Bottarga, tuna egg
Product included in the national list of traditional agri-food products (PAT)
Type PAT : Preparation of fish, molluscs and crustaceans and special breeding techniques of the same
Technical data sheet of the traditional agri-food product (PAT)
Area of production: Municipalities of Trapani and Favignana.
Brief description of the product: The tuna bottarga has a color ranging from light pink to dark pink. The consistency is compact and the color uniform. It is eaten in slices with a drizzle of oil or grated on pasta, developing the characteristic aroma. The only preservative is salt.
Description of the processing and maturing methods: The tuna egg is taken during the evisceration phase of the tuna and is hollow inside; this characteristic allows the operators to introduce a saturated solution of water and salt, which is renewed cyclically. When the brine comes out clean, the product will be salted and subjected to pressure. In the apical part of the egg a hole is made through which the remaining liquids are drained. The drainage phase continues for about a month and a half; the salt is changed and the pressure increased. At the end of the salting period the product is washed and tied to dry vertically.
Production Period: After the "slaughter", which usually takes place in May.
Elements proving that the methodologies have been practiced in a homogeneous way and according to traditional rules for a period of not less than 25 years: Tuna fishing was introduced in the Trapani area around 1300 and mainly interested the coast that goes from Capo S. Vito to Castellammare del Golfo. The unions still used are those of Favignana and Punta S. Giuliano.
The processing of tuna products is contemporary with the processing of tuna.
Source Pat Cards: Sicily Region
Card insertion: Ignazio Caloggero
Information contributions: Web, Region of Sicily
Note: The populating of the cards of the Heritage database proceeds in incremental phases: cataloging, georeferencing, insertion of information and images. The cultural property in question has been cataloged, and the first information has been entered. In order to enrich the information content, further contributions are welcome, if you wish you can contribute through our area "Your Contributions"