Food · Lifestyle

The Anchovies of Monterosso al Mare

Few months ago I’ve been travelling to Cinque Terre – which is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. It definitely is a destination everyone should visit. In this post I will share you about the typical food in the villages and one of that is the anchovies of Monterosso. And even if you are not a big fan of this kind of fish, like me, give it a try, you will be pleasantly surprised. I hope you will enjoy this food post and in the next couple of weeks expect more tips for your trip and pictures from Cinque Terre.

When travel to Italy you will find out that the name of the anchovies there can be alici or acciughe but, this is still the same oily unique fish. 

The famous Monterosso anchovies live in the Mediterranean Sea where the sea water of the coast of the village has its particularly characteristics: type of salinity, temperature and the level of humidity and they all give the fish the intense taste of the sea and unique sweetness.

Anchovy fishing is happening during the night, when is dark and the fishermen use fluorescent laps, which make the plankton,which the fish eats, visible and the anchovies are getting attracted. Once caught in the nets the local fishermen brings their bobbing boats full of fish in the port. 

The preservation of food with salt, is an ancient technique traditionally entrusted to women and main one to preserve fish. The maturing process can lasts between 40-60 days and at the end of the process, the fish is firm with brownish colour. Once matured, which happened in the fall the salted anchovies are arranged in glass jars, and ready to be sold.

The fish preserved in this way should be consumed within one year. They can be used to add flavour to sauces and pizzas. 

If you want to eat the anchovies like the locals do, spread them out on a plate and season with olive oil, oregano and a hint of garlic.

The anchovies appear on every day manu in all small restaurants and trattoria and are sold like a french fries on the street – cono d`asporto. 

But anchovies, previously cleaned and served on warm bread with a curl of butter is a paradisiacal experience within everyone’s reach, even those who haven’t a clue about cooking. They pair well with a fine white wine from the Cinque Terre.

Hope you enjoy my Monterosso travel guide.

Xxo, Rosie 💐

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