Calabrian cuisine is centred upon the goodness, the quality and the authenticity of its various ingredients, which are cooked in a simple manner with respect for the local traditions.
Calabrians include chili peppers, the regional emblem, in nearly all of their dishes:this love for spicy food has deep roots, although a sweeter, less spicy variation, with a more faded colour, is also often used.
Pecorino of Crotone, which is made with goat and sheep milk, stands out amongst the local cheeses, with its intense, peppery flavour and pink colour; another ingredient that’s widely used in Crotone cuisine is sardella, a delicious pate made with sardines, anchovies and hot peppers, all of which are blended in oil until a creamy mixture is obtained. The art of making pate with chili peppers is actually quite common in the area’s traditional gastronomy.
To this day, the fresh pasta made in the homes of Crotone residents is made with durum wheat flour, water and salt; it’s usually served with meat sauce and a dusting of pecorino cheese.The shapes are varied, but the most typical are “Cavatelli”, with their hollowed dumpling form, and short fusilli “macaroni”, which are obtained by pulling a long thin rod through the dough.
Pork is an integral part of Calabrian cuisine. Its derivatives are used for main courses, but above all for sausages (capicola, traditional sausage, brawn sausage and pork gelatin).
A typical sweet from the Crotone area is the pitta ‘nchiusa: a wonderful dessert shaped like a bunch of concentric roses, which is prepared using liquor, must, dried fruit, honey, sugar and pine nuts.