Ionian Islands, Greece
The well-known flavours of Greek cuisine carry over to the Ionian Islands but each has its own delightfully distinct traditional fare, making a cruise through these islands a culinary adventure. On the largest island of Kefalonia, a local speciality is Kefalonitiki kreatopita. This layered pie is a rich mixture of veal and lamb, with rich and spicy flavourings and is delicious when paired with a fresh Greek salad. Wash everything down with some Corfiot ginger beer, and a digestif of Greek coffee and kumquat liquor.
Corsicans are fiercely proud of their culture, and with this comes a passion for quality food. Here you will find the classic, fresh Mediterranean flavours, but also many unique Corsican specialities such as herb-fed veal, boar and myrtle and Maquis seasoning. A particular pride is the Corsican charcuterie, which has been said to be the best in the world, usually accompanied with bread and a fruity local olive oil. The lean meats owe their strong flavours to the diet of the wild pigs, which is rich in chestnuts and wild herbs. Try some prisuttu – a raw ham that is left to dry for at least 12 months. With the melding of French and Italian cuisine it is no surprise that the sweet menus in Corsica are filled with flaky pastries and decadent desserts, and in true Corsican style there is a local twist on the specialities. Chestnut flour is used to flavour cakes and pastries (and even some beers), and the local Brocciu cheese is a staple ingredient of many boulangeries – sample a traditional shepherds recipe of Fiadone.
The Amalfi Coast
Italy is a country renowned for its cuisine and the coastal region of Amalfi is known for fantastic fish dishes. Plan your day around breakfast, lunch, afternoon nibbles and dinner – start your morning with a sweet pastry, then spend a few hours to lunch like the Italians with courses of insalata and pasta and a carafe of Greco di Tufo wine. While away the afternoon drinking espresso and enjoying a traditional marzipan treat. Of course no visit to Italy would be complete without pizza. Enjoy crispy thin bases baked to perfection in a wood fired oven with fresh and simple toppings, a far cry from the fast food version. Don’t leave without trying the spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams), and a meal would not be complete in Italy without a dessert – pastiera napoletana is a local tart filled with lemon-scented ricotta.