One of the best things about luxury yacht charters is the chance to sample all manner of delicious local cuisine. The Mediterranean is awash with mouth-watering dishes to delight even the pickiest palates. Made with fresh local ingredients and seafood, even the most simple of recipes bursts with flavour. We have chosen our favourite local specialities from four Mediterranean charter destinations.
1. Black Risotto – Dalmatian Coast, Croatia
You’ve probably heard of black sand beaches made of volcanic ash like those found on the Greek island of Santorini and the Canary Islands, but what about black cuisine? Fortunately, Croatia’s speciality of black risotto (Crni Rižoto) has nothing to do with volcanic ash or leaving your meal in the oven too long. It gets its colour from either squid or cuttlefish ink, which is traditionally sauteéd and sliced. It’s packed full of flavour and seems more like a rice stew than a traditional risotto. If you want to make this dish yourself, beware that the fish can be a little messy to clean, but here is a good recipe to try either at home or with the help of your yacht charter chef. This dish can be sampled along the coastline from Istria to Dubrovnik and is perfect when paired with a fig aperitif and local wines during dinner.
2. Pa amb Oli – Mallorca
Pa amb Oli simply means “bread with oil” and although that makes it sound boring, it’s actually a staple of Mallorcan life and comes with subtle twists and variations. Pa amb Oli is diverse and easy to prepare on your Balearic yacht charter since it can be served as breakfast, as a snack at any time, or as an accompaniment to lunch or dinner. The brown bread is a local Mallorcan speciality itself, most closely resembling a dark rye bread, and it is sliced, rubbed with a raw garlic clove and half a Ramallet tomato (only available on the island). The finishing touch is a generous drizzle of local olive oil. However. some people choose not to stop there and they add an array of olives, pickles, jamón serrano, anchovies, or cheese. It’s as traditional as you can get on the Balearic islands so be sure to try this deceptively simple but flavourful snack.
3. Ratatouille – French Riviera
Ratatouille originated in Nice on the French Riviera and means “to toss food together” and combines an array of vegetables that are the perfect representation of the splendid colours of Provence. The ingredients for ratatouille include bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, courgettes, aubergines, garlic and fresh herbs. All the ingredients are sauteéd in a skillet with olive oil starting with the onions and peppers and gradually adding more ingredients as the kitchen fills up with a heavenly sweet smell. The tomatoes are the last to go in followed by rosemary and thyme, plus some salt and pepper seasoning. The key to great flavour is browning the vegetables to perfection. Serve over a bed of brown rice, couscous, pasta or with crusty bread. It’s a great dish for vegetarian and it’s the epitome of Mediterranean flavours.
4. Cacciucco – Italy
It might be tempting to eat nothing but pasta, pizza and ice cream on an Italian yacht charter, but you would be missing out on some fantastic regional specialities. One of our favourites is cacciucco, a hearty fish stew originating in the coastal region of Livorno and Western Tuscany. It was historically made by fishmongers using the day’s unsold catch, which usually comprised shellfish, monkfish, squid and octopus among other varieties of seafood. This zesty dish is cooked in a rich tomato broth, which might include aniseed, sage, parsley, red pepper flakes, thyme and garlic. It is always served with crusty bread to soak up the divine-tasting broth. It is best accompanied with a glass of Aleatico Passito, an aromatic sweet wine that is made in Elba and a beautiful sunset from a traditional restaurant or the deck of your yacht.
If you would like more information about fractional yacht ownership or membership of our Vacation Club, please contact us. Who knows, soon you might be sampling these delicious Mediterranean specialities yourself!