Mediterranean Sea Fish
The Amalfi Coast is a UNESCO World Heritage Site: the picturesque bays overlooking the crystal clear sea, the carefully cultivated terraces and the magnificent diversity of the villages that are part of this unique and special area.
Among the villages of the Amalfi Coast stands Cetara, whose name probably derives from Cetarii (fishing villages), or Cetarium (a place where fish is processed), where the fish and seafaring tradition took its roots in the VIII century AD.
Cetara has its culinary history, passed down for generations, made of ancient and jealously protected recipes that have allowed this earth to merit the name of Slow Food. And it is here that the anchovy fishing , which quality has remained unchanged over the centuries, has allowed us to develop processes of conservation and salting the fish, reaching the characteristic and valuable qualuty of the brined fish.
Anchovies have ancient origins and, because they are perfect to preserve in brine, they have been consumed since ancient times. They are particularly tasty and are indicated both to be fried in oil or preserved in salt, or to be processed giving life to the famous anchovy sauce, perfect for sandwiches and tasty dressings.
In addition to having a very wide gastronomic use, anchovies, being part of the bluefish family – are also rich in omega-three, protein, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, iron, phosphorus and selenium.
The famous extract is made with anchovies fished in the Gulf of Salerno at a particular time of the year: from March to June. In this period, in fact , anchovies contain less fat and are more suitable to be processed and stored in salt. The process is still that of old times : fish, once caught , is immediately deprived of the head and entrails , and is arranged alternating ” head / tail” in layers with salt and placed in containers made of oak called terzigni (thirds) , because they have the size of a third of a cask.
Once filled , the containers are covered with wooden disks (called tompagni ) then marine stones serving as weights are put on them. With time, the anchovies release their liquid which rises in the high part of containers and which is then transferred in open containers exposed to sun to make it more concentrated. When the anchovies season ( or 4/5 months after being processed in containers ), the liquid is again poured over them, permitting it to seep through the layers of fish and salt.
Only at this point the liquid is collected through a hole specially made on the bottom of container with a tool called vriale.
PESTO WITH ANCHOVY EXTRACT
A set of flavors that, like a hug, merge to become one. When the anchovies are as good as fresh ones, certified and controlled in a workmanlike manner, only this way they suit to blend with other flavors.
When Mealitaly creates a recipe, we make it selecting all products that compose it, leaving no stone unturned. And, in this case, we combined two different characters in an authentic Campanian product to 100%.
MEDITERRANEAN TUNA IN SLICES
Cetara , a small fishing town on the Amalfi Coast , has always been, since ancient times, a village with fishing traditions. It ‘s very likely, in fact, that its name derives from the Latin Cetaria – a trap, or cetari – big fish monger.
In the port of Cetara lies the most numerous part of the national tuna fleet : it consists of about 25 vessels, best of the best of the Mediterranean. Tuna fishing is practiced in the warm months of the year, so it starts at the beginning of May and ends in July. During this time , Cetara boats sail across the Mediterranean in search for the flocks of the delicious red tuna.
Recently fishing this species of tuna is subject to the European Union limits acting on the recommendations of ICCAT , the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, setting the “fishing quotas” for the protection of the species considered at risk due to a strong demand, especially from Asian markets.
GROUND TUNA BOTARGO
Mealitaly loves challenges but, what is more important, we are not easily satisfied. For our tuna botargo we have chosen not any kind of tuna but a type difficult to find – – red tuna of the Mediterranean. Even in this case it is the raw material that makes this product so valuable. This special product is made in little quantity per year, just because we use the best tuna.