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  • Writer's pictureSu Guillory

Savoring Calabria: A Culinary Journey through the South of Italy

Calabria is a gastronomic region known for its rich culinary traditions and exceptional flavors. The food in Calabria is a testament to its abundant natural resources and the creativity of its people.

Let's explore some of the most delectable and authentic foods that define the south of Italy's unique gastronomy.

1. 'Nduja: A Spicy Delicacy

'Nduja is a fiery, spreadable cured meat originating from Calabria. Made with a blend of hot Calabrian peppers, pork, and spices, 'nduja packs a punch of flavor and is perfect for spreading on crusty bread or incorporating into pasta dishes.

2. Salsiccia: A Taste of Tradition

Salsiccia, a typical Calabrese sausage, is a staple in local cuisine, loved for its robust and spicy flavor. Made from high-quality pork and seasoned with aromatic spices, it's often enjoyed grilled, in pasta, or as part of traditional dishes.

3. Pasta alla Calabrese: Simple and Flavorful

Pasta alla Calabrese is a popular pasta dish in the region, often featuring penne or fusilli with a spicy tomato sauce infused with 'nduja, anchovies, and fresh herbs. It exemplifies the bold flavors that characterize Calabrian cooking.

4. Caciocavallo: A Taste of Authenticity

Caciocavallo is a traditional cheese, aged and shaped like teardrops. or saddle bags, as its name refers to. It has a distinct flavor that varies based on its aging period. Enjoy it on its own, with cured meats, or melted over grilled vegetables.

5. Peperoncino: The Calabrian Chili Pepper

The peperoncino, or Calabrian chili pepper, is a cornerstone of Calabrian cuisine. It is often used to infuse dishes with a delightful heat and adds a unique zing to various recipes, from sauces to oils and more.

6. Sardella: A Flavorful Spread

Sardella is a spicy fish-based spread made from sardines, hot peppers, and olive oil. It's a specialty often enjoyed with bread, enhancing the overall meal experience with its bold taste.

7. Bergamot: A Touch of Unique Citrus Flavor

Bergamot, a citrus fruit grown only in Calabria, is famous for its aromatic peel used in making bergamot liqueurs, marmalades, and delectable desserts. The distinct flavor and fragrance add a unique touch to the region's culinary offerings.

It's also a key ingredient in Earl Grey tea!

8. Cipolla Rossa di Tropea: The Red Onion of Tropea

The Cipolla Rossa di Tropea, a sweet purple onion, is a symbol of Calabrian cuisine. Its mild and sweet taste makes it ideal for salads, sandwiches, or even caramelized and served as a side dish.

9. Capocollo: Meat Done Right

Capocollo, a cured and marbled pork shoulder or neck, is a beloved cold cut in Calabria. Its flavor, achieved through slow curing and seasoning, is a testament to the region's dedication to artisanal food.

10. Tartufo Calabrese: The Calabrian Truffle

While tartufo normally refers to truffles, in Calabria it has a completely different meaning. It's a type of gelato originating from Pizzo. Formed in the shape of a ball and often filled or coated with flavors like pistachio or chocolate, it's the perfect treat on a hot summer day in Calabria.

From spicy sausages to unique citrus fruits, Calabria's cuisine offers a delightful tapestry of flavors waiting to be savored and celebrated. Discover the authentic taste of Calabria and relish its gastronomic wonders.


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