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Your Gourmet Guide to Corsica

Less than an hour’s flight from Nice sits the sun-soaked island of Corsica. This island became part of France in 1786, and today visitors enjoy its crystal blue coastlines and beaches. But even more, Corsica tempts its visitors with its Mediterranean cuisine. French cuisine is often synonymous with croissants and crêpes, but Corsica adds its own nuanced flavor to this definition with rich Mediterranean themes. From olive oil to wine, sausages to cheese, here’s our gourmet guide to Corsica.

Your Gourmet Guide to Corsica

How to Get to Corsica

The French island of Corsica is accessible by plane or boat. The island has several airports in towns such as Bastia, Ajaccio and Calvi. Popular routes include short flights from nearby Marseille or Nice. It’s even possible to take an overnight ferry from Marseille to Bastia. However, we suggest taking the short flight to the island for a seamless island escape.

Brief History on Corsica

In 1768, France annexed the island Corsica, which previously belonged to Genoa, per Arguably, one of their most famous residents remains Napoleon Bonaparte. Although Corsica is indeed part of France, the island has its own flare on French culture. Like many regions of France, Corsica had its own dialect with a distinct Italian influence, namely Tuscan, per Britannica. Today, 34% of the population speaks in French and in Corsu regularly, according to a France 3 article

We’re rounding up some of our favorite Corsican specialities to try during your visit to this sun-soaked French island.

Gourmet Meat and Cheese Specialities from Corsica

We would be remiss to share a gourmet guide to Corsica without mentioning its charcuterie selection. From its coppa to its lonzu, Corsica has several AOP-labeled meat products per INAO. Recognized across Europe, AOP stands for Appellation d’Origine Protégée, or Protected Designation of Origin in English. In layman’s terms, this means that if it’s labeled as AOP that it is a verified local product made in that area of France. If it’s labeled AOC, that means it has been verified by French authorities; if it’s labeled AOP, it has been checked by French and European authorities, per AOP’s website.

Another classic Corsican meat speciality is its figatellu. It’s easy to spot because it’s often much darker than other types of French dried sausages. Pair your Corsican charcuterie with its AOP Brocciu cheese, often made from sheep’s milk. “Corsican Brocciu is considered to be the cheese that symbolizes the island,” according to the AOP website. It is the first piece of produce from Corsica to gain certification.”

AOP Wines in Corsica

Wine lovers need not fret; like the rest of France, Corsica is also known for its different types of wines. The island may only account for 1% of French vineyards, but it’s home to more than 100 winemakers, per Vins de Corse. Whether you’d like to taste one of its appellations such as Ajaccio or Muscat du Cap Corse, we have the perfect wine tour.

Other Gourmet Specialities from Corsica

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Other Corsican AOP gourmet specialities include: Farina castagnina corsa, or Corsican chestnut flour; Oliu di Corsica, or Corsican olive oil; and Mele di Corsica, or Corsican honey, per INAO. 

The island of Corsica also boasts IGP-labeled products. IGP is similar to AOP; however, it’s only recognized at the national French level instead of at a European level. IGP gourmet goodies in Corsica include: Clementine de Corse, or Corsican clementines; Pomelo de Corse, or Corsican grapefruit; and Nuciola di Cervioni, or Cervione hazelnuts, per INAO. For dessert, don’t skip munching on canistrelli, or Corsican cookies.

Ready to start tasting these Corsican gourmet specialties? We don’t blame you. No matter your taste, French Side Travel has the perfect activities to discover the rich cuisine of Corsica.

Private Wine Tasting and Domain Visit in Calvi

Spend the afternoon at this domain in Calvi with a private wine tasting and visit. You’ll stroll through the estate’s vineyards and discover its colorful cultural traditions. You’ll learn about how the wine is made and will get to sip on its Fraticello and Sesto vats. Snack on Corsican specialities such as cold meats, cheese and a Corsican cake called Torta.

Visit of a Local Candied Citron Producer in Cap Corse

All those with a sweet tooth, listen up! If you’re looking for a sweet treat during your time in Corsica, enjoy a private visit with a local candied citron producer. Xavier will share his technique for this tedious process and will give you a taste of this sweet candy.

Corsican Honey Producer Visit

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Craving a taste of authentic Corsican honey? We’ll organize a private visit of a local honey producer. Marlène will explain the honey-making process and show you some of her 150 beehives throughout the region. Indulge in some of her “caramiel” (mixture of honey and caramel) or “croque-noisettes” (caramelized hazelnuts). 

Corsican Farm Visit

It’s no secret that France is known for its cheeses. And Corsica is particularly known for its Brocciu, often made with sheep-based milk. As you’re heading from Ajaccio to Sagone, you’ll pass a farm overlooking the Pevani Valley. During your private visit with French Side Travel, the producers will chat with you about their hundreds of Corsican goats and ewes and offer a taste of authentic Brocciu or Tomme cheese.

Discover a Salameria Corsa in Casinca

food tours corsica sausage charcuterie sausage

Longing to taste some of Corsica’s best charcuterie and to learn more about how it’s made? French Side Travel will organize a private visit of the Albertini family’s farm and meat shop just south of Bastia. Learn and taste about its lonzu and figatellu charcuterie.

Where to Stay in Corsica

Hotel de la Ferme du Murtoli 
Treat yourself to a luxury retreat at this five-star hotel. What makes this spot unique is its twenty-something shepherd’s houses dating back to the 17th century. On this traditional Corsican domain, you’ll have your choice to taste gourmet Corsican specialities at one of its three restaurants. Fancy locally made olive oil or roasted lamb? Craving regional honey or the catch of the morning? This luxury retreat awaits.

La Signoria & Spa
Photo courtesy of La Signoria & Spa

La Signoria & Spa
Located in Calvi, this five-star hotel will wow you with its palm-lined gardens and refreshing pools. Indulge in one of its spa services marked by Corsican traditions. Feast on a five-course meal at its restaurant featuring local honey and cheese.

Craving one of these gourmet specialities from Corsica? You might be interested in these delicious trips: Luxury Gourmet & Cultural Trip From Lyon to Beautiful Provence or A Unique Wine and Food Excursion to the French Riviera. Need some help planning your trip?

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