Bottarga is the salted, pressed, and dried roe sack of grey sea mullet (muggine). A traditional delicacy in Sicily known as "Poor Man's Caviar," bottarga is also gaining appreciation among top U.S. chefs for its full flavor and variety of uses.
Bottarga di Muggine is full of the flavors of the sea with a slight sweetness and nuttiness. It is milder than Bottarga di Tonno.
Salting tuna roe sacs is a very old process—pictorial records date back to 2,900 years ago—and is done throughout the world: Turkey, Greece, North Africa, and today even Australia and Japan. Sicily maintains a reverence for bottarga on par with Sardegna. The roe is removed intact from the large tuna fish, like a long fat cake. The sacks are carefully washed and purified with clean water. The roe sacks need to remain whole and unbroken for this traditional process to be carried out and to ensure the finest quality. The sack is carefully packed under sea salt to draw out the moisture and pressed gently under boards. Once dry, the sacks are hung in a cool, dry place for several days. This ancient curing process preserves the roe and ages it very much as if it were a prosciutto.
Bottarga can be sliced, shaved, or grated on top of crostini, scrambled eggs, pasta, risotto, and fish stews much as one would do with Parmigiano cheese. Use a potato peeler or a truffle slicer to make beautiful ribbons or shavings for topping any fish dish. It is excellent for pairing with mint on fresh tomatoes. Grate and work into a paste with olive oil for flavoring Linguine alle Vongole (Linguine with Clam Sauce). Or do one of our favorite restaurants in Florence Trattoria Cammillo does and grate directly over pasta drowned in abundant melted butter.
Vacuum packed. Refrigerate after opening.
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