Culinary experiences on the Island of Elba

Culinary traditions in Elba, influenced by both the sea and the land, recount centuries of influences and encounters between the different people of the Mediterranean.

Eating in Elba is an intense experience in which you immerse yourself in the very essence of this enchanting island. Traditional recipes from Elba are not particularly elaborate. Instead, they are simple, ancient and revised based on the products and ingredients that the territory could offer. This is why you can often recognized a faint smell of mint on your plate. This scent actually comes from the catnip that grows wild in Elba and is used as a flavoring in many traditional dishes. Every myrtle and juniper berries are used to enrich various meat and fish dishes, giving them a unique and unexpected flavor. Capers are used often as well, as they grow all around the island – even in the cracks of the Medici Fortress in Portoferraio.

Take a look for yourself. Different interpretations of "Made in Elba" dishes are all to be tried and enjoyed. It is true that some of the most famous recipes, such as sburrita, the gurguglione and schiaccia briaca, are derived from Spanish and Eastern European cuisine. However, the surviving recipes are not the exact originals. In fact, during the Spanish rule, the cooks were not able to find all the ingredients they needed. So they turned to the traditional ingredients that grew on the Island of Elba that were best fitted to the recipes. These evolutions of traditional dishes gave birth to the unique, exquisite plates that are now famous across the globe.

High quality products from Elba. When someone from Elba speaks to you about the island, they do so with a certain twinkle in their eye. They will tell you about the special qualities of the products grown on Elba and that you cannot leave the island without tasting them all. We know that our love for our island influences our judgment, but let us mention the fact that the Aleatico Elbe (a type of wine that is produced only in Elba and in Gradoli) was recognized DOCG. And that is not all: the rosemary honey, called Ballini, won the "National Competition of Montalcino" as Italy’s best honey. How could you not try them?

Why do we say that in all our products there is always a bit of the sea? One reason is because the majority of them are based on the daily fresh catch from the fisherman’s boats. Not only this, but the sea has a special influence on the climate of our island, which causes sweet surprises like the mimosas already laden with flowers in January. The sea also gives a special flavor to the fruits, vegetables, wild plants that grow on Elba. So try for yourself the unique flavors of our wine, oil and vegetables. Just try them and you will understand.

Gastronomy in Elba is like a poem that continues to be written. There is a new product on the market that has become very popular in recent years: beer from Elba. Among the many flavors and varieties, you will find catnip, chestnut and honey. Are you intrigued? One more thing: often, after dinner, the local restaurant owners will offer you a shot of liquor. The flavor could be lemon, kumquat, melon, blueberry or myrtle. Let’s just say you will be able to choose from a wide variety! Our advice? Try a different one every day – but don’t overdo it!