Nov 2, 2023 11:17 AM
Food and wine
Autumn in Calabria has a very special flavour, reminiscent of work in the fields, the ancient but ever-present traditions of the olive harvest and grape harvest, walks in the brightly coloured woods in search of mushrooms and chestnuts.
Tastes of home, welcoming and sharing the first fruits of a generous land, ready to offer visitors out of season the table of autumn in the South.
Calabrian autumn products and typicalities
To say autumn in Calabria is to evoke a warmth that still smells of summer, in the days that grow shorter without sacrificing the fiery sunsets over the sea.
A calm and transparent sea, which in the slow evaporation still offers fresh seasonal fish, to be combined with the fruits of the earth in autumn sea-mountain recipes, such as the typical pappardelle gamberi e porcini.
The forests of the Calabrian ridge are a riot of precious fruits: from the dozens of varieties of mushrooms that grow in the 3 national parks and nature reserves, to the sweet Calabrian chestnut; from the unmissable Nocciola Tonda di Cardinale to the different types of indigenous grapes, which in the harvest season offer the liveliness of the first new wines; from the local olives, from which the Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Calabria PDO (with its sub-variants) is made, to homemade jams.
This is the perfect time of year to travel through the region on an active holiday, discovering the flavours of autumn in Calabria, starting with visits to oil mills and wine cellars offering tastings, and ending with a stay in the "slow villages" of the hinterland, opting for an diffuse hotel solution or family hospitality in the many farmhouses.
Itinerary through the slow villages of autumn
Any ideas for your autumn itinerary in Calabria, among villages and typical flavours?
In the province of Cosenza, for example, we can stop in Mormanno to taste some typical specialities of the Pollino National Park. We are in the homeland of the tasty Lenticchia di Mormanno and the Fagiolo Bianco Poverello di Mormanno, two delicacies of the autumn table, both Slow Food Presidia.
The Lenticchia, small and pink to beige in colour, is mainly produced in Mormanno but also in nearby Morano Calabro, one of The Most Beautiful Villages in Italy. Its beneficial and organoleptic properties are released in the typical soups and broths, as well as for the prized Fagiolo Poverello, a central element of the agricultural and gastronomic culture of this area, declined in various recipes (creams, minestrone, crostoni, salads) but which finds its triumph in the typical pasta and beans with zafaràna powder (peppers "cruschi", i.e. dried).
A visit to these "slow villages" is an experience to be lived at a slow pace, losing oneself in the alleyways of the historic centres, with their palaces, churches and votive chapels alternating with the great mountain views.
Also in these parts, it is possible to taste the prized Pollino Truffle, declined in 9 varieties, from the summer scorzone to the winter black one (moscato).
Not to be missed among the autumn products is the aromatic Honey of Calabria, an artisanal product widespread throughout the region and characterised by intense fragrances that are the spokesperson for the territories of origin: millefiori, eucalyptus, heather, orange, bergamot and mandarin, acacia and arbutus, to name but a few varieties.
The search for mushrooms and hazelnuts takes us, instead, to the forests of the Serre Vibonesi.
Specifically in Serra San Bruno, a baroque town carved into the granite of the Serre Regional Natural Park, where we can taste the delicious Porcino delle Serre; and in the town of Cardinale, a little further down the valley, home of the Nocciola Tonda di Calabria, the most sought-after hazelnut on the national market to produce the well-known hazelnut spread.
Finally, not to be missed, the october festival along the "Wine Roads" and the "Oil Roads". Two excellences of Calabrian agribusiness that cross the entire regional territory, to be discovered through dedicated itineraries.