Though many food lovers may be familiar with the regional cooking of mainland France, the distinct cuisine of Corsica, uniquely shaped by its location, landscape and produce, is perhaps less well known. Boasting plenty of sun-drenched native crops, from olive and fig to chestnut, an accomplished array of local wines, honey, cheeses and meats, and the influences of French, Italian and home-grown cooking traditions, there is a great deal to attract food lovers.
One such food lover is Ainsley Harriott, who fell in love with the island's culinary offerings while researching his latest cookbook, Ainsley's Mediterranean Cookbook, and filming the accompanying ITV series. As a result, many of the recipes in this celebration of the very best of Mediterranean cooking hail from Corsica. If you're keen to create a true taste of Corsica in your own kitchen, feast on the following menu of recipes extracted from the book.
Ainsley's Corsican charcuterie board is full of special flourishes inspired by the island's home-grown produce. To Corsican cured meats of prisuttu, lonzu and coppa, he adds honeyed figs in a nod to Corsica's abundant fig trees, and plump chilli-glazed grapes. Brimming with meats, cheeses and glistening fruits, this enticing sharing board takes very little effort to put together but will keep the whole table grazing away happily for hours the Mediterranean way.
For a speedy and simple taste of the Mediterranean sea, this sea bass and potato traybake, inspired by a dish Ainsley enjoyed in Corsica, is the recipe to choose. A one-tin recipe, the fish is roasted over a bed of potatoes, tomatoes and citrus, and flavoured with olive oil, white wine, bay and thyme for a dish that's as laid-back and flavour-packed as a long Mediterranean summer.
This light and creamy dessert is a cross between a cheesecake and a flan. Inspired by two of Corsica's prized exports, brocciu, a ricotta-like cheese, and licòr di mortula, a liqueur made from myrtle trees, its cloud-like texture and fresh citrus flavour makes it the perfect recipe if you're looking to round off your meal with a lighter dessert.