Anchovy fishing in Cetara
The anchovy is a very common fish in our seas, for most of the year it lives near the coast, especially during the spawning period, while in the cold seasons it moves to greater depths.
In Cetara, (a small fishing town on the Amalfi Coast), since ancient times, anchovies have been fished, which has always been a widely consumed food. The municipality of this small village on the Amalfi Coast is famous for the Colatura di Alici, a product of gastronomic excellence which in 2015 received the recognition of the DOP mark.
Do you know what anchovy sauce is?
The origins of this gastronomic product are very old, going back to the Romans who produced a sauce of dried fish called ”garum”. As its name suggests, it is a kind of transparent liquid sauce with an intense taste, the result of the seasoning and skilful pressing of salted anchovies. Already in ancient times, anchovies were salted and placed in glazed earthenware jars so that they could be preserved during the winter months when fishing was scarce.
How is the anchovy sauce prepared?
The anchovy sauce requires a very long preparation time and is normally difficult to find outside the province of Salerno. The fundamental ingredient for making Colatura are fresh anchovies, which are caught in the sea off the Amalfi Coast between March 25 and July 22.
The anchovies, once caught, are stripped of the head and entrails, then they are put in salt for 24 consecutive hours, placed inside large wooden barrels and completely covered with salt.
Weights are placed on top of the barrels, and over time the amber liquid that makes up the pour emerges to the surface. The liquid must be filtered and can be used after 18 months.
How to use anchovy sauce in cooking?
The Colatura di alici is not only particularly tasty, but it is also full of benefits for our body, since it is rich in nutrients such as mineral salts, amino acids and vitamin A. It is a condiment with a very strong taste. and salty, and it is decidedly versatile in the kitchen, used in drops to give more flavor to your dishes. The colatura d’alici is mainly used as a condiment for spaghetti, but also to flavor dishes based on fish or vegetables.