Corsicans take their food and drink very seriously and it is quite common for locals to take a leisurely three-course lunch accompanied by a few glasses of Corsican wine. This also means that standards in restaurants are generally high.
Wild boar is possibly the island's most celebrated dish - look out for sanglier on the menu. Meat dishes may be served with pasta or polenta. Here are a couple of the most popular dishes.
- Civet de sanglier (Wild boar casserole)
Arguably, the signature dish of Corsica. This is a rich, hearty casserole with the “gamey” flavour of boar, mixed with onions, carrots, garlic, chestnuts, fennel and generous quantities of eau de vie and, of course, red wine forms a fundamental part of the recipe.
- Veau aux olives (Veal with olives)
A popular slow cooked stew, full of flavour with tender veal, olives, tomatoes, onions and herbs from the maquis as well as a generous dash of white or rosé wine
- Agneau Corse (Corsican lamb)
Usually slow roasted with whole garlic cloves, fresh rosemary and potatoes, this traditional dish seldom needs accompaniments!
On the coast you will find a good selection of fish and seafood, although due to reduced fish stocks in the Mediterranean, prices are now fairly high. Look out for red mullet (rouget), sea bream (loup de mer) and crayfish (langoustine). Oysters (huitres) are particularly recommended in the east and trout caught in the unpolluted rivers is a good alternative to meat inland.
Much of the mountain cooking is based around the locally produced dairy products and in particular the ewe's cheese brocciu which is similar to goat's cheese. Brousse is a cow's milk alternative which is often available in the summer but is not nearly as good.
Cured meats are very popular and a wide selection are usually available:
- Prisutu - smoked ham
- Figatellu/fitonu - liver sausage
- Salamu - salami-style sausage
- Valetta - cheek
- Boudin - black pudding
- Fromage de tête - "head cheese" made from seasoned pigs' brains
Most traditional Corsican desserts are milk or egg based:
- Beignets - chestnut flour doughnuts, sometimes stuffed with cheese.
- Fiadone - Essentially a cheesecake, but with a twist! Fiadone is a traditional recipe using Corsican brocciu cheese, eggs and chestnut flour that is then flavoured with lemon zest and eau de vie. Normally served chilled, this is a delightful finish to an evening meal.
- Flan a la farine de chataigne (Chestnut tart) - A very simple, yet tasty dessert combining the staple ingredients of a typical Corsican recipe – chestnuts, eggs and eau de vie.