Dialect name: SARDI SALATI
Production area: northern coast of Sicily between Messina and Palermo, especially in the Cefalù area.
INGREDIENTS USED: Fresh sardines, salt and wild fennel.
SHAPE: Elongated and tapered.
MEDIUM SIZE: 9-10cm.
TASTE: Lightly salted fish.
SMELL: Very pleasant.
Description of processing, conservation and maturing methods
PRODUCT WORKMANSHIP: Exclusively manual.
PROCESSING TECHNIQUES: The decapitated and gutted fresh fish is put in brine in large glass containers. Subsequently it is washed in water and salt is placed in layers on each of which coarse salt is placed. After a week, during which the fish eliminates water and fat, the cans are pressed and stacked one above the other. Thus begins the phase of definitive purging of the fats, which the brine added daily brings to the surface. Once the cycle is complete, the boxes are hermetically sealed and put on the market. The seasoning continues even when the boxes are sealed.
PROCESSING PERIOD: From March to June.
MATURATION SEASONING OF THE PRODUCT: Once placed in containers, the product is left to mature in special refrigerated and ballasted cells with special weights at a temperature of 6-7°C for a period of about 6 months - one year.
CONSERVATION: The product is stored in cold rooms under the same conditions as the seasoning pending sale.
Material, equipment and premises used:
MATERIALS USED: Containers.
TOOLS USED: Knives.
EQUIPMENT USED: Cold rooms.
PREMISES: Aseptic and airy rooms, cold rooms.
Elements that prove its tradition: This preserve was born as a product typically made by the fishermen themselves. The production was then also extended to other entities operating in the food sector. Once the fishermen kept the product in the cellars, a place where conservation takes place at optimal levels, on a par with cured meats and cheeses.
In Calabrian cooking texts there is documentation capable of proving the traditional nature of the product.
Raw material: sardines or sardines.
Processing technology: the same as for salted anchovies (see technical sheet).
Maturation: a few weeks.
Production area: Tyrrhenian coast, upper and lower Adriatic, Ionian coast, Sicily and Sardinia.
Production calendar: spring-summer.
Notes: usually, where sardines are salted, anchovies are also salted.