Traditionally, Corfiots tend to eat their main meal at midday, with simpler food in the evening. Though meat is eaten much more frequently these days, meals at home feature casseroles bulked out with lots of vegetables, such as the winter favorite fassoulada, a thick bean soup. Unless they cater to the local lunchtime trade, tavernas tend not to serve these home-style dishes, but prefer generic
Greek dishes like moussaka and stifado (beef or rabbit cooked in a spicy sauce with small onions), plus the great Sunday-lunch and holiday dishes of the island, pastitsada (beef or rooster in a spicy tomato sauce served with pasta) and sofrito (beef casserole with garlic and parsley), or the third great dish of Corfiot cooking, bourdetto (fish cooked in paprika, sometimes curry-hot). In the island's resorts, tavernas will also offer grills (such as pork chops and steaks), plus omelets and (invariably frozen) pizzas. Your main courses should be preceded by a variety of dips and small salads, and perhaps some keftedes (meatballs), which you all share.
Corfiot restaurants usually take the form of psistaria, or grillrooms, where all the meat is cooked on charcoal. Most of these places also run a takeaway service, so you'll eat in the company of neighborhood families waiting in line for souvlaki, whole spit-roasted chicken, or lamb chops. The most economical choice here is pita: a wrap enclosing meat, french fries, salad, tzatziki, and sauce. Desserts are not a strong suit on Corfu, although many love karidopitta—walnut cake drenched in syrup. Locals head to a zacharoplasteio (patisserie) for a creamy cake, some baklava or galaktoboureko (custard pie). In summer, the last port of call is the gelatopoleio (ice-cream parlor). Corfu produces wines mainly from Skopelitiko and Kakotrigis grapes, all drinkable and many excellent. Most tavernas have their own house wine, served in carafes or jugs, and usually this is a good choice. Bottled water can be bought everywhere—Corfu's salty tap water is not one of its pleasures. Kali oreksi! (Bon appetit!)
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