Calabria & Basilicata

On the Ionian seacoast of Calabria a special citrus fruit is cultivated: Bergamot orange. It is a fragrant fruit the size of an orange, which is famous for its use in Earl Grey teas. More than 80% of the bergamot oranges in the world are produced in Calabria.

Two delicious drinks are made of bergamot oranges: a lemonade called Bergamotto (see below), and Liquore al Bergamotto.
The liqueur is made the same way as Limoncello, but instead of using lemons, bergamot oranges are used. We prefer Liquore al Bergamotto over limoncello, because of its slightly stronger taste.

Bergamotto, drink made of Bergamot orange

Calabria and Basilicata are famous for their use of peperoncino (chili peppers) in the local cuisine, e.g. in Penne all’Arrabbiata and Pasta San Severino Lucano.

peperoncino

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Our friends in the hotel “Bosco Magnano” in Parco Nazionale del Pollino teached us how to make Pasta San Severino Lucano: homemade orecchiette with sugo di  peperoncino and breadcrumbs.

This nicely spiced pasta dish was a great treat after coming back from our camping adventure in the National Park :-)

 
Pasta San Severino Lucano

In the National Parks of Calabria and Basilicata lots of fungi can be found, which are often used in the local cuisine. We found these ones on our hike in Parco Nazionale del Pollino :-)

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In Pizzo on the Western coast of Calabria, our friends Pasquale and Birute let us taste a local specialty: Tartufo (not to be confused with the precious mushroom!).
This is a ball of ice cream with melted chocolate in the center. It is covered in a shell made of chocolate, cocoa or nuts.

Funnily, tartufo was invented in 1952 for a celebration, because there weren’t enough cups to serve the guests the ice cream dessert. The clever pastry maker Don Pippo de Maria invented an ice cream that did not need a cup, but instead could be served on a plate.

In the picture below we got served two different kind of flavours in one cup: pistachio and chocolate.

Tartufo di Pizzo