French – Bottarga
Spanish – Bottarga
Gujarati – બોટારગા
Hindi – बोटारगा
Bottarga (or botargo) is often called the poor man’s caviar and is the Italian word for a dense cured fish roe made from tuna, gray mullet or swordfish.
The food bears many different names and is prepared in several different ways.
To make bottarga, the roe pouch of the fish is massaged until its air pockets disappear. It is then dried and cured in sea salt, hardening into a dense tablet after a few weeks. The bottarga is then cut into logs and coated in beeswax, resembling a petrified sausage, a technique which has been traced back to the Phoenicians.
Bottarga has a highly salty taste that can be compared to dried anchovies, but with a silkier texture. It keeps well stored in the refrigerator and a little goes a long way. Often grated sparingly in the manner of truffles over an omelette or pasta, bottarga can also be cut into very small wedges, sprinkled with lemon juice and served as an appetizer.
The product is similar to karasumi, the softer cured mullet roe from Japan and East Asia.