Colors and design of Mediterranean dishes


The Authentic Mediterranean food of Calabria has a specific design, a certain number of five Colors you will eat routinely.

Here are the five colors you will eat on a regular basis, also enhancing your health!

Our country Italy, and our region (Calabria) will make you consume vegetables and fruits from 5 color families, so that you’ll be getting a broad range of vitamins, antioxidants and phytochemicals that can enhance your health and protect you from disease.

We will now provide guidance on the Calabrian foods that are best for Body Ecology and to improve your Health.


1. RED

The Nutrients of red are those red grapes, which specifically have a powerful antioxidant known as resveratrol, which has anti-inflammatory properties and may help lower your risk for heart disease and cancer.

In Calabria you can find some great options for red foods to eat, and the dishes coming out has a really beautiful design:

  • Red onions of Tropea
  • Radicchio
  • Pomegranate
  • Radishes
  • Red bell pepper
  • Red chili pepper

Further you can add:

  • Pink grapefruit
  • Red grapes (from Cirò Marina)
  • Red apples
  • Tomatoes (From Lametia Terme)

All the great nutrients inside the afore-mentioned red fruits and vegetables include lycopene found in watermelon, pink grapefruit and tomatoes. Lycopene is known for fighting prostate cancer and may be one of the reasons the Mediterranean diet is so healthy.



In the plateau of Sila are some of the yellow and orange foods that you can eat as part of your Body Ecology program:

  • Lemons of Reggio Calabria
  • Yellow summer squash
  • Yellow pepper
  • Corn
  • Carrots of Lametia
  • Pumpkin

We recommend also to add these to your diet, which will realize a magnificent design for every “mise en place” of dishes:

  • Sweet potatoes of Sila
  • Yellow apples of the same plateau
  • Yellow beets

Inside such Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables you will find a powerful nutritional punch, given that they are all rich in beta carotene, vitamin A and vitamin C, powerful antioxidants that neutralize the free radicals that roam around your body and damage your cells. researches also link high consumption of specific carotenoids like beta-cryptoxanthin, which is found in orange and yellow foods, to a lower risk for developing inflammatory arthritis.

Further this diet will neutralize free radicals, which are thought to be responsible for artherosclerosis and heart disease, cataracts, blood vessel damage, inflammatory diseases and arthritis, asthma and even cancer.



The Nutrients of green vegetables are phytochemicals that improve your health and offer plenty of fiber.

In Calabria you will find many vegetables rich of sulfurous compounds that help your liver detoxify harmful cancer-causing substances, prevent macular degeneration, and protect women from ovarian cancer.

Other component of green vegetables and fruits is potassium, which is great for you heart. Most local greens (green peppers and green fruits, excepting limes) are especially rich in phytonutrients.

Main vegetables and fruits are:

  • Green leaf lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Zucchini
  • Asparagus
  • Cucumbers
  • Artichoke
  • Limes
  • Bergamot



The Nutrients of Calabrian Blue and purple vegetables and fruits are some of the most important and most overlooked. Many of these blue and purple foods are rich in the phytonutrient anthocyanin, another type of flavonoid that is great for fighting the damage that daily living does to your cells.

You can think, for example, to local grapes.

Further, we can list the following blue and purple foods you can eat as part of your Body Ecology program:

  • Purple cabbage
  • Black currants
  • Purple asparagus
  • Blueberries

They are all protective against some cancers, and good for urinary tract health and maintaining memory function.



In Calabria we have, on the white list, onions and garlic, which are considered super foods for their amazing health benefits.

Onions and garlic are both members of the Allium family, they can lower blood sugar and have amazing anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Further, onions are a great prebiotic, given that they feed the probiotics in your intestines.

We can list:

  • Cauliflower
  • Onions
  • Daikon radish
  • Jicama
  • Garlic
  • Annona (an exotic fruit, in the above picture, growing near Reggio Calabria).



All those Colors can add a delightful visual appeal to eating healthy foods. The design of your dishes will be wonderful. Further, following this rainbow, including fruits and vegetables that are green, red, yellow, orange, white, blue and purple, you’ll be getting plenty of vital nutrients that enhance your health.

Bergamot: Scent of Mediterranean Sea



A COASTAL FRUIT: Perfume of Mediterranean Sea

Ouside the region of Calabria, bergamot is known as the citrus fruit that gives Earl Grey tea, with a distinctive flavour, and as a natural essential oil that is extracted from bergamot skins.

Nowadays, bergamot groves run from the background of the coastal land to the deep seas off Calabria’s coast and, under the branches of their low-hanging tree, hide the mystery of a creature surely grown elsewhere, which only in this area  gives us the perfection of its essential oils.

Under its skin bergamot  holds up a yellow bergamot fruit and a stream of liquid that smells lemon sharp with soft notes of orange. That liquid is an oil highly recommended for aromatherapy treatments and having strong antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties. Unfortunately, apart from its healing properties, the oil does have one side-effect: put on human skin and then exposed to sunlight, it causes discolouring and burning.



In the Mediterranean Bergamot is well-known for several centuries and described as early as 1708. maybe Bergamot is a hybrid of sour orange and citron or lemon. It has usually been assumed that the real ancestor was the lemon, but Chapot has presented rather convincing evidence in support of the conclusion that some kind of acid lime was the other parent.  For sure we can only say that  the distinctive aroma of bergamot oil occurs also in the limettas (C. limetta Risso) of the Mediterranean basin (this limetta is often incorrectly referred to as bergamot).

The fruits contain few seeds and they are monoembryonic in nature. Its season of maturity is late winter. There are several named cultivars of Bergamot grown in Italy, namely, Castagnaro, Fantastico, and Femminello.

Only the Calabrian tree is small to medium at maturity, thornless, and somewhat spreading in habit, while the fruit is medium in size and variable in shape with obovoid most commonly occurring form. The flesh is pale yellow, acidic, and has a moderate juice content. The yellow rind has a slightly rough texture and a distinctive rind oil.

It has commonly been regarded as a botanical variety of C. aurantium , but the tree is moderately vigorous, the leaves are large and somewhat like the lemon in color, form, and emargination.

The flower buds and flowers are medium-large and pure white and there is but one bloom.  A distinctive characteristic of both foliage and fruits is the strongly pungent and agreeably aromatic oil, which is similar to that of the sour orange leaf, though the rind oil of the latter is different.



Nobody knows why the commercial culture of this fruit, which is grown primarily for the rind oil, is virtually confined to the province of Calabria in southern Italy. Here the most recent statistics indicate a total planting of approximately 7,500 acres. It is quite strange why the industrial adventure or Bergamot is limited to a small area of the region. In fact, it is possible say that the tree grows and bears well in Sicily and in portions of North Africa and elsewhere, but it is a mystery why the oil is inferior in quality and not profitable, when coming from these areas.

At the same time, the diffusion of Bergamot oil is commercially important, given that it constitutes the base of cologne water (eau de cologne), a globally known product and, perhaps, the most widely used toilet water in the world. Another minor use of Bergamot is the petit grain oil, another product of minor importance, distilled from the leaves and young growth.  Another is the highly acid juice derived from the oil extraction process, a citrate of lime or citric acid employed as antiseptic.

Of course, bergamot oil essence has many other perfumery uses, but the main employment of Bergamot, according to Chapot (1962) is the cologne water first developed in Cologne in 1676 by an Italian emigrant, Paolo Feminis. This obscure emigrant began the refinement of oil and the product was also commercialized by his son-in-law, Gian Maria Farina. Thus, the first manufacture dates back to 1709.