The Calabrian cuisine has not changed much over the years; the various dishes have different origins based on the people who settled in the region, such as the Greeks and the Arabs. The following is a food and wine itinerary to discover authentic Calabrian flavours.
AN ITINERARY OF THE DISHES AND FLAVOURS OF CALABRIA
As well as sampling traditional local dishes, a stay at the Damanse Hotel allows guests to discover the surrounding areas where various typical products (PDO and PGI) are cultivated and produced: PGI Tropea Calabria red onion, Nduja from Spilinga, POD Pecorino del Monte Poro, PGI Calabria extra virgin olive oil and wine and spirits such as Amaro del Capo.
From the sea to the hills, up to the plateau of Monte Poro, the itinerary winds through landscapes of rare beauty, in a context that represents various Typical Products (PDO and PGI): Tropea red onion, “Nduja di Spilinga”, Pecorino del Monte Poro, extra virgin olive oil and wine. These are revealed in the widespread museums, wineries and oil mills, vineyards and centuries-old olive groves, typical restaurants, an ancient distillery and farms ready to welcome visitors by offering a unique experience.
1. A visit to the red onion museum and the old oil mill
The journey begins with a visit to the Red Onion Museum in Capo Vaticano, housed inside the Ricadi – Capo Vaticano railway station, and the Museum of Peasant Art (an old oil mill) located in the centre of Ricadi. Both museums are part of the widespread museums of the Ricadi Municipality.
Inside the Ricadi railway station, a permanent exhibition has been set up with educational panels and the ancient tools used to grow, harvest and process Tropea red onion.
While in the Museum of Peasant Art displays the machinery of the old olive oil mill for processing olives, large iron and glass jars and containers for storing the olive oil produced.
Objects for working the land are also on display. From the rear courtyard, you enter a small building made from mud and straw (in Calabrian: bresta) dedicated to traditional spinning.
2. Nduja di Spilinga and Pecorino del Poro.
Continuing in the direction of Spilinga – Monte Poro the landscape continues to amaze, with fields and pastures on which are visible the ancient “Masserie“, stone and bresta constructions where some are still used today by farmers as shelters for hay and tools.
Reached Spilinga , which is 9 km from Capo Vaticano, is scheduled to visit an artisanal charcuterie factory that produces the famous ‘Nduja di Spilinga , where it is possible to witness the various stages of processing and curing.
We continue to the Poro plateau , following the road through pastures, cereal fields and ancient farms, for a visit to a dairy that processes milk from the plateau’s pastures to produce cheese: Pecorino del Poro D.O.P. .
3. The wine from Badia and spirits from Limbadi
From the Poro plateau, we then head towards Nicotera – Limbadi. The itinerary provides impressive views ranging from lush green olive groves and vineyards to the blue sea, with the Aspromonte, the Strait of Messina with Scylla and Charybdis, and Sicily with Mount Etna and the Aeolian Islands in the background.
Passed Nicotera (the home of the Mediterranean Diet), olive groves give way to vineyards near the hamlet Badia , where a visit is planned at a winery overlooking the vineyards and the village of Nicotera .
We continue on to nearby Limbadi to visit the ancient Caffo distillery , which still produces world-famous Calabrian herbal bitters.
4. EVO oil and the Mediterranean Diet
From the Antica Distilleria Caffo located in Limbadi, we move on to the hamlet of Caroni and Motta Filocastro to discover EVO oil, the staple food of the Mediterranean Diet.
Staying in the municipality of Limbadi, in the hamlet of Caroni, the last stop includes a visit to an oil mill, where visitors can learn about the process of milling olives and producing EVO oil.
Alternatively, it is possible to visit the medieval village of Motta Filocastro (a hamlet of the municipality of Limbadi), with its lovely historic center from which to admire breathtaking views, and an old oil mill (private) dating back to 1800.
The return trip includes a stop in Nicotera (the landmark town of the Mediterranean Diet) for a short visit to the famous panoramic view behind the castle, its pretty old town with the ancient Giudecca quarter, and to round off with a taste of homemade ice cream.
TROPEA TO PIZZO CALABRO ITINERARY
The Tropea – Pizzo Calabro coast is famous for breathtaking views and sunsets, beautiful beaches and its crystal clear sea, with seaside villages of tourist and cultural interest.