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Eat This Word: Bottarga

Jennie Dockser

April 02, 2018


WHAT?  Fish in condiment form. Bottarga is a salted, cured fish roe, usually from grey mullet, that is often used to elevate a dish’s flavors and channel the sea. Though the name suggests an Italian origin, bottarga is no stranger to many other cuisines, showing up in Middle Eastern and European specialties. In Italy, this topping is commonly served with crostini or atop a stellar pasta dish, while in Lebanon, it’s sliced, covered with raw garlic and olive oil, and eaten with flatbread. 

Though the process of making bottarga is not difficult, it does take time, patience, and dedication. The fish is brined, meaning it must sit in salt for days, weeks, or even months, depending on the desired outcome. It then gets a deep tissue massage while air pockets in the roe are removed (the place where fully ripe eggs, a.k.a. the little balls on top of your sushi, are stored). The fish is then dried and brined again, adding that distinct salty flavor. We suggest that you skip a few steps and just buy it vacuum-sealed online or at an Italian food store. Then use it to wow your dinner guests by shredding it onto spaghetti with clams or serving it thinly sliced on top of a simple salad of arugula, artichokes, and oil. Buon appetito!

WHERE? Maine Escape

WHEN? Thursday, April 05, 2018

HOW? Alewive’s Brook Farm Lobster Tail with Citrus, Blueberry Variations, Avocado, and Bottarga