Steeped in tradition, full of flavour and proudly local, the food of Corsica draws on influences from both France and Italy. Yet, it also has its own unique character. Discover what sets this distinctive cuisine apart on a yachting vacation to the beautiful island.
Civet de sanglier – or wild boar casserole – is arguably Corsica’s signature dish. Wild boars can roam freely around the island’s mountainous interior, feeding on marquis herbs, chestnuts, figs and mulberries. This gives their meat a delicious, complex flavour.
A rich and hearty dish, the casserole combines the boar with onions, carrots, garlic, chestnuts, fennel and generous quantities of eau de vie. Slow cooked, it’s best served accompanied by a glass of local red wine.
Veau aux olives
Another Corsican favourite is veal and olives. The veal is slow-cooked along with herbs, onions and tomatoes, as well as a dash of rose or white wine, to maximise its flavour. Expect the stew to be served over pasta.
Corsican veal calves are raised alongside their mothers in a natural environment, feeding on the lush grass and shrubs of the marquis. As a result of this healthy diet, the veal is pink-coloured rather than white and the taste is stronger.
One of the island’s more traditional dishes, agneau Corse – translated as Corsican lamb – takes the form of a wholesome stew. The lamb is slow roasted with fresh rosemary, potatoes and whole garlic cloves and is typically served by itself.
Again, Corsican sheep have the freedom to wander where they wish on the island and, as the herbs in the dish are the same as the ones the animal feeds on, a unique layering of flavours is created.
Historically, Corsicans lived inland to avoid invaders, preferring to catch wild game over heading to the shore to fish. Nowadays, however, the majority of islanders live closer to the coast and, luckily for yacht-goers, fish and seafood have risen in popularity.
The fish is, in fact, so fresh it doesn’t need any fancy sauces and is better enjoyed grilled. Choose from mulet (sea bass), daurade (sea bream), rouget (red mullet), St Pierre (John Dorry) and petite friture (white bait).
There’s a saying in Corsica that goes, ‘either eat your soup or jump out the window’, reflecting just how much Corsicans love soup. The island's most famous offering is the thick and hearty soupe Corse, which originated in the mountains.
A meal in itself, it includes dried beans, chickpeas, garden vegetables, herbs, onions, garlic, olive oil, cabbage, potatoes and a ham bone or slices of figatellu for flavour.
Corsica produces some of the best charcuterie in the world. Richly marbled, it’s made from the cochon nustrale, a regional species of pig, using traditional, centuries-old methods such as salting, smoking, air-curing and cave-aging.
Charcuterie is a must-try appetizer when cruising Corsica by luxury yacht. Look out for figatellu di Corisca (pork sausage), coppa (dried pork), lonzu (seasoned filet of pork), and prisuttu (whole seasoned ham), which is delicious when eaten with figs.
Brocciu is, without a doubt, the most well-known cheese in Corsica. A soft whey cheese made from sheep or goat’s milk, it has a consistency similar to cottage cheese but with a very sweet and slightly acidic taste with hints of fresh milk.
Although the fresh version is only available from December to July, aged Brocciu can be enjoyed throughout the year. Recognised as an AOC since 1988, it appears in many regional dishes, from soups and omelettes to pasta dishes such as lasagne.
Fiadone is best described as a cheesecake but without the bottom layer. Made of brocciu cheese, eggs and chestnut flour, which is an essential ingredient in most Corsican desserts and biscuits, it’s flavoured with lemon zest and eau de vie.
Baked in the oven and normally served chilled, this traditional pudding makes a delightful finish to an evening meal.
Wine has been made in Corsica using native grape varieties for around 2,500 years but, until very recently, this has remained a remarkably well-kept secret. Yet, even as exports and accolades grow, those visiting the island are still best placed to sample the local wines.
Corsica is a feast of indigenous grapes with sciacarellu, niellucciu and vermentinu among the most distinctive. There are nine origin-approved (AOC) vineyards, most of which are near the coast, making a visit to one of them an ideal daytrip for those travelling by superyacht.
For more details on planning a yachting vacation to Corisca, speak to your preferred charter broker.
Alternatively, view all luxury yachts available for charter in Corsica.