Casting of Cetara anchovies (fish, molluscs and crustaceans)

colatura di alici di cetara

Cetara is an ancient fishing village in the province of Salerno, still today characterized by an economy focused on fishing and crafts. A Cetara continues to be present in the culinary tradition, the flowing of anchovies, heir of the Garum, a dish descripted by Pliny and Horace as a sauce of creamy fish that was obtained by macerating alternating layers of small and whole fish, probably Anchovies and larger fish cut into pieces, perhaps mackerel or tuna, with layers of chopped aromatic herbs, all covered with coarse salt.

What is the anchovy flow?

The anchovy flowing which is produced in Cetara is an amber liquid obtained following an ancient procedure that the fishermen of the place have handed down from father to son.


It starts from the technique of working the anchovies under salt, of which the casting is a derivative: the anchovies freshly caught, throughout the spring period, are deprived of the head and the innards and then placed in a container, sprinkled with abundant sea salt for 24 Hours. After the first salting, they are put in a small barrel, the Terzigno, and arranged with the classic technique ' ' head-tail ' ' in alternating layers of salt. After completing the work, the Terzigno is covered with a wooden disk, on which weights are placed. Due to the pressing and maturation of the fish, the liquid secreted by the anchovies begins to surface. This liquid is the basic element for the casting: progressively harvested as it is inserted into large glass bottles and exposed to direct sunlight for about four or five months, because it evaporate the water and increases the concentration so that, in Gender between the end of October and the beginning of November, everything is ready for the last phase: the liquid collected and preserved is poured back into the terzigno where the anchovies have remained in ripening. So, slowly colending through the various layers of the fish, it collects the best of the organoleptic characteristics. It is recovered through a hole specially practiced in the Terzigno, transferred to another container and filtered by the use of linen sheets, called caps. The final result is a clear distillate of amber-coloured cargo, almost brown-mahogany, with a decisive and full-bodied flavor that at Cetara is the traditional condiment for the spaghetti of the vigilante, as well as for the bruschetta, the Christmas broccoli and other vegetables: Traditionally considered a poor food, substitute for fresh fish, today is a seasoning sought and appreciated at all levels.

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