Bottarga is the salted, pressed, and dried roe sack of Sicilian tuna (tonno in Italian) A traditional delicacy in Sicily, bottarga's full flavor and variety of uses are gaining appreciation among U.S. top chefs. Bottarga has also been called "Poor Man's Caviar". Extremely flavorful, for the few true seafood lover.
Bottarga di Tonno is much stronger than the bottarga di Mugine, very aromatic, and full of sea flavors.
Salting tuna roe sacs is a very old process--pictorial records date to 2,900 years ago. In fact bottarga is still made in Turkey, Greece, North Africa, and today even in Australia and Japan. Sicily maintains a reverence for bottarga on par with Sardegna.
The roe is removed intact from the large tuna fish, like a long fat cake. The sacks are carefully washed and purified with clean water; the roe sacks need 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 after they are dry, the sacks are 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.
Try hot fettuccine doused with garlic-infused olive oil, red pepper flakes, and grated tuna bottarga, or shave the bottarga paper thin and sprinkle with a zesty Sicilian olive oil such as Olio Verde and serve as an antipasto. Grate the bottarga as a seasoning or a condiment for pasta with seafood sauces, sliced over tomatoes or grilled vegetables for a very authentic Sicilian experience.
Vacuum packed. Shelf life unrefrigerated is 6 months. Refrigerate after opening.