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Anchovies under salt

Anchovies-sub-saltWhat are anchovies in salt?

The anchovies (so-called anchovies) are an irreplaceable fruit of fishing, a very flourishing activity in all the coastal municipalities of the provinces of Naples and Salerno. The traditional recipes for the preparation of the anchovies are numerous throughout the midday, but in particular the recipe of the anchovies under salt has been kept unchanged for reasons, as well as taste, also of necessity. The preservation of salt, in fact, allows to keep the anchovies for whole months, making sure that they can be consumed during the long periods of bad weather, when it is impossible to go out by sea and when the fishing is poor.

Preparation

The procedure adopted both in the family and by small companies that market the product, provides that fresh anchovies are kept in salt a first time for about 2 days, and then be cleaned completely, salted a second time, covered With weights because they are pressed and expel the blood naturally and then left to mature. As well as simply under salt, the anchovies are often mixed, at the time of the second salting, even with the ground chili and with bits of garlic, because they acquire a spicy flavor.

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Casting of Cetara anchovies (fish, molluscs and crustaceans)

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.

Processing

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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