The Corsican “maquis”, nature at its most impulsive and generous..

Maquis Corse

Stéphane Rogliano
© Maria-Francesca ALONGI

The maquis is one of the most representative and famous symbols of Corsica. 
For 8000 years, wild plants have covered the land lining the sea up to approximately 600 to 800 metres in altitude. There are over 2500 varieties of plant growing naturally on the island, including 130 varieties that are totally endemic to Corsica and which are used in various areas such as cosmetics, perfumery, cooking, health, etc. 
This vegetation that is called “macchja” in Corsican means stain or mark in Latin etymology. When you see the maquis first hand, this becomes obvious: it looks like a full-scale impressionist painting as evidenced by the term given to the Italian Impressionist movement, namely “i Macchiaioli”. 
Stephane Rogliano, a passionate horticultural expert, is specialised in growing the aromatic and wild plants of Corsica. He is also a mountain guide and organises his “Walk with a nose” tour, which is a botanical discovery tour to the heart of the rockrose, myrtles, mastic trees and wild sunflowers, immersing its participants in a world where the sense of smell is given pride of place, showcasing the fragrances of the island’s vegetation.

Maquis Corse

Marc-Antoine Corticchiato & Pierre Hermé
DR

This year, the plants and aromatic herbs of the Corsican maquis were at the heart of the 12th Art’è Gustu event, a fine food festival which is held every year in the spring in the ancient city of Aleria on the eastern coast. This event, the purpose of which is to highlight the natural and gastronomic heritage of Corsica, invites those who love food from the connoisseur to the more inquisitive, to re-discover the taste of fine food.
The three sponsors of the festival, Christophe Adam, Pierre Sang and Pierre Hermé, have put together creations where erba barona (Corsican thyme), nepita (wild mint) or even rosemary feature prominently… whose the secrets they shared during a master class.
Art’è Gustu also organised a workshop entitled “The taste of the fragrances,” bringing together the pastry chef Pierre Hermé and the perfumer Marc-Antoine Corticchiato. Together, they compare and contrast the senses of taste and smell, which come from the same closely-linked vocabulary. The participants were given the opportunity to experiment with the use of the sunflower plants, mastic trees and myrtle in fine food on the one hand and perfume making on the other hand.
After this aromatic immersion in the maquis, there is no doubt that Art’è Gustu will find a theme from the rich diversity of the local Corsican cuisine for its next event.
Maquis Corse

The aromatic plants of the Isle of Beauty, Stephane Rogliano.

Horticultural production, growing wild plants, walk with a nose.

 +33(0) 6 19 89 65 36

Art’è Gustu

The coming together of the art of fine cuisine and traditional know-how.

The aromatic plants of the Isle of Beauty, Stephane Rogliano.

Horticultural production, growing wild plants, walk with a nose.

 +33(0) 6 19 89 65 36

Art’è Gustu

The coming together of the art of fine cuisine and traditional know-how.