkyra is the main island in the Greek Ionian islands with Corfu Town being one of the most attractive of Greek island capitals.
Corfu writers and artists inspired by the island include both residents and visitors, like Gerald and Lawrence Durrell, Edward Lear, and Henry Miller.
Corfu’s wildlife includes rare and colourful birds, snakes, lizards, fireflies, and insects, with plenty of places to watch the wildlife like lakes and lagoons.
Corfu Town is the capital of Corfu and of the Ionian Islands and has museums, two forts, several museums, churches, and many other attractions.
Corfu Town’s Old Fortress is the town’s most striking landmark, standing east of the Old Town on top of a rocky promontory.
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