The Corsican 'trinity' of meat, chestnuts and cheese forms the basis of the bikers' exploration but it is the independent spirit of the people that shines through.
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SI: Oh, mate, I'm loving this road trip.
-SI: New places...
Now, that's a view, Dave.
And incredible food.
Oh, that's good.
We're doing almost 3,000 miles around
the Mediterranean in search of the authentic flavours of
Italy and Sardinia, Corsica and France,
the Balearics and Spain.
And we'll end up in Andalusia
for the biggest party in the Med, the Festival of San Juan,
but it won't be all beach barbecues and sunburn, Kingy.
They're all looking at us now.
No. We're tracking down the real Mediterranean...
You'll never get a tune out of that.
..little out-of-the-way places,
the tastiest dishes and the best produce we can find.
-It's so simple.
-We get to eat the tiger cow.
-MAKES TIGER NOISES
That's why we want to cook with the locals.
And hear their stories.
Southern Italy and Sardinia set the bar really high.
Dude, it's fantastic. Let's see if France can do better.
-And then the mainland.
This is our take on a magical part of the world
right on our doorstep...
Come on, Corsica...
..what have you got?
MUSIC: Wild Thing by The Troggs
Well, Dave, are you ready for our next adventure?
I'm up for anything.
This is one of the wildest places in Europe...
Well, it's the birthplace of Napoleon.
..where the landscape is as untamed as the people
who live in it.
It's off the beaten track for most Brits - but, luckily, not for me.
It's quite simply my favourite place in the world.
We are in Corsica.
We want to really understand Corsica, so we are
crossing the island from south to north.
We start in Bonifacio, then go west to the coast.
From there, we will head into the wild interior
and the vast forest of chestnut trees...
..to end our journey in the old port of Bastia.
For 15 years, I've had magical holidays here,
and I'm chuffed to bits to finally share it with me mate.
I have always wanted to bring you here, mate.
You know, it's a really special place
to build new memories, ride bikes with my bestest matey
and, you know, just replenish the old soul.
They say that Corsica has some of the best
artisan food producers in the world,
so that's good enough for me.
I also want to show you how wild this place is
and how unspoilt.
Dude, I think you're going to love it.
Like most islands in the Mediterranean, Corsica has
been invaded over the centuries by many of its neighbours.
The Romans were here, the Genoese, too,
and, lastly, the French.
Corsica became part of France in 1768.
But people here consider themselves Corsican
first and foremost, and proudly so.
Our Corsican adventure starts in the stunning
fortified old town of Bonifacio.
What I've come to admire on my trips here is that
the Corsicans really treasure their heritage, but also that
the produce is second to none.
This is great.
I mean, what is the food like in Corsica?
Well, it is kind of like... It is slightly...
It's like this. Come in here.
In Tony's family-run delicatessen, the devotion
to providing excellent local produce is obvious.
You just look at this most amazing place.
The sausages, the charcuterie hanging from the ceiling.
It's just a forest of flavour.
I mean, you can smell it in the air.
Not only is it generous in flavour, but the portions
in Corsica, I have always found them to be
very, very generous as well!
-That's so sad.
-It's terrible, mate.
Look at that. It's beautiful.
Tony, we were just talking about what is Corsican food.
-What would you say...?
-Corsican food, it's, um,
Only sheep and goat.
It's the three Corsican products.
It's like a trinity.
Yeah. The trinity of Corsican food.
Chestnuts? That's a new one on me.
Yep, you'll see chestnut trees all over the island,
and chestnut flour is a key ingredient in lots of recipes.
Chestnuts are one of those things... Like, in England
when we're children, we have chestnuts at Christmas.
It's really special. But to have chestnuts everywhere,
-it's such a treat.
-Oh, it's gorgeous.
The first pleasure, eat with eyes.
-Look at it. It's beautiful.
But there's one specialty which is just to die for.
Figatelli sausages -
made of pig meat and offal, especially liver,
giving it its incredible flavour.
You know you're back in Corsica...
when you're eating figatelli.
What is surprising is that although we are on
an island, seafood isn't a mainstay of the diet here.
For understand the product,
you go in the mountains,
see a productor and the meat and speak with productor.
Right. So to understand the produce,
-go and speak to the producer.
So, there you have it. Meat, cheese and chestnuts.
The holy trinity of Corsican cuisine.
But why are these three products the staples here?
Well, let's find out.
Like Tony said, we should start with the producers.
Our first stop is a no-brainer.
It turns out that not far from Bonifacio
is one of the best cattle farmers on the island.
You can't mention meat here without his name cropping up.
This looks like cow country, dude.
We've been told that meat from this farm is in demand
by chefs all over the world.
Jacques, je m'appelle David.
-Jacques, bonjour. Je m'appelle Simon.
Jacques Abbatucci is as Corsican as you get.
His ancestors fought the Italians and the French
in a bid for independence.
But he's fighting for something else -
to preserve an ancient breed of cattle known as tiger cows.
They're all answering. It's like a ripple through the herd.
Jacques, what are the origins of the cows, the tigres?
The name in Corsican is not tigre.
Their real name is zainata.
Zainata comes from the word zaina,
which means beautiful in Arabic,
and they're not wrong.
When born, the calves are more cow than tiger,
but, as they get older, the stripes start to appear.
Oh, right. OK.
And this kind of cow comes from the prehistoric origin.
And they come from North Africa. You know...
Prehistoric grottes, you know.
-The paintings on the wall?
-The paintings on the wall.
-They make, they go with...
-Yeah. Stripes. I've seen them.
Yes. You know?
I know those paintings. I just thought the paint had run!
Jacques' farm is organic and specialises
in the production of rose veal from free-range cattle.
In the UK, veal can have negative connotations,
because of the crates in which calves were raised.
But veal crates were banned ten years ago.
We still don't eat much veal at home,
but, here, they love it.
It is a special kind of cow. Very rustic, you know.
A-ha. Very rustic, yeah, natural.
Natural. They stay all the year out.
They don't know to go in the farm.
And all the day walking.
It is good for the...the meat.
The taste of the meat.
Mate, we're in for a treat.
Jacques has invited us home
to taste his famous free-range veal.
Well, well done is forbidden. And I'm not surprised.
Well, if you overcook that, it would be murder.
It would be murder, mate. It would be absolutely outrageous.
In charge of the barbie is Le Frere,
Jacque's brother, who's a chef.
-I'll just make sure.
-This veal - naked veal.
-Veal, salt, pepper. That's all.
-How lucky are we?
It's like the most exclusive barbecue in the world.
And we get to eat the tiger cow. Whoo. Grr!
And if you love meat, this is as good as it gets.
On a par with Wagyu and Kobe beef, Michelin-starred chefs
compete to buy Jacques's small production.
This is so tender. It's so tasty. It's so juicy.
It melts in your mouth.
And it has that wonderful umami, savoury flavour.
It's so full of flavour, you can taste the countryside,
This is a big statement to make.
That is the best piece of meat I have ever eaten.
Full stop. It is absolutely amazing.
Well, there's only one thing to do now, mate.
Couldn't agree more, Kingy.
Cook some beautiful veal in one of our own recipes.
Welcome to Si and Dave's Mediterranean kitchen,
to our casa del Mediterraneo, to our hacienda.
Call it what you like,
there's that many influences round here.
There is. And you know what we're going to do?
We're going to do veal with olives.
This is our gift to that great Corsican veal producer,
Oh! He's got a great name, hasn't he?
-He has, hasn't he? Jacques. French.
Abbatucci. A touch of the Italian there.
Yes. They were very specific weren't they, in Corsica?
It sounds like the Italian, but actually it isn't.
I'm not entirely sure how.
Eating rose veal is OK if you eat meat.
It's a by-product of the dairy industry. It is a treat.
Look at that.
So, actually, if you eat meat, you could do yourself a favour
and have something really, really good.
But if you don't want to use veal,
braising steak will be fine.
Before I brown the meat,
I'm coating it with seasoned flour and that will help
thicken the sauce a little later on.
I've covered it really, really well.
There's some olive oil in the pan here and we're just going
to start to fry that off.
Now, we need a really lovely deep colour on this.
Now, the veal, by its nature,
it's quite lean, which is healthy.
So we need to lubricate it a bit, so the bacon fat
from the smoked lardons, from these fine pigs of Corsica,
will do the trick.
And we are to peel and put into discs two carrots.
Next, two onions, finely chopped.
Enough with the bell, dude!
Next, two sticks of celery.
And I'm going to use the leaves as well.
Look at that celery, Si.
It always amazes me at home, why they take the leaves
off the celery before they sell them,
because there's so much flavour in that. It's great in salads.
-It's brilliant in stews.
You know, so I'm going to put the leaves in.
Oh, absolutely, dude, yeah.
Put the meat to one side to rest.
Are you ready for the crispination?
And fry the lardons in the remaining cooking juices.
This is a powerhouse of flavour.
Add the chopped celery...
Lovely, mate. You know, don't be frightened
of the caramelisation that you see,
because all of that colour is all flavour.
And what we need to do is, as well,
we need to colour the onions particularly a little bit.
But not brown. We're not doing hamburgers.
Not very deep brown
but certainly a little bit of colour on them.
Just a bit. Mother used to do that.
Oh, she used to burn everything, me mother.
-Oh, good grief.
My mother, she was more an arsonist than a chef.
Next, four finely sliced cloves of garlic.
A lot of the garlic we get at home seems to be
-weak and insipid.
-Yeah, it does.
I like the garlic that lingers.
Yeah. There's definitely no apologies, is there,
for using as much garlic as we do here in this dish?
MAKES SOUND OF EXPLOSION
A pared-off piece of lemon zest.
A chunk of lemon rind to you.
The acidity from the lemon rind
will give the sauce a bit of a zing.
Two sprigs of fresh rosemary, straight from my bush.
Some thyme. Straight from the supermarket.
And a couple of bay leaves.
So the veal goes back in.
-About two-thirds of a bottle.
About a pint.
And all the little bits of goodness at the bottom
of the pan will be lifted by that white wine
into a melange of stewiness.
And can you remember what you call that?
Can you? We keep telling you.
It's the hacky bits at the bottom of your pan.
Top up with some chicken stock
and add the extra flavours.
And the super-duper bouquet garni.
And that, like us, needs to simmer in the sun
for about 45 minutes.
-Oh, life is so 'ard!
That is, isn't it? Look at the colours in that.
-Stew is in the house.
At this stage, remove the bouquet garni
and add chopped tomatoes.
And now a proper Mediterranean touch.
Top tip. If you're going to put green olives in a stew,
blanch them first. They keep their colour.
Simmer for a further 15 minutes and voila!
-Oh, that veal.
-Oh, Jacques. Jacque!
Jacques. There's nothing "Tati" about you, Jacques.
-That, for me, says Corsica.
Robust, great flavours.
-There's a beautiful citrus note going through.
The veal's soft, meaty. Oh, it's just so good.
And then the olives, bit of a top note.
Perfect. It's a great, great dish. Cook it at home, honestly.
Last night, we stayed in
the stunning little town of Porto Pollo.
-And it's beautiful.
-Isn't it just?
It turns out that Antoine, the owner of our hotel,
is a history buff. He wants us to understand more
about what has shaped life here.
You'll see one Genovese tower.
It was the defence of the Genova Republic.
And all around the island, there is all these towers.
The city state of Genoa, on the Italian coast,
ruled Corsica for over 500 years
and used this fertile island as their larder.
Building these defences to repel invaders.
But perhaps the most lasting legacy of the Genoese
is the millions of chestnut trees they planted,
which were a valuable source of carbohydrates
before potatoes arrived from the New World.
The Genoese may have created this verdant landscape,
but they were eventually ousted by
another of Corsica's neighbours, France,
in the late 18th century.
It's only 200 years we are French.
It is important that Corsica keeps its own identity,
-Yeah. I think in the world
we live now, today, it's important.
If you want to know where you go...
-You have to know where you came from.
And in Corsica, we think about that.
Tourism is very important, though, to Corsica.
Yeah. Tourism is important. It's 13% of the economy.
We try to do better tourism.
Although Corsica is embracing tourism,
the islanders are also keen to preserve
this idyllic landscape.
So, along most of the coastline,
no new development is allowed within 100 metres of the sea.
And that respect for the environment
means that much of Corsica is really unspoiled.
Back on the trail of our Corsican food trinity,
we're heading inland to the Natural Park,
another protected area.
We're surrounded by a vast forest
and are going to start
digging into that chestnut malarkey, but not just yet,
because there's another meat treat we've heard about.
Yes, we're off to meet a world-class charcuterie producer
and apparently one of Corsica's youngest entrepreneurs.
Laurent Henry raises pigs on the high Coscione plateau,
one of the most dramatic landscapes in Corsica.
Steeped in his family's farming tradition,
he uses a tried-and-tested free-range approach.
Laurent has decided to go for quality over quantity
and his gourmet charcuterie business is a runaway success.
He only rears around 200 pigs a year
and cures the meat himself.
His artisan hams and sausages are in such high demand
that you've got to be on the ball just to get your hands on them.
What? Well, let's hope he's kept a few to one side
for us, dude. I don't do talking without tasting.
Bienvenue en Corse. Oui! Fantastique!
Oui, je vais vous amener sur mon exploitation
et comme ca vous verrez mes cochons.
We can go up the hill and have a look at his pigs.
-Oui. C'est fantastique.
Flipping 'eck. Where have they come from?
Is it me, or can all these islanders talk to the animals?
Dr Dolittle must have been a Corsican.
They love it, don't they?
Laurent tells us that he started making charcuterie
as a child, but that life on the plateau isn't easy.
Living this way, it can't be very easy for you,
especially during the winter.
And there's another challenge for producers.
Customers aren't on your doorstep up here,
so you have to create something exceptional
that people will seek out, and that's what Laurent does.
But this is like the original pork from Corsica.
So this is a particular breed to Corsica?
Yeah, much like the tiger cow was. It's Corsican.
But what I'm impressed with, it's the husbandry.
Well, there kind of doesn't seem to be much husbandry.
It's just the best things that the countryside
has to offer.
In this case, the mighty chestnut.
Backbone of Corsican cuisine.
And here we are surrounded by them.
In October, Laurent brings his pigs to the forest
to fatten them up on chestnuts.
And it's the chestnuts that give the meat
its unique taste as well as a distinctive marbling of fat.
These forests may have been imposed on the island
by the Genoese, but chestnuts have fed man and beast
I think we're getting it, mate, the importance of chestnuts
You know, chestnuts feed the pigs, the pigs feed us.
Charcuterie has always been very important here.
Without electricity or refrigeration,
salting, smoking and air-drying meat was the only way
that the people in the mountain villages
could preserve their food.
Laurent has laid out his meat in the shape of a pig
to show us how everything is used.
-Now, why is the paprika on?
From head to toe, each part of the pig
is turned into a specific delicacy.
The fillet. A-ha.
The lonzu, the fillet.
I must say, that this...
I've had this in Corsica before and it is just beautiful.
Et ca, figatelli.
Figatelli. I know I've gone on record as saying
that this is my favourite sausage.
I have to confess, it is.
Two years. So it's hung for two years.
Hanging times vary, depending on the weight of each product
and the depth of flavour you want.
Three to six months
for the salami, figatelli and fillet,
and up to two years for the ham.
This is proper slow-made food, full of care,
attention and love at every stage.
But there's no such thing as a free lunch -
or dinner, in this case.
To work, my friend!
At this stage, I'll do anything.
We're helping Laurent and his wife Antoinette
make a hearty Corsican soup
and a traditional chestnut cake.
The soup couldn't be any more home-made,
with vegetables from their garden.
And a leftover ham bone from Laurent's pigs.
There's no waste here.
As we've see time and time again,
it's simplicity that's the key.
The cake is simple, too.
Just eggs, sugar, double cream, vegetable oil
and, of course, the quintessential chestnut flour.
And, by the way, as well as being full of vitamins E and C,
chestnut flour is gluten-free.
Quel temps, Antoniette?
Trente-cinque a quarante minutes.
Between 35 and 40 minutes in a moderate oven.
There's a large dining table
at the heart of every Corsican home.
And, tonight, we're lucky enough
to be joining Laurent's family and friends for dinner.
Dude, it's fantastic.
Pork from the mountain, vegetables from the garden.
It's the terre...
Mmm! C'est tres bon!
-Oui, super delicious.
And, now, what we've been waiting for all day.
This is the bit I've been looking forward to, Si.
You know, it's like the pata negra.
It's the pig fed on chestnuts.
What do you reckon?
J'avais un jambon-gasm.
It's that good.
Now even I can translate that one.
Ca va? C'est bon?
-Vive la cochon.
-Salud. A sante.
For dessert, it's Antoinette's traditional chestnut cake.
That's such a good, simple cake.
Now I think we all know, in the UK, what to do
with that bag of chestnut flour that we've looked at on the shelves
and wondered what it's for.
It's to make this.
It turns out that they love a good sing-song here
and no Corsican evening would be complete without one.
Laurent's friends are singing in their native Corsican,
keeping alive the language and the culture.
OTHERS JOIN IN
The wine, the pork, the music,
It's life - and what a life, Kingy.
-What a life, dude.
-And how lucky we are to share it.
-C'est bonne chance pour...
ici ce soir.
What an evening. Incredible food, lovely people
Yes, the mother tongue seems here to stay.
Even the road signs are in two languages.
Though they've suffered a bit of wear and tear...
..that's another story.
Independence is never far from the political debate here,
but Corsicans are dealing with it in their own, unique way.
Well, I can't get enough of this place.
This is awesome.
Rocky, hilly, windy,
the perfect place to cook breakfast.
Well, it's pig's cheek. It's been hung,
and it's some of Laurent's finest. We're very lucky.
It's actually half a pig's face.
Yep. Because two pigs' face would be a two-faced pig.
We don't want no two-paced figs in this village.
THEY MAKE SOUND OF GUNSHOTS
Well, eggs is eggs, isn't it? You know what I mean?
But the mainstay, your carbohydrate,
-ain't porridge, ain't toast.
It's chestnut polenta.
Or, as they say in Corsican, pulenda.
Now, polenta with a T, as you know it, is commonly made
But here it's spelled pulenda with a D.
And it's made of, guess what, the mighty chestnut flour.
Now, you have to sieve this in small quantities
into the pan. They say this is a man's job,
which is why Kingy is doing it, hello!
A pinch of salt goes into the water
and then that classic Mediterranean flavour, thyme.
See the lumps there?
Next, gently sieve the flour into the boiling water.
Can you manage to get some in the pan?
-It is in the pan.
-Look at the state of it!
What do you think I'm doing?
-Just let me get the flour in!
-It's going lumpy.
It shouldn't be lumpy!
Get me sunglasses out of me hair!
It's hard work, this.
# Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
# Jack Frost stirring like a...
You can smell the chestnuts.
It's the fruit of the mountains.
We'll be smelling your chestnuts if we get blow-back
on this gas hob. Right, we're there.
We're going to put the pulenda onto the rock
just to cool down. As it cools, it'll go quite solid.
The rest is easy.
Fry the sliced pig cheek and the eggs
as you would do at home.
You could use streaky bacon or even smoked tofu
if you're a vegetarian.
After a few minutes, the pulenda has set.
Just cut it into a few slices and plate it up.
I suppose one looks at it as a kind of vegetable sausage.
Look at this.
That is great, isn't it?
That pig's cheek is so crispy.
Try it with the chestnuts.
It's fantastic. The chestnut pulenda...
-It's sweet, Dave.
-It tastes like chestnuts.
The fat on Laurent's pig's cheeks,
it's gone crispy and lovely.
And with the chestnut pulenda, it's lovely,
and an egg on the top. It's not too shabby at all.
And by the way, how many kitchens have a view like that?
See? See? We bring you to some good places, don't we?
Ah, I could soak that view up all day,
but we need to press on,
leaving the mountains and heading to the coast.
Our next stop is going to blow your mind, Kingy.
A whole island built out of one of your favorite foods.
An island? Made of steak and kidney pie?
No, you silly turnip! Oysters!
Je m'appelle Simon.
Vous allez venir avec nous?
Oui, tres bon jour.
-Oui, oui, oui.
This is the Etang de Diane, a large saltwater bay
where they cultivate oysters and mussels.
Pierre took over his dad's business 12 years ago.
Oysters here grow nearly four times as fast
as those from the Atlantic.
And that's due to the unique qualities of the water.
You know, I knew they grew mussels on ropes,
but I've never seen oysters on ropes.
They're like little metal baskets, aren't they?
Yeah, I've never seen that before. Absolutely amazing.
So they've gone from seed oysters to that in six months.
Oh, that's impressive.
But Pierre's family were not the first
to cultivate oysters in this bay.
Over 2,000 years ago, the Romans set up
a gigantic oyster fishery here and exported oysters
all over the empire.
The Romans, rather than shipping out the oysters
-in the shells...
-..they would shuck them...
..put the meat in an amphora, keep them in that,
discard the shells.
To preserve the oysters during shipping,
they were kept in salt water and honey.
There was that many oysters farmed and produced here
that the shells produced an island.
Now, an island made of oyster shells?
That's not something you see every day, is it?
Oyster shell island.
I can't believe I'm walking on oyster shells.
It's like walking on eggshells without the eggs.
Kind of more oysters, if you know what I mean.
-Look at all those, dude.
-Yeah. It's an oyster tip.
-Look at those, Si.
-The water, shallow water.
That is incredible.
So, that hole was made when the Roman Empire was alive and well.
So I am actually holding something 2,000 years old.
Yeah, that could have been Julius Caesar's dinner.
I love oysters! Let's make an island.
I would help you, Kingy, but I'm allergic.
Oh, not to worry, dude.
There's a lovely recipe we can do with mussels instead
and courgettes on the side.
Luckily, Pierre's mussels look as splendid as his oysters.
What are you doing?
Ha! That was good, that.
But stuffed mussels. They still do stuffed mussels in Corsica.
They're like a little bit of a 1970s thing.
You can imagine at a dinner party, you know, you have
your stuffed mussels, it's all lovely. But they're brilliant.
They are. And what we're starting the recipe with
is courgette gratin.
-I had a good job but I left, left...
Hey, hoo, hoo!
Arrange the sliced courgettes tidily in the pan.
Gently fry the courgettes in olive oil.
Two big cloves of garlic. It is optional.
Lovely. As we're sauteeing them off, I'm just going
to put some salt in there just to draw
that beautiful, beautiful sugars and colour out of the courgettes.
Just going to strip some thyme.
-And all that's happening is we're just building
those lovely earthy flavours that complement
the courgettes really well.
Again, it's a really simple dish.
We want them cooked but still a little bit al dente,
because we're going to cook it, obviously, in the oven
a little bit later on.
Whilst the courgettes are cooking, I'm going to make,
like, the, gratiny bit,
which is creme fraiche, milk and flour.
Nah, there is a time and place for chestnut flour,
but this isn't it. Plain flour is perfect.
The flour is a bit of a cheat, really. You don't need it.
But it will stop the milk and the creme fraiche
from splitting, so you don't have that horrible curdly bit.
About a teaspoon of flour.
Once the courgettes are al dente, combine them with
the cream and flour.
And top it off with some mature Gruyere.
The nutty flavour goes a treat with the creamy courgettes.
And just pop this into a preheated oven,
180 degrees Celsius,
about 20 minutes to half an hour,
depending on how reliable the oven is.
All right, then?
Now, add the star of the show, those lovely mussels.
Fresh, salty and utterly Mediterranean.
First, I'm bringing some white wine to the boil.
Then we need some parsley.
Once the wine is simmering, add the parsley and mussels.
OK. Put the lid on. And let them steam
in the beautiful white wine
and the gorgeous parsley from the Mediterranean
for four to five minutes.
Which gives us just time to make the gratinee for the top.
For the gratinee, we're using breadcrumbs
and two grated cloves of garlic.
And a tablespoon of chopped tarragon.
Its subtle hint of licorice will be perfect with
the white wine.
And some chopped basil.
Can you put us a nice big glug of olive oil in there, Kingy?
-Yes, no problem.
-About three tablespoons.
One, two, three.
And now the basil goes in to join its friend, the tarragon.
And now some cheese.
I'm going to do a mixture of pecorino and Gruyere.
These cheeses are quite salty,
so I'm not putting in any extra seasoning.
Look at those. Fantastic.
I'm going to take the top shell off the mussel
and leave them in their half-shells.
It's a great dish to bring to the table.
You know, a sharing dish.
What we're going to do, just to keep the moisture
in the next cooking process,
is we're just going to put a little bit of moisture
of the cooking juices back into the shells
so it keeps the mussels nice and juicy.
And, top tip, you can keep the leftover cooking juices
in the fridge for a couple of days.
It's delicious over pasta.
And, of course, the little crumb mixture, the bread,
is going to take up that juice as well.
Five minutes in the oven and job's a good 'un.
Perfect. Stuffed mussels.
And a courgette gratin.
Here's to Corsican etang.
I tell you what... I think...
..Pierre would be quite proud of those.
Yeah, you know, the fellow we went fishing with.
I think both of them complement each other really well, actually.
-Really good, man.
They're strong, forceful, they're beautiful.
-Well, I'll drink to that.
-I'll drink to Corsica.
What a start to the day, Kingy.
I love these mountain roads.
Best riding ever.
Watch out. Livestock alert!
MUSIC: I Feel Free by Cream
Si, remember the Corsican food trinity?
Meat, cheese and chestnuts. Heaven on a plate.
I don't know about you, Kingy,
but I think we've done meat justice, haven't we?
The chestnuts, you've got pudding, cake, flour,
you've got your substantials. There's one thing missing.
Running a business from a remote village isn't easy.
But if what you make is good enough,
customers will jump through hoops to get their hands on it.
-Je m'appelle David.
And it's a legendary product that's brought us here.
Si, are we auditioning for a third Hairy Biker?
La barbe magnifique!
Karin runs a family cheese-making business,
producing a range of cheeses
including a Corsican favorite, brocciu,
and has a herd of around 300 goats
who roam freely around the village.
Still milked by hand, they provide enough milk
for the small-scale production of artisan cheeses,
and Karin can hardly keep up with the demand.
Karin is showing us how to make two types of cheese.
Firstly, cottage cheese.
You can eat it straight away or let it mature,
which strengthens the flavour and changes the texture.
-SI AND DAVE:
Rennet contains an enzyme that acts as
a catalyst to curdle the milk.
You can buy the rennet.
You could do this at home quite easily.
Once the rennet has done its job,
the mixture separates into thick curds and runny whey.
The curds make good old-fashioned cottage cheese.
Really, we've got the whey here
-and we're sieving it off.
Nothing goes to waste here.
The whey will be used later on.
The freshly made cheese is tempting
but I generally prefer something stronger.
This is amazing.
Karin is going to show us
how to make another soft cheese,
using the whey this time.
It's brocciu, or ricotta as we know it.
So this is the whey. What you're doing is skimming out
-the little bits of cheese.
The key to this cheese appears to be elbow grease.
Right, that's enough. I'm not stirring any more.
I stirred the polenta or pul...
-You stir the flaming thing!
Fine. I'm stronger anyway!
First, the whey is warmed to 35 degrees Celsius.
Then Karin's husband David adds some salted milk.
This improves the creaminess of the brocciu.
Carry on, Mr Myers!
The mixture needs to reach 85 degrees
for the cheese to start forming.
Shut your face, you!
While you do that, Karin is showing us
how to make some migliaccioli.
You can't expect us to sit around watching you
stir a bucket of cheese, dude!
Good. I'll have earned a snack!
Migliaccioli is a local cottage cheese pancake
made with flour, salt and yeast.
It also has water to make it runny,
and a couple of eggs to bind everything together.
Nearly getting there. I'm soixante-dix.
Time for the star of the show,
our freshly set cottage cheese.
With the cheese mixed into the batter,
Karin is separating it into two batches.
One will be plain and the other will have
wild mint to give it a local twist.
We're nearly there. We still haven't got cheese yet.
The fruits of my labour become evident
as the cheese begins to form.
I think we've got cheese here. Karin? You see?
Hmm, the cheese tray looks like
it may have had a previous life.
We won't tell anybody, David!
David... Je ne parler pas... la police.
Oui. C'est separe.
-So this is it.
Mate, this is going to be superb.
Well, you know, we've cooked in some kitchens in the world,
but I think Karin's has to be about the most dramatic.
Seeing a man like that,
you can't help having beard envy, can you?
I'm done. I've scooped up all my brocciu.
And we've finished making our migliaccioli.
Smells amazing, and the ingredients couldn't be fresher.
-Merci. Do you want a half?
-Yeah, let's have half.
-So this is...
-This is the one without mint.
It's like a...
delicately goat's cheese-filled crumpet.
-They are delicious.
-They are delicious.
And again, we saw what went in it. It's simple.
-These are the ones with mint.
Oh, Mr King, you spoil me.
-Oui! Oui, j'adore.
Oh, yeah. Mm!
Because the mint makes it somehow slightly sweeter
-than the natural ones.
Cor, I bet these are good cold with honey.
It'd work, wouldn't it?
These are lovely. Merci. Merci beaucoup.
There is no doubt, happy goats give great milk
and great milk makes awesome cheese.
That was incredible.
And even better, Kingy,
Karin has given me my brocciu to take away.
Corsica has done us proud yet again.
Beautiful food, made with real love and dedication.
Yeah. And I know exactly what we can cook with it
to do it justice.
or cheese quenelles in a rich tomato sauce.
The dish is called "stuff the priest".
This is a classic Corsican dish,
which roughly translated means "stuff the priest".
Not like stuff the priest but as in, like, fill him up.
It's a great vegetarian dish, but in Corsica you serve it
with charcuterie or, as we are, figatelli on the side.
Figatelli, the classic Corsican sausage.
# I swear thee allegiance to the figatelli
# I love the way it sits in Fill up me belly! #
-For this, I have my brocciu.
At home, you could use ricotta.
Ricotta or brocciu, it's important to drain off
any excess liquid before you start.
OK, so I've got some beautiful chard here,
and what we're going to do is
we're going to take the stalks out.
I need some basil now. I'll just go across to the basil.
Right, all I'm doing, right,
I just want to blanch this off for literally 30 seconds,
and then I am going to plunge it into cold water
to stop it cooking.
So all we need to do, I've just rolled it up in a big ball.
And just roughly cut it first.
Just literally 30 seconds, it doesn't take any longer.
For the quenelles, add one egg to the cheese.
About 50g. Just any old stale breadcrumbs.
And about 50g of pecorino.
Now, while Dave is doing the pecorino,
what I'm going to do is I'm going to take the chard...
..and I need to drain all the water out of it.
So we're going to do that with the aid of a tea towel...
..in the Mediterranean sun.
No, not at me, you fool! No!
See, look at all this moisture.
Chop the Swiss chard extremely finely
and add it to the rest of the ingredients.
Now, we need to put this in the fridge for about an hour
to chill down so that we can make the quenelles,
or you can make balls or dumplings, whatever you fancy.
Whatever you fancy, yeah.
The secondy component to this dish is a tomato sauce.
What we've done is we've roasted off some red peppers,
and we're going to chop that very finely indeedy.
Along with one big onion.
Now, these want to sweat down.
For about ten minutes.
With the peppers.
I'm just going to grate a couple of fat cloves of garlic
into the mix. Ho-ho!
And now it's time for the red wine.
Any good big red wine will do.
What we're going to do is reduce this by half
to pull all those flavours together and intensify it.
It's going to be beautiful.
And to give him even more flavour, the bouquet garni.
It is a bit of a trilogy, this.
We've got the bay, the rosemary and the thyme.
Just pop that in.
But it wouldn't be a tomato sauce without, yes, tomatoes.
So we're using a tin of skinned plum tomatoes.
Very good for you, tinned tomatoes, as well, aren't they?
They're full of antioxidants and vitamins and good things.
-Right. Straight in?
-Straight in, dude.
Now, we make our brocciu and chard dumplings, or quenelles,
whilst that sauce just simmers nicely in the background.
Now, on this tray I've got some baking sheet
and a lot of semolina.
And as we quenelle, we'll drop them onto the semolina.
In theory, it just won't stick and it will be lovely
and we can toss them in the semolina a little bit.
Kingy, you're king of the quenelles. What a pro!
These are surprisingly filling.
You know, the brocciu, the cheese,
I can see why they call it "stuff a priest",
you know, fill him up,
because they are very, very filling.
Carefully pop the quenelles in simmering water
for a couple of minutes, or until they float.
They're just going...
"Take me to the sauce! Take me to the sauce!"
I'm putting half the tomato sauce
into an ovenproof dish, and the quenelles will sit on top.
What we do, we take the rest of the tomato sauce,
because, don't forget, we only used half,
and we just...
..just nice, so you can see them.
Sprinkle Gruyere cheese on top
and bake for 20 to 30 minutes.
And there you have it. Baked brocciu quenelles
in tomato sauce with figatelli sausage.
Full of Mediterranean flavour.
It's like full of sunshine. Great.
But with the storzapretti,
you've got the fresh basil and the mint,
and to me that really comes through.
It does. Also, it's just deeply savoury and green.
-With the chard as well.
Do you know, I think we've done justice to Karin's cheese,
and, of course, Laurent's figatelli speaks for itself.
-Just really fine charcuterie.
We are coming to the end of our time in Corsica,
and I for one will be leaving with a really heavy heart.
I know island living isn't easy,
but I can see why people stay here.
And the products they make are simply outstanding.
We've been to some pretty isolated places,
but it wasn't always like this.
And, tonight, we are staying in one of the growing number of rural B&Bs
that are springing up to create opportunities
in the old villages.
This one's Tevola Towers
in the tiny hilltop village of Carcheto.
Bonjour, madame, monsieur.
THEY ALL GREET EACH OTHER
It is a great pleasure.
The B&B owner, Jean Claude, is an author
but spends his spare time saving old buildings in his village.
Something he's been doing for over 50 years.
Jean Claude began his restoration when he was 19 years old,
with his first pay cheque.
At first, people thought he was mad,
but his perseverance paid off
and now other people are buying and restoring houses in nearby villages.
And his children and grandchildren have inherited his passion.
Hopefully, more families will return to these incredible hilltop villages
and keep the old Corsica alive.
While you're chatting with Jean Claude,
Danielle and I have been grafting.
This is great, actually getting inside a Corsican home to cook.
We're making a traditional Corsican dinner,
including a couple of starters.
But the star of the evening is definitely the main course.
Whoa! That looks... C'est tres bon.
Oui, c'est tres bon.
Qu'est-ce que c'est?
Qu'est-ce que c'est, Danielle?
At this point, Mr King will be very jealous
when he sees this on the telly.
I'm not jealous, but I am hungry!
What a way to spend our last night in Corsica.
It's going to be a real spread.
A tart made with Swiss chard and onions from the garden.
The savoury figatelli and bean stew.
And a lemon cheesecake, using local lemons.
Everything on this table comes from within a ten-mile radius.
We're starting with a brocciu beignet that Danielle made
using the leftover brocciu that you made, mate.
It's like eating a cloud.
Yeah, lovely. Really light, beautiful.
Yeah, you've got the young cheese but what's lovely,
you've got the beignet, so it's basically fried cheese,
which is always a good starter. It really is good.
Tonight, the village is still alive, thanks to Danielle and Jean Claude.
Merci beaucoup, Danielle and Jean Claude,
for making our last night in Corsica
It's incroyable hospitality
and, um, from our hearts, we thank you for it.
This is what Corsica is about, isn't it?
This is what we found. We found a passion for food,
a passion for the land, a passion for the culture
and thank you so very much for your hospitality. Wonderful.
-Vive la Corse.
-Vive la Corse.
Hey, Kingy, you know Corsica so well. For me it was new.
And, you know, it says on the label that Corsica is French.
I'm not too sure now.
Well, it's definitely not Italian.
But I tell you what it is, dude. It is definitely,
For two blokes who like motorcycling, this has been
one of the best motorcycling experiences of our life.
Great food, great company, great biking.
Great people. What's not to love?
Don't know. But what's round the corner?
Howay, dude, let's go, cos that ferry won't wait.
Marseille, here we come.
Let's hop on the ferry to Marseille.
That's Provences, innit?
There, we'll learn about the Roman Empire...
Foosteps in history, isn't it? Back in time.
..Meet some French cowboys...
It's like a strange mythical world.
..Cook some awesome recipes.
..And make some new friends.
I think I've just got fired.
'So join us for the next step...' Bonjour!
..on our Mediterranean adventure.
Ah, I can't wait, honestly!
Subtitles by Red Bee Media
The bikers' Corsican adventure begins in Bonifacio in the south of the island. They head straight for one of the best delis in town to scope out the local cuisine, including the legendary sausage figatelli. Tony, the owner, tells them that there is a holy trinity of ingredients that makes up the basics of Corsican food - meat, cheese and chestnuts. He suggests that the best way for the bikers to understand what makes Corsicans tick is to meet the producers. This gives them a clear mission for their trip across the island, starting with a world-class meat producer. Jacques Abbatucci raises a unique breed of cattle, the vache tigre or tiger-cow, a breed recognisable by its distinctive stripes. His free-range and organic approach results in some of the best meat that the bikers have ever eaten. Their next foray into the island's interior takes them to the high plateau where another producer is raising rare-breed pigs. Again, the animals roam freely, grazing on chestnuts in the autumn. Here the charcuterie leaves them in awe. As they lunch with the producer, they also taste a cake made with chestnut flour, another part of the trinity of Corsican flavours. As they travel, they pass through vast forests of chestnut trees and begin to understand the importance of chestnut flour in local cuisine.
Much of what is produced in Corsica is exported. Next, the bikers head to the coast where the entrepreneurial spirit has been alive and well for thousands of years. At the Etang de Diane, a salt-water inlet, the bikers discover that mussels and oysters have been grown in these nutrient-rich waters since Roman times. In fact, the Romans shucked and exported so many oysters that the left over shells have created a whole island! And so, to the final element in the trinity of Corsican foods - cheese. At a goat farm in the hills, the bikers meet Karin, a young woman who has taken over the family cheese business and produces cottage cheese alongside the local speciality - brocciu. They cook and eat in her outdoor kitchen with spectacular mountain views. As their Corsican exploration draws to its end, the bikers spend their final night in a mountain top B&B where the family has spent years restoring abandoned houses in a bid to bring young people back to the more remote parts of Corsica. They learn that the independent spirit of Corsica is alive and well here in the hills and spend a magical evening soaking up the true essence of this unique island.
Featured recipes include veal and olive stew, stuffed mussels with courgette gratin and storzapretti (swiss chard and cheese quenelles) with figatelli sausage.