Bottarga is the salted, pressed, and dried roe pouch of grey sea mullet (mugine). A traditional delicacy of Sardinia, bottarga has also been called "Poor Man's Caviar". Full sea and fish flavors with a slight sweet texture, this product is gaining much appreciation among top US chefs in various uses.
Bottarga di Muggine is milder than the tuna bottarga, slightly nutty, briny, and aromatic.
The roe is removed intact from the fish, like a long fat cake. The roe sack is carefully washed and purified with clean water; the roe sack needs to remain whole and not break in order for this traditional process to be carried out and ensure the finest quality. The sack is carefully packed under sea salt to draw out the moisture, pressed gently under boards, and it is dry, it is hanged in a cool, dry place for several days. This ancient curing process preserves the roe and ages very much as if it were a prosciutto.
Bottarga is sliced, shaved, or grated on top of crostini, scrambled eggs, pasta, risotto, and fish stews much as one would do with Parmigiano cheese. Use a potato peeler or a truffle slicer to make beautiful ribbons or shavings for topping any fish dish. It is excellent for pairing with mint, thinly sliced, on fresh tomatoes, or grated and worked into a paste with olive oil for flavoring a Linguine alle Vongole (Linguine with Clam Sauce) as it is done in Ristorante Cammillo in Florence directly on pasta drowned in abundant melted butter.
The Bottarga di Muggine is vacuum packed. Shelf life is 6 months. Refrigerate after opening.