Calabria is split between mountains and coastal plains, and in inland areas the pig plays a huge role in the cuisine.
Many families keep their own animal, and if you're lucky enough to be invited to visit around slaughter time, you'll be treated to a huge feast of fresh pork meat followed by long salami and ham making sessions. The pig's wild cousin the boar is hunted in the mountains, and the meat from this often makes its way into stews alongside the plentiful fungi and chestnuts that grow in the autumn.
You'll also see lots of sheep and goats which are kept mainly for their milk and cheese. Where the mountains meet the sea, the land is very fertile and with the hot climate fruit and vegetables grow in profusion. Citrus fruits are one of the main products, including the bergamot orange which is perhaps most familiar for giving Earl Grey tea its distinctive aroma, but is also candied locally to use in desserts.
Other widely grown vegetables which regularly find their way into Calabrian dishes include aubergine, tomato, and the sweet red onions from Tropea. As you'd expect, seafood is readily found in the coastal areas, with swordfish being a celebrated food during spring and summer. Food festivals abound, with different villages celebrating different products, from sausages in Castrovillari in February through to chestnuts in Acri in October.
Ciro DOC is the main wine produced in Calabria, and is available in red, white and rose, and legend has it that this was the wine served to Olympic champions in Ancient Greece. A speciality wine of Calabria is the white Greco di Bianco DOC, made from dried grapes and quite strong and sweet.