When you have a job that takes you to the Amalfi Coast at least once per year, you know life is good. We were just there, in Cetara visiting Enzo, Giulio, and Raffaela our Anchovy/Colatura producers.
When you walk into their shop, there is no mistaking you are in the right place. Every time we arrive, we are nearly toppled over by the overpowering smell of anchovies. It is very strong. But it is easy to see why! When you walk through their workshop, first you see the Anchovies being processed (aka having their heads taken off). Then, you get to the Colatura aging rooms, lined with wooden barrels called terzigni.
While there, we also got to hang out in Aquapazza, one of the best restaurants in Cetara. There is no greater lover of Colatura than Chef Gennaro (have you seen the latest issue of Saveur?!), we chatted with Gennaro for hours!
I found this amazing product a couple of years ago being on Gustiamo’s email list. Since I’m rather fond and knowledgeable of the anciant Romans, their wines, and their foods, I knew i had to get some of this so I went ahead and ordered 2 bottles. Amazing stuff! It’s a bit pricey but it’s so unique I figured this was the only place to get it here in the USA., ‘Its very concentrated and a little goes along way. Many years ago I bought a copy of the Roman cookery book by Apicius, or De Re Culiinaria in a used bookstore in Los Angeles. This book dates from thr late 1950’s and is translated by Barbara Flower and Elizabeth Rosenbaum. The book is very detailed and gives the recipes in English and on the opposite page, they’re in Latin. Since it was reasonably priced, i bought it and it’s one of my most prized cookbooks. This product is also produced in Spain and was given a tiny bottle as a gift recently. I love the fact that the tiny bottle looks like a minature Amphora. I use Colature in Caesar salad dressing: fresh lemon juice, from lemons from my tree, is there any other?. red wine vinegar, homemade, of course, very strong and piquant, none of thet wishy washy red stuff they pass off as vinegar in the grocery stores, EVOO, I like a good fruity one, Colatura, about 2 tsp a pinch of dried oregano from my herb garden, some cracked pepper, and voila, eco e!. The proportions aren’ too important as you remember 1 part acid to 2 parts oil. I’ll order more when my supply runs low and hopefully it will periodically go on sale, hint, hint,! then I’ll stock up.