Balagne, a fusion of Corsican flavours!
Calvi, Île-Rousse, the surrounding villages, or quite simply Balagne, cannot be presented as only beautiful sandy beaches, mountains and maquis. There is a rich heritage that deserves to be discovered here, closely tied to Corsican history and the wealth of the land: Corsican cuisine; and Balagne serves as a huge open-air vegetable garden which has always been worthy of its name “the garden of Corsica”.
Olive growing has always been important among the traditions of the region of Balagne : this land gives an incredible olive oil, known under the name of Oliu di Balagna. Olive oil isn’t the only culture that’s important in Balagne : since ancient Greek times, winegrowing is practiced, and pastoralism is an essential and preserved feature.
Balagne is also a land of exception for almond orchards, beekeeping, and of course, its golden flower, the helichrysum, also called immortelle or even, murza in Corsican.
The top quality wines here combine modernity, authenticity and tradition. The valleys of Balagne are particularly sunny and enjoy a micro-climate which produces wines which are full of character. The pale rosé wines of Balagne should be consumed fairly young, the aromatic white wines have a hint of citrus fruit and the full-bodied red wines really are full of character.
Oliu di Corsica
The Sabine variety of olives produced in Balagne and Corsica has an exceptional taste. It is soft in the mouth, has an exceptional aromatic palette and is a shiny golden colour. The taste is a subtle blend of the different flavours of Corsican maquis.
Corsica is a land of sheep farmers. They carry on a very prominent breeding tradition from generation to generation. The extraordinary variety of plants in Balagne gives the milk exceptional qualities. You will discover strong goat’s cheeses and some very mild sheep’s milk cheeses. Young cheeses have a more distinctive character, whether it be through the slight hint of hazelnut, more refined tastes, with a touch of spice, sweet tastes or cocoa.
The brocciu cheese is considered the island’s most representative food. The most well-known, that you have most certainly already tried, has a soft texture and is fresh and soft. This popular cheese is often served in fritters, in chard tart or in cannelloni. When it is dried and slightly spiced, served in shavings, it is a precious accompaniment used by the great Michelin-starred chefs.
Prisuttu, lonzu and coppa di Corsica
Balagne is not the most well-known area for the production of these local Corsican specialities. The breeding of Porcu Nustrale (a race of pig in Corsica) comes from an ancient tradition. Corsican deli meats get their exceptional quality from the perfect blend of the acorn, chestnut and the strong meat. On the best Corsican deli meat platters, you will find the smooth, red prisuttu, with a subtle hint of hazelnut; the light and fresh flavours of the mild lonzu, with a firm texture and the red coppa, seasoned with parsley, with a strong flavour and dry texture. It is also a pleasure to taste other specialities such as salsiccia and figatellu.
The varieties of one-of-a-kind honey
The wealth of plant life in Corsica and Balagne means that beekeepers have a wide range of flavours to choose from for their honey. The range Mele di Corsica includes bitter and sweet flavours, delicate or strong tastes, which take you on a journey across the mountain chestnut groves and through the wild maquis.