5 things to know about Bottarga
Enjoyed as far back as the Byzantine period, Bottarga is the roe of Mediterranean fish such as grey mullet, tuna or even swordfish. Preserved in salt, thin slices of this unique, savoury delicacy pack a jaw-dropping punch: discerning fans all remember their first taste in vivid Technicolor.
It is one of those unassuming little products which has grown to dizzy heights in the food world, much like certain mushrooms, caviar, saffron, truffles, goose liver...
- TRADITIONAL METHODS OF PRODUCTION:
Think of the era of the Phoenicians…a time before refrigeration when salt was essential as a preservative and no part of the catch could be wasted.
The method is the very same today: roe sacks of the female fish are cautiously removed to ensure that the sheath is not broken. After they have been washed thoroughly, the roe are cured in sea salt for a couple of days out in the salubrious Mediterranean sun. Sometimes the roe is pressed between pieces of wood to form a dense, rectangular ‘brick’ which is hung up to mature. Alternatively, it is sealed with beeswax to form flattish tongue shapes: this is an excellent way to prevent the roe from drying out. The final product is firm and solid with a rich, amber colour.
- DIFFERENT FORMS IN WHICH IT IS SOLD:
Plunging the roe into melted beeswax is a popular way to preserve this precious product of the sea: it helps to conserve all of its hearty nutrients and to inhibit oxidation. Elgea offers bottarga in three forms: Grated in original and smoked flavours sold in jars: a speedy and simple way to sprinkle this saintly “seasoning”…a little goes a long, long, delicious way, and in the traditional beeswax packaging which can be consumed in a variety of ways.ter layer of wax is carefully removed before the Bottarga is sliced into paper-thin, magical wafers of pure heaven.
- DON’T LET THE PRICE PUT YOU OFF!
Bottarga is a healthy treat, yes, it is expensive but think of it as an investment that just keeps on giving. You will only need a few slivers to completely transform any dish and, if kept well wrapped in the fridge, Bottarga should last a long time with many happy returns.
- DON’T FORGET THE HEALTH BENEFITS.
Since so little is needed, the salt content is not worth mentioning. Naturally Bottarga has all of the fantastic nutrients of fish: it is, in essence, a superfood packed with zinc, omega-3, protein, calcium, vitamins A and D. Also, Bottarga has recently been hailed as a true cancer fighter.
A real investment in longevity!
From nibbles to starters to a delectable main course, even just a flake of Bottarga can completely revitalise any dish. And don’t forget: Bottarga is the essence of Greek Taramosalata.
- Crumble it over a Caesar salad for a fresh taste sensation.Use our smoked grated Bottarga for that extra punch of flavour!
- A shaving of Bottarga, a squeeze of lime, a dash of olive oil, a hunk of crusty bread: another out-of-this-world ‘banquet’.
- Lightly sautéed with olive oil, parsley, chilli and lemon juice, Bottarga forms the basis of a velvety pasta sauce to die for. Try this sauce drizzled over green vegetables like beans, broccoli or asparagus too!
Whenever you have the urge, dream up a recipe of your own. Think of yourself as Midas creating miracles with a touch of this gastronomic gold! Use it sparingly and respectfully; wait for your new-ocean-salty concoction to speak volumes to your palate!