Food and People: Corsica

By Andrew Chapman | January 27, 2011

Photo: Andrew Chapman

In Corsica, France, every bit of color pops against the centuries-old stone buildings, streets, and walls: the vibrant green of a bush, a brightly painted door, pungent dried onions. This small island is in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea between France and Italy, and has a mixed cultural heritage from both of its neighbors. French, Italian, and a Romance language, Corsican, are spoken there today. There has always been a strong emphasis on preserving things that are uniquely Corsican, especially when it comes to food.

For example, you can still buy Coca-Cola, but a tasty Corsican-made cola product is also generally available. Delicious Corsican beers and wines are similarly popular, and not just with locals. The regional beers are a must. These sensational crafts you won’t find anywhere else.

Keep your eyes peeled for the local pigs — though domesticated, they are semi-wild and let loose to forage for parts of the year. This lifestyle produces quite delectable pig and boar meats found on a typical Corsican charcuterie plate. Also, don’t miss traditional Corsican chestnut dishes or the olive oil, which is gathered from the ripe fruits fallen underneath the olive tree that results in intense flavor.

The stunning landscape ranges from pleasantly urban winding streets and vast coastal panoramas, providing a splendid array of views. Most famous, perhaps, are the spectacular Corsican beaches. This variety makes for days filled with invigorating outdoor activities, such as hiking, sailing, and, of course, eating on restaurant patios.

The Mediterranean sunlight is like a rose-colored filter — the charm of Corsica extends from the food to the views to the people.

Every Thursday, we’ll be posting snapshots from different spots around the world and encourage you to do the same. You can share your photos by emailing us at FoodandPeople@SamuelssonGroup.com You can also submit a post on Tumblr which we review before posting our favorites here on MarcusSamuelsson.com

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