The flavors of Calabria

Crossing our beautiful Italy from North to South you can meet rich and tasty regional culinary traditions, each of which presents unique and inimitable typical dishes. A great example from this point of view is Calabria. Its varied territory, which extends from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Ionian Sea, passing from the beaches to the rugged heights of the Calabrian Apennines, has allowed the development of a culinary heritage of inestimable value.

Pride of Calabria: the ‘Nduja

Everyone in Calabria is particularly proud of ‘Nduja, a decidedly spicy salami, which originated in this region. It is produced in different areas, but if there is a municipality that has linked its name to that of the ‘Nduja is undoubtedly the resort of Spilinga.

Nduja can be spread, and this makes it an ideal ingredient in a large number of recipes. There are those who spread this sausage directly on bread, so as to enjoy it in delicious bruschetta, and those who add this spicy note inside the first.

Nduja is made from pork, which is then seasoned using both chili and other spices. It is these ingredients that make this sausage taste so strong and intense.

Le Fileja alla Silana is a traditional dish of Calabrian cuisine, specifically associated with the area of Sila, a mountainous area in northern Calabria. This dish is a perfect example of Calabrian home cooking, which is based on simple but tasty ingredients.

A first must: the Fileja alla Silana

As the name suggests, this dish is prepared mainly in the Sila area, although it is now widespread in several places in the region, so it is not uncommon to find it in the menus of restaurants.

Fileja alla Silana is a real first. The main ingredient is Fileja, a fresh pasta that is shaped like a spiral. It is usually done directly by hand, without the aid of machinery.

To season the pasta are used many ingredients, starting with tomatoes, to which are added both onion and garlic so as to flavor the dish as much as possible. Its typical intense taste is obtained by adding sausage, chili and cheese (usually a pecorino cheese from the area).

Combine meat and vegetables: stuffed eggplant

After a good first course can not miss a tasty second. Try to check if in the menu there are stuffed eggplants, which represent a real excellence in Calabrian food and wine.

They are eggplants filled with various ingredients, such as minced meat and eggs. Cheese is also often present in them. The result is a dish that knows how to fill the stomach and conquer the palate.

Foto: Unsplash

Room for dessert

At the end of a lunch or dinner in Calabria we suggest you leave some space for the dessert. The culinary tradition of the region offers several typical desserts, each with different characteristics.

Often in the menu of restaurants you can find the so-called Pitta ‘mpigliata. It is in all respects a cake, but its peculiarity is the composition in several layers. It goes from a part composed mainly of fried pasta to various fillings, consisting of nuts, chocolate, almonds and even honey.

If you love ice cream you can not miss the opportunity to taste the famous Truffle of Pizzo, which takes its name from the town of Pizzo. This dessert has as its main ingredient chocolate ice cream, to be divided into several balls that then are filled with chocolate cream (or alternatively also dark chocolate). The balls are then covered with more cocoa.

The wines produced in Calabria

To a good first or a tasty second should be combined with high quality wines, so as to enjoy in the best way the typical dishes of Calabria. There are plenty of alternatives, allowing travelers who choose to visit the region to taste both white and red wines.

Red wines

Among the red wines stand out Cirò, Savuto and Donnici. Cirò is produced from a particular vine, known as Gaglioppo. The wine resulting from this grape is particularly tannic, ideal for those who want to taste something strong and intense. Most of the production takes place in the area near Crotone.

Savuto derives its name directly from its area of origin: the vines from which this wine is obtained are in fact planted near the homonymous river Savuto. This particular wine has a decidedly unique structure, as it is obtained by mixing different types of grapes, including Gaglioppo and Magliocco.

Finally, Donnici, produced from Magliocco grapes. This wine is part of the tradition of the area of Cosenza, and is usually recognized for its fruity taste, especially when it is still young.

White wines

As for white wines, we suggest you try Greco di Bianco. It is produced in the Bianco area, with a specific type of grape. It is a very pleasant wine to taste. It is usually recognized because it is quite dry, as well as giving a strong sensation of freshness to the palate.

Another white wine to taste is the Bianco della Costa Viola. Many appreciate it because it is a decidedly aromatic wine, from which you can discern several fruity notes.

Autore: Andrea Prosperi

Copertina: Unsplash

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