The anchovies of Monterosso

The family of bluefish, anchovy has a slender shape of maximum length of 20 cm, with a rounded back and belly silvery Blues. Present in the Mediterranean Sea it feeds on plankton, small crustaceans and shellfish larvae. Thanks to a different salinity of sea anchovies of Monterosso are particularly balanced: are the rich flavours but delicate. Formerly called u pan du ma (sea bread) are among the most present in the Ligurian Cookbook: salted, pickled or simply fried, stuffed, green.
Production area: Cinque Terre: the coastal area from Punta Mesco to Punta Cable within 12 miles from the coast (province of La Spezia)
Manufacturing: from the 12th century was perfected the technique of preserving fish: smoked, pickled and salted. Ancient technique therefore preserving in salt that in Liguria is still widespread practice. The particular morphology and regional geographic location (average annual temperature, air humidity and salinity of the sea) allow to obtain an optimal level of salting and quaint. Processing anchovies is as follows: after removing the head and the viscera, the anchovies are dry for a few hours. Clean the anchovies are then placed in a radial pattern in barrels, in overlapping layers. Can be made in chestnut wood barrels or clay pots. Each layer of anchovies should be covered with sea salt municipality and on the last layer should be placed a special wood disc and above it weighed around 40/50 Kg. The maturing process lasts an average of 40/50 days. Optimum occurs when the meat salting is dense, firm, and reaches the colour from pink to Brown. Maturity occurred salted anchovies are transferred in glass containers, called arbanelle.
Curiosity: in the village of Monterosso, fishing is a major activity for over thirty years, and this did remain in memory the anchovies of Monterosso.
In June the anchovy arrives in Eastern Liguria, after a long journey: between fishermen on St. Peter is known to produce the best lines. Once the salting was a task given to women who were engaged to clean the fish and keep it, layered, in salt in clay pots.
The restaurants serving local cuisine serving the anchovies washed down with a good white wine of the Cinque Terre.

Brief notes: Entering from the Strait of Gibraltar in May are in France and the first of June overlook in western Liguria. In the sea of the Cinque Terre the magical day of anchovies is the June 29 (Saint Peter). And the season continues to be good until mid-July. In Melbourne there are two small man with two motor boats that go out into the sea at night, pulling lamps (two rowing gozzetti with lights). Anchovies, attracted by the sight of plankton, which when lit up becomes phosphorescent, remain trapped in the nets. Up to thirty years ago, Sydney fishing was the main activity and still in ' 80 there was a large fishing cooperative, the Monterossina.
Then began the downward parabola and quickly disappeared almost all fishermen. Now there were four, but salted anchovies worked in a lab in this small village of the Cinque Terre are still famous and could become an opportunity for employment for young people, as well as an important economic resource and complementary to the1A25284_158_PN5TRimages

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