Top 10 Calabrian Dishes & Where to Eat in Calabria

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Welcome to the blog about Calabria, the beautiful and historic region of Italy! Calabria is located in the southern part of Italy and is the toe of the Italian boot. It is a region that is steeped in culture, with a rich history and diverse landscape. From its stunning beaches to its rugged mountains, Calabria has something for everyone. This blog will explore the culture, cuisine, history, and attractions of Calabria so that you can get the most out of your trip!

Calabrian cuisine is unique and distinct from other Italian regions. It is also one of the most diverse cuisines in the world, combining flavors from North Africa, the Middle East, and even Greece. You will find a variety of dishes made from fresh local ingredients, from seafood to cured meats, vegetables, cheeses, and more. 

With its long coastline, Calabria offers a variety of seafood dishes, which are the backbone of its culinary tradition. Locals enjoy the bounty of the sea, from classics such as fried calamari and spaghetti with clams to more inventive creations like grilled sardines and octopus-stuffed peppers. 

Inland, Calabrian cuisine is known for its hearty, rustic dishes that make the most of the region’s abundant agricultural produce. Dishes like ‘nduja, a spicy spreadable salami, and ‘ncapriata, a traditional bread filled with pork, are staples of Calabrian cuisine. Pasta is also a major part of the region’s culinary culture, with dishes like maccheroni alla calabrese, a hearty pasta with sausage and tomato, being particularly popular. 

Calabria is also home to some of the world’s finest cured meats. Nduja, a spicy spreadable salami, and Soppressata, a type of Italian dry salami, are both staples of the region’s charcuterie. Other

Calabria Cuisine

Top 10 Calabrian Dishes

Here are some of the most notable dishes to try out when you visit Calabria:

1. Ndunderi a dish consisting of small balls of pasta dough made from semolina flour and ricotta cheese. The dough is formed into small balls and then boiled until cooked. The balls are then mixed with a sauce made from tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil. The dish is traditionally served with grated cheese and fresh herbs. Ndunderi is a hearty and comforting dish that is perfect for a family dinner.

2. Arancini – a traditional dish consisting of rice balls stuffed with cheese, peas, and sometimes meat, coated in breadcrumbs and fried until golden and crispy. They are often served as a snack or appetizer and are a delicious and unique way to enjoy Italian cuisine.

3. Calabrian Sausage – Calabrian Sausage with Polenta is a traditional dish that consists of spicy Calabrian sausages cooked in a tomato-based sauce and served over creamy polenta. The sausages are made from a mixture of pork, beef, and spices, and the tomato sauce is cooked with garlic, onion, and herbs. The result is a flavorful, comforting dish that pairs perfectly with a glass of red wine.

4. Brodetto di Pesce – a seafood stew that is popular along the Adriatic coast. It is made with a variety of fresh seafood such as clams, mussels, and squid, which are cooked in a flavorful tomato broth. Garlic, onion, and herbs like oregano, bay leaves, and parsley are added to enhance the flavor. The stew is served with crusty bread to soak up the delicious broth.

5. Caponata – made with eggplant, onions, celery, and tomatoes cooked in olive oil and vinegar. It is a flavorful and aromatic dish, often served as an appetizer or side dish. Caponata can be served hot or cold and is usually garnished with olives, capers, and pine nuts. It is a popular dish in Sicily and is often enjoyed with crusty bread or pasta.

6. Calabrese Pizza – a thin-crust pizza topped with a traditional tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and spicy salami, as well as other optional toppings such as olives, onions, and mushrooms. This pizza is then cooked in a wood-fired oven, which adds a smoky flavor to the dish. The combination of the flavorful ingredients and the wood-fired oven makes for an unforgettable Italian experience.

7. Pasticciotto – a pastry that originated in the Apulia region of Italy. It is a pocket-sized pastry filled with a creamy custard-like filling and topped with a sweet glaze. The crust is made from a combination of shortcrust pastry and a light and airy puff pastry. It can be served either cold or warm and is a popular dessert or snack. Pasticciotto is often topped with a sprinkle of powdered sugar or a few drops of dark, sweet syrup.

8. Stigghiola – a street food dish made with grilled lamb or goat intestines that are seasoned with salt and lemon juice, then wrapped in pieces of bread. The bread serves to both contain the filling and to absorb the flavors of the seasoning. Stigghiola is usually served hot and is a popular snack food.

9. Fileja – a pasta dish originating from the Messina region of Sicily. It is made from a thin, dried spaghetti-like noodle, which is wound into small bundles and boiled. The Fileja is traditionally served with a tomato sauce, or a sauce made from anchovies, capers, garlic, and parsley. It is a delicious, comforting dish that is sure to satisfy your Italian cravings.

10. Cialledda – a thick soup made from a combination of beans, vegetables, garlic, olive oil, and herbs. The ingredients are simmered together until they create a thick, flavorful broth. The soup is then served with fresh crusty bread and a sprinkle of grated cheese. This hearty and comforting dish is sure to please the whole family.

Where to eat in Calabria, Italy

Migliori Ristoranti (Best Restaurants)

1. La Locanda dei Pini: Located in the charming town of Isola di Capo Rizzuto, La Locanda dei Pini offers a unique menu of typical Calabrian dishes, from seafood specialities to traditional pasta dishes. The restaurant also boasts a beautiful outdoor patio with views of the Mediterranean Sea. 

2. Osteria del Re: This eatery is situated in the heart of Camigliatello Silano, and serves up classic Calabrian dishes such as timballo di riso and polpette al sugo. The restaurant also boasts a large wine list featuring some of the region’s most renowned labels. 

3. La Taverna del Capitano: Located in the picturesque town of Tropea, La Taverna del Capitano is a traditional trattoria serving classic Calabrian dishes. The menu features a range of regional specialities, including fish dishes and traditional pasta dishes such as pasta alla norma. 

4. La Finestra sul Lago: an intimate family-run guesthouse in the beautiful Calabria region of Italy. The guesthouse offers a unique and tranquil experience, with stunning views of the region’s picturesque landscape. Guests can relax in one of the comfortable and modern rooms, each offering a private balcony with views of the lake. The family-run restaurant offers a range of traditional Italian dishes, as well as exquisite regional cuisine, to be enjoyed in the spacious dining area.

Sea Food

Il Mare

If you’re a seafood lover, then the Calabria region of Italy is the place for you. This region is known for its excellent seafood dishes that draw in people from all over the world. From the freshest fish to delicious pasta and risotto dishes, you’ll find something to tantalize your taste buds in Calabria. 

The area is home to some of the most delicious fish in the world. The Mediterranean Sea provides an abundance of fresh catches, such as snapper, swordfish, and squid. Calabria is also known for its tuna, which is often served grilled or fried with a side of potatoes. Seafood lovers will also find plenty of shrimp, mussels, and clams. 

Many of the seafood dishes in Calabria are served with a typical Italian flair. For example, the popular dish of spaghetti with clams is a must-try. It’s a simple yet delicious dish that is made with fresh clams, olive oil, garlic, and chilli flakes. Another classic is the seafood risotto, which is a creamy rice dish that is cooked with a variety of seafood, such as mussels, squid, and shrimp. 

Wine of the region

Vino Della Regione

Calabria in the southern region of Italy is known for its vast wine production. This region has been producing some of the most iconic wines for centuries. With its diverse soil, diverse climates and growing conditions, Calabria has a large variety of wines to choose from. 

The whites of Calabria are known for their light and fruity aromas, with notes of citrus, apples and pears. The most popular white wines include Greco Bianco, which is light and crisp, and Malvasia, which is slightly fuller and more complex. The reds of Calabria are full-bodied and intense, with notes of blackberry, raspberry, and spice. Popular reds include Gaglioppo, which is a full-bodied red with a spicy finish, and Magliocco, which is a medium-bodied red with a rich, smooth finish. 

Calabria is also home to some of the most highly regarded sweet wines in the world. These include the sweet wines of Moscato di Saracena and Moscato Passito, which are made from the ancient Moscato grape variety. These wines have a distinctive aroma of honey, apricots and raisins.

Calabria is an Italian region that offers something for everyone, and its unique culture, beautiful scenery, and delicious cuisine are only a few of the reasons why it’s an ideal destination for a holiday. With its stunning beaches, ancient ruins, and unspoiled nature, Calabria is a region of Italy that is sure to be an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or an exciting adventure, Calabria has something for everyone. So if you’re looking for a destination that offers a little bit of everything, Calabria is a perfect choice.


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