Vegetables, legumes, potatoes, mushrooms, olives and the ever present chopped pepper, sautéed with Calabrian olive oil, sometimes creamed with crumbled breadcrumbs and ‘pecorino’ cheese, in the past centuries represented pleasing morsels for the palate and the stomach of the Sila peoples.
These simple vegetable dishes of the past, accompanied by sheepmeat, beef and pork, today are part of the traditional menu of the Silane mountains. Dishes that necessarily require the combination of good bread, excellent wine and the healthy water of these districts.
In the Park, favored by the rains and the humid climate typical of woods, you can find different species of mushrooms: vavusi, morels, silli, drum mites, rositi, galletti, ova, just to name a few among the edible ones. Chopped coarsely, put to be preserved in oil, fried or seasoned in the pan with garlic and parsley, roasted on the grill, dried and cooked, alone or combined with potatoes, pasta or meat, mushrooms are very tasty and offer a considerable inducement to the economy of the park.
The tasty potato, which is one of the main production of the Pre-Sila, is also a primary component of this area cuisine, prepared in a variety of ways and coupled with a large number of vegetables meats.
Chestnuts characterize and connote the landscape of the Pre-Sila. The SIla peoples have always increased, cured and improved the cultivation of chestnut trees: they are heated with their wood and fed with their fruit, which in particular periods was the only resource for survival.
Chestnuts can be enjoyed roasted, boiled, dried or candied; with pancakes or sweet flavored; or in leavened bread or closed in surprise in a loaf of hazelnut ice cream. In all these variations it is possible to taste them in the Park, especially in the centers where chestnuts have been working for the foreign market for years.
The slaughter of the pig in the Pre-Silane districts continues to be a real festival, which has preserved its ritual unchanged. The white meat of the typical "Calabrian black" pig, fattened with acorns and chestnuts of the Silane plateau, is served in many appetizing dishes. Chopped to make sausages, stir fryed, eaten to a loin, roasted, exalted in liver, however cooked, its flavor helps to enhance the pleasure and company at the table. The pork continues to delight the palate also in the form of soppressate, capicolli, sausages, bacon, lard, hams, all conserved resources very appreciated and made famous in Italy and abroad. The products of the manufacturing and maturation of pork's meat are been identified as products of quality of Dop's mark (capocollo of Calabria, sausage of Calabria , soppressata of Calabria).
Among the products obtained in conformity with the traditional technics of manufacturing it is right to remenber those by-product from the working of milk (butirro, mozzarella of Sila, ricotte of various kinds, strazzatella of Sila, ecc.). Among them the most famous is the caciocavallo of Sila that justly have had the mark DOP).
Particularly important are the reserves in oil and to pickle of mushrooms, olives, peppers and another vegetables products. Not less esteemed is the confectionery tradition which is inspired by that greek. The typicals sweets are still produced for the religious feasts, as for exemple the pitta mpigliata, mastazzuoli, the turdilli and the susumelle.
On Sila's upland, at last, is raisinged the breed podolica which, also thanks to support of the Park, forms the product slow food "Breed Podolica of Calabria".