In the heart of the Cinque Terre National Park, the charming village of Monterosso, preserves the ancient tradition of anchovy fishing to provide ambrosia sought after by top chefs.
In Monterosso the fisherman catch a particular species of anchovy with a bright slivery belly and flanks and a bluish-black back. After a long journey this anchovy reaches eastern Liguria in the month of June, and the local fisherman knows that Saint John’s feast day is when the best catches are made.
The anchovies of Monterosso have a particular balanced flavor, neither too bland nor too strong.
Once known as “bread of the sea”, the anchovy is a leading ingredient of many Ligurian recipes: salted, in lemon, in oil, stuffed, baked, marinated or simply deep fried.
Fishing as long been one of the Monterosso’s chief sources of income: the precious catches used to be sold fresh locally with part put away by preserving in salt. Salting, very ancient technique that dates back to the 12th century, was traditionally a job for the women of the village.
Salting begins with gutting the fish and removing the heads, after which the anchovies are left to dry for several hours. Next the fishes are placed in a wide bowl with a liberal sprinkling of coarse sea salt and left for some hours while the salt leaches out most of the blood.
The anchovies are then drained to remove the blood and brine before being packed tightly into glass jars in alternating cross layers of fish and salt, with the fishes placed belly to back as dictated by tradition.
When there are no empty spaces left, brine, made by dissolving as much salt as possible in hot water, is poured into the jars to eliminate any air and fill the jars. A glass disc is used to press down on the topmost layer of anchovies, and the brine must cover this as well as being approx. 1 cm higher than the last layer of anchovies. Finally a 1 kg weight is put on top of the glass disc.
The anchovies thus prepared can be eaten after 2 months, checking they are still covered by the brine.
1 april 2021
Loop San Terenzo – La Serra – Rocchetta – Zanego – Lerici
13 december 2020
The Parish church of Marinasco: breathtaking terrace over the Gulf of Poets
6 november 2020
L’Antro del Corchia: the jewel of the Apuan Alps
23 oktober 2020
The Monterosso’s lemons’ festival
11 oktober 2020
The origins of the Via dell’Amore
21 april 2020
Lerici and San Terenzo: the bay of the english
27 marts 2020
Vernazza: on the waterfront
7 december 2019
Corniglia: a terrace on the sea
8 september 2019
The path 436: from Montemarcello to Punta Corvo beach
22 april 2019
The anchovies of Monterosso
3 december 2018
The Via Francigena: walking in the history
18 september 2018
The path n. 508: from Vernazza to Reggio
2 maj 2018
Portovenere: splendid pearl on the sea!
11 januar 2018
Montereggio: a village of booksellers and publishers
15 november 2017
From Lerici to Bocca di Magra with the Liguria Trail (SL)
13 august 2017
The island of Palmaria
14 marts 2017
Sciacchetrail 2017 – Third Edition
24 januar 2017
Tellaro: the pearl of the Gulf of Poets
20 november 2016
From Vernazza to Riomaggiore via sanctuaries
26 september 2016
SCIACCHETRA’ 2016 : the tradition goes on…