Food Tour: CALABRIA (Second Part)
In the first article about Calabria, we went to Tropea, to find the unique Cipolla rossa di Tropea and to Spilinga, known for 'Nduja, the super spicy Calabrian sausage. Let’s keep traveling around the region.
REGGIO CALABRIA… SEA VIEWS, BERGAMOT, AND STRUFFOLI
Tourists in Calabria usually like to take advantage of the region’s vast coastline, where you can enjoy the sea and savor fresh seafood dishes. However, the larger, inland cities of the region are not to be forgotten! For example, in and around Reggio Calabria, you can experience the scent of bergamot wafting from its many surrounding citrus groves, visit historic sites, and eat some of the best dishes in Italy. Talking a stroll through Reggio Calabria, the largest city in the region, is like walking through a dream: the city flaunts breathtaking panoramas overlooking both the surrounding landscape and the Straits of Messina. It also houses the famous Riace bronze statues. If you need a break from all this beauty, go try a Pignolata (even though it is more traditionally served during the holidays). This southern Italian dessert, which originated in both Sicily and Calabria, is both an Italian and an Italo-American favorite, more commonly known as Struffoli.
COSENZA, A CULTURAL AND CULINARY EXPERIENCE
Let’s travel North to Cosenza, the second largest city in Calabria, considered one of the best place to live in the region. Cosenza is located in a valley at the mouth of the Busento river. It is well known for its cultural traditions and rich gastronomy. Now that we are here, we must complete our vacation with a superb plate of lagane e cicciari, a local type of pasta prepared with chickpeas, garlic, olive oil and, of course, some peperoncino. Every city in the region has put their own spin on this quintessential Calabrese dish.
WHEREVER YOU GO, REMEMBER CACIOCAVALLO AND LIQUORICE
Wherever you may choose to travel in Calabria, from Santa Severina to Scilla, there are a few ingredients you simply can’t miss. Caciocavallo cheese, named after its shape which is reminiscent of horse’s head, is a strong and salty staple of any local dish, including pasta, lasagna, and meat. Its flavor evolves with age, going from mild and delicate to spicy and warm. You also have to try Calabrian liquorice, considered the best in the world thanks to the ideal local liquorice root growing conditions.
- Donatella Mulvoni