Everybody enjoys a glass of wine after a hard days’ work.
Now, imagine pairing it up with a slice of bread, drizzled with olive oil and thinly sliced Bottarga?
Bottarga is the “Mediterranean caviar.” It might be new to you, and the question that might pop is,” What does Bottarga taste like?”
Bottarga has flavored the Mediterranean, Asian and European cuisines for centuries.
From thinly slicing the Bottarga to finely grating it over dishes like risottos and pasta.
People have come to love it not only for its taste but its versatility.
What is Bottarga?
Curing and preserving food is a tradition followed all over the world for centuries.
Now, Bottarga is the culmination of this tradition. Bottarga is the cured and salted fish roe.
The process starts with carefully removing the egg pouch of the fish. The typically used fish consist of grey mullet or bluefin tuna.
The fish used differs according to the area or region. The eggs are then carefully massaged to remove any air pocket inside.
It is then salted and pressed to its shape. The final step involves air-drying the salted fish roe.
The result of all the drying and curing intensifies the flavor of the fish roe.
The Italian word for these cured fish roes is Bottarga. The term is widely used in other parts too.
However, it goes by different names around the world. The Japanese call it Karasumi, while in Arabic it is Battarikh.
Benefits of Eating Bottarga
If you are looking for a new culinary experience, try bottarga. Bottarga is dried and cured fish roe that can be eaten as an appetizer or used in many other dishes to add saltiness and flavor.
One of the many benefits of eating bottarga is that it’s a low-fat food. Because the roe is taken away during curing, there are no fats or oils in this product.
This means you can eat as much of it as you want without worrying about gaining weight.
Another benefit to adding this ingredient to your diet is that if done correctly, some people have found relief from asthma symptoms and allergies when they consume small amounts of this food every day.
Bottarga is rich in omega-three fatty acids and is a good source of Vitamin A.
This means that consuming this food regularly will help keep your immune system functioning correctly, strengthen the lining of your lungs and boost its ability to fight off infections.
It also contains niacin, which can help lower cholesterol, and riboflavin helps with the production of red blood cells.
While this food might not sound appealing at first glance, it has become quite popular with chefs worldwide who want their foods to have exotic flavors from around the world without traveling all over the globe.
So if you want to feel healthier and look for a new cooking ingredient, bottarga is a perfect choice.
What Does Bottarga Taste Like? Does Bottarga Taste Good?
You need to have an acquired palate to like Bottarga. The amber flakes of the Bottarga release the best aroma of the seawater.
You can compare it to the taste of the saltiness of parmesan cheese. Some see it as a truffle.
At the same time, it has the deep flavor of umami like Caviar and sea urchin. Thus, it is known as “the caviar for poor man.”
If you like dried anchovies, you will love Bottarga. It shares the same taste, the only difference being the texture.
Bottarga has a smooth texture that melts instantly.
The taste Chart of Bottarga
The culinary gem gets its unique flavor by considering a lot of factors. These include the type of fish used and the salinity level.
Some of the different kinds of Bottarga include:
- The Bottarga made from tuna roe has a more robust dried fish flavor. Plus, it is much saltier.
- The mullet roe is less salty and has the fishiness level similar to caviar and Uni.
- In Japan and China, the drying process of the Karasumi is shorter. The short drying process gives it a softer texture than Italian Bottarga.
Is Bottarga Salty?
Bottarga is an Italian delicacy made from fish eggs, typically tuna or mullet. It often appears in antipasti, salads, and pasta dishes.
It is not salty at all.
The taste of the fish eggs depends on what type you use for bottarga: mullet or tuna. Tuna tastes saltier because it has more sodium than a similar-sized piece of mullet.
Bottarga also varies in saltiness depending on the region where you buy it from or which species you’re eating: some people prefer Mediterranean bottarga instead of Japanese ones, while others might have an aversion to any kind that was dried with sea salt as opposed to sun-dried urchins – so ask before trying.
How to Cook Bottarga
Now, we all know what Bottarga is. Let us go to the next step and learn how to use Bottarga the right way.
All you got to do is follow the below steps:
The best way to taste the flavor of Bottarga is by having it raw. It can’t get as simple as slicing it thinly and enjoying it with a glass of alcohol.
Plus, a squeeze of lemon juice over the cured roe brings out more flavors.
Bottarga is best in the form of a garnish. It is an excellent replacement for cheese or a truffle.
Thus, it works wonders in any pasta recipe like Spaghetti with Zucchini and Parsley Pesto.
If you like grain or rice-based dishes like risotto, Bottarga will definitely work.
The grated salty flavor goes great with the starchiness of the rice. Saffron Risotto with Mussels and Bottarga is a match made in heaven.
Bottarga makes an excellent appetizer for any lunch or dinner party. Simply grate or slice it over a piece of buttered bread.
Following a healthy diet, you can grate the Bottarga over any salad. It is the perfect seasoning over a bowl of fresh salad leaves, cherry tomatoes, and olive oil drizzled over it.
Caution – High consumption of Bottarga can cause water retention in the body.
It might increase the risk of hypertension and Edema. Thus, consume small doses of it.
How Much Does Bottarga Cost?
Bottarga sells at an average of $40 per pound. To put that in perspective, one jar will last about two weeks if you’re eating it daily as your only source of protein or flavor enhancement.
Some jars are sold by weight instead of volume so keep this in mind when deciding which is best for you.
You can also find discounts on large orders like 25 pounds at a time on Amazon.
If you’re trying to stock up on food storage items with the potential disasters looming ahead (or even just living off-grid), consider ordering directly from Italy, where you can get a full 25 kg of bottarga for $190.
Bottarga may seem like a fancy item, but it’s more than just that -it’s versatile and flavorful too.
While some people might have qualms about spending so much on such a small amount of product, keep in mind that there are often discounts available if you buy larger quantities (plus don’t forget the taste.).
Where to Buy Bottarga?
Bottarga is a fisherman’s delight, and it’s quite a treat for those who enjoy food.
The eggs of the mullet fish are cured with salt, then soaked in olive oil before being allowed to dry on mats made from dill or coriander leaves.
There are two general types of bottarga: white and black – you’ll want to make sure not to confuse these items.
It is also sometimes dried using an oven, but this process may be more challenging because the texture will change if done incorrectly.
One can buy bottarga at an Italian grocery store as well as specialty stores that sell imported goods.
You can also purchase it online, but be sure to read the reviews first before you buy.
According to the LA Times, Bottarga brings the flavor of the ocean to the plate.
The age-old delicacy has taken over the world’s top restaurants. All because of rich umami, savory and salty taste.
The pressed and cured eggs of tuna and grey mullet are especially popular in Italy’s coastal area.
The salty and dense flavored Bottarga is either thinly sliced or grated. The reason being the roe should instantly melt in contact with the tongue.
The best thing about Bottarga is the tiniest amount can take your dish to new heights in terms of taste and flavor.