The island of Corfu, located between Greece and Italy, is one of the most scenic destinations you’ll experience on your Carnival® European cruise. Corfu is filled with unforgettable bays flanked by stunning sandstone formations, crystal clear waters, and panoramic views of coastal Greece, lavish palace grounds and centuries-old landmarks and ruins.
There are many things to do in Corfu, including tasting traditional Greek cuisine as well as dishes with French and Venetian influences. Wine and garlic combined with eastern spices (cinnamon and allspice, for example) are some of the main ingredients in Corfu’s cuisine. You’ll also see the term, Corfiot food, as another way to describe the region’s flavors.
To get an introduction to Corfu cuisine, try one or several of the shore excursions offered through Carnival. You’ll definitely want to taste test the region’s special olive oils and you can easily visit the countryside and experience Corfu’s authentic olive oil mills.
Olive oil is also one of the best things to buy in Corfu as a souvenir or gift. You can dine on the Achilleion Palace grounds and enjoy a traditional lunch of Greek specialties while taking in breathtaking views of lush and regal landscapes.
There’s no doubt that Corfu is for foodies, and here are the top 15 epicurean delights you’ll find in this Mediterranean haven.
This is Corfu’s word for stock fish, namely wind-dried cod, which captures the salt in the air as it dries. The cod is then sautéed with onion and red pepper before stewed in sweetened tomato sauce.
2. Fish Bourdeto
Though this dish is made with whatever fish is available, the traditional Corfiot dish includes onion, red pepper and lemon juice. It’s a very Mediterranean way of eating a healthy fish dish.
3. Fish Bianco
This relatively simple but zesty-flavored Corfiot dish also has lots of garlic. Sea bass is simmered in white wine, and then is placed on top of potatoes that were first pan-fried, then simmered in white wine and, yes, garlic.
4. Pastrokio Eggplant
Fried foods are plentiful on Corfu. If you love fried dishes, try fried eggplant. In Corfu, eggplant is fried up with cheese, pork, salami, sliced boiled eggs, then baked in the oven topped by tomato sauce.
One of the most popular things to eat in Corfu would be pastitsada. This filling red wine stew is often spelled as pastitsado or pazztisada. However you spell it, this traditional dish includes paprika to redden the soup and add flavor. Other ingredients that may be added include sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and laurel (better known as bay leaves).
If anything, it’s fun to ask for this authentic Corfu food by its distinctive name. Zorka, a vegetable pie, focuses more on the seasonal fillings than on the pastry shell. You’ll find all types of pies, depending on the season you visit Corfu, from pumpkin and zucchini pies to onion and cheese pies.
7. Pasta Frola
Pastafrola isn’t what you think it is — the dish actually looks like a pie. It’s a pastry made from flour, sugar, egg and water. It’s topped with homemade jam then topped with strips of dough.
Desserts are a must-have food to try in Corfu, Greece. This Corfiot dessert is heavily influenced by Greek cuisine. The rounded sweet patty is actually fig paste, chopped almonds and walnuts plus pepper and a few other Corfiot ingredients, mashed up and then wrapped in walnut leaves.
After dining on fish and meat, treat yourself to fogatsa, a sweet brioche that’s popular during Easter, but found year-round in local bakeries. This fragrant brioche is found round and fluffy, but during Easter, the dough is braided, which is called kolompina.
If you’re looking for a mouthwatering Corfiot breakfast, try gialetia. They’re corn pancakes served with honey and dusted with sugar and cinnamon.
Bread enthusiasts will love panada, a barley bread. It was once considered a “poor people’s snack,” but all walks of life love this savory food that’s fit for a gourmet meal. Stale bits of bread are fried in olive oil, tomato paste and seasoned with salt, oregano and thyme.
In Europe, sofrito is known as both a dish and a slow-fry cooking technique. In Corfu, a traditional sofrito dish is beef fried while steeped with ample garlic (also known in Corfu as “kakavilia”).
13. Pork Dolce garbo
In Corfu, fish, beef and liver are plentiful, but so is pork. Try this meat dish that’s slow-cooked in white wine with onions and spices. It’s served with polenta or potatoes, either of which quickly soaks up the sauce.
14. Beef Liver alla Veneziana
You have to love liver to try this dish. Fried liver in olive oil is drenched in red wine and given a healthy dose of hot red pepper. It’s not a touristy favorite, so if you want to try this flavorful Corfiot dish, ask for it by name in a restaurant off the beaten path.
15. Cheese Saganaki
Fried cheese is so very Greek, and saganaki is a salty version that’s found as a traditional appetizer. The fried cheese is not cooked with any batter, just naked, and served with a lemon slice. The dessert version of saganaki is cheese served drizzled with a dark honey.
If your mouth isn’t watering yet after reading this list, it will be once your cruise ship, Carnival Legend™ or Carnival Radiance™, pulls into the port of Corfu. Leave it to us to handle the details so you can sit back and embrace the very best of every European port you visit.