Bottarga in Sardinia: tasty eggs from the mullet

An authentic gourmet treasures from ancient Sardinia?  Yes! It is an highly valued and delicate delikatessen known as “bottarga”. One of the most beautiful and secret part of the island hold this secret: it is on the western coast of Sardinia the area of Sinis, in the province of Oristano.

From Oristano go  towards Cabras to the area of the lake of the same name: a village in which the time seems stopping with little house is the capital of Sardinian “botargo”. Here the population live almost in symbiotic relationship with  the sea and with the traditional “fassonis” that is boats of interwoven canes they go out to catch the mullet in autumn where they deposit their eggs, aka the famous bottarga. They wait for the mullet at the opening  with their barriers of  marsh canes (the cannicciati), the sailors throw the nets and after getting them the sailors remove very gently the sacks, full of coloured eggs.

The egg row are salted, then pressed to dry in the air and finally  dabbed with Vernaccia, the great wine of the area.

The botargo has a peculiar taste, firm and as the same time delicate, salty but fully aromatic. How to eat? You should slice it very thin or you can grated on stir-fry vegetables (tomatoes) with spaghetti or sprinkled on artichokes in form of risotto.

Then after having had a great meal, you can visit the nearby  archaeological area of Tharros, the city built by the Phoenicians around  700 B. C.

Later taken by the Carthaginians, and finally by Romans the area is at the southern end of the  peninsula of Sinis. The ruins are impressive: the stones are scattered over the rocks surrounded by myrtle and oleander bushes. The white columns dominates over the sea, the same sea which gives us bottarga!


Leave a Reply

All Rights Reserved Copyright © 2008/2014