Monthly Archives April 2014

Traditional Easter ‘Cacavelli’

Traditionally an Easter treat here in Corsica the ‘cacavelli’, ‘campanili’ and ‘moustatchori’ –  depending on where you may find yourselves at this particular moment.

Let’s take the region of Ajaccio, where the ‘cacavelli’ would be the choice. Ideal for picnics and outings, and you can also make individual ones for children if you prefer.

Preparation: 30mins

Cooking: 40mins

Oven: 180°


– 500grs flour
– 1 egg
– 125grs sugar
– 375grs butter
– a pinch of salt
eau de vie (or brandy)
– 20grs baking powder
– water (if necessary)
– aniseed


Mix all the main ingredients together in order to shape your pastry, and leave to rest for a few hours. Then shape a circle/crown on which you will deposit the egg, using strips of pastry to form a cross.
Coat the pastry...
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Good Friday in Corsica, what does it signify here ?

Today is Good Friday, so what does that signify here ?

Catenacciu- Corsicatheque

Good Friday in Corsica principally signifies the ritual of the ‘Catenacciu’ which takes place annually with a procession in the town of Sartene. The literal translation from Latin for this event would be ‘the chained one’ (‘catena’ meaning ‘chains’) – the ceremony representing Christ on his way up on Calvary road to his crucifixion, and where an unknown penitent wearing red robes and a hood, walks barefoot through the streets of the town carrying a huge wooden cross that weighs 34.5kg and secured by the right ankle with 17kg of chains – only the priest knows the identity of the penitent, and legend would have it that people can indeed wait up to 40 years to be actually chosen...

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One of the legends of the ‘Eyes of St Lucie’

It would appear that there are several versions; however, here is a choice of one you may enjoy reading.
This sought after mother of pearl capping of a shell, is reputed to keep the evil eye away – and bring good luck, happiness and prosperity to the wearer. It was during the IV century that the legend of St Lucie revealed itself. Oeil-De-Sainte-Lucie-20120106110229

In order to save her mother from an incurable illness, a young girl belonging to the Syracuse nobility prayed ardently to the Virgin Mary, and after her mother had been miraculously cured, the young girl dedicated herself to her without limit.  So, in order not to be distracted from her beliefs, she pulled out her eyes and threw them into the sea. After this, she fulfilled several miracles...

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When one island reaches out to another with the CAFJ

1Having heard of the tremendous work achieved by the CAFJ in Paris (Franco-Japanese Reception Centre), I was very eager to meet Didier Pierrat (Director), who spent a few days recently in Ajaccio. But firstly, a few words on the CAFJ.

Based in the Montmartre district in Paris, this adventure started in 1996 with Didier Pierrat and Laure de Crepy, both fervent admirers of Japan. Initially, the original project was to cater for teaching French to Japanese university students, but their story however, was not to remain in suspension here …
I questioned as to whether a notable progression had been observed since the creation.
A certain need arose in order to take into account the obvious standing requirements for French in business companies soon becoming apparent, and with this...

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Corsica holds a record of dolmens and menhirs !

Le site préhistorique de Filitosa et ses statues-menhirs.Corsica would appear to be the region possessing the most dolmens and menhirs in Europe. Around 500 have been accounted for. A record ! However, what is special about this island as compared to other islands in the Mediterranean, is the fact that on certain menhirs one can distinguish human faces, even whole bodies of armed men. Half of these menhirs statues made between the Neolithic and Bronze Ages are situated in Filitosa, in the Sollacaro municipality, southern Corsica. Once the true origins were forgotten, the following generations desired to explain the presence of the strange statues, generally inverting the meaning of the cult. Legends tend to attribute an evil origin to them, saying the devil passed by there – thus, on the Cauria plateau, in the Sartene region, a dolmen has been ...
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