Every year during the coldest months the Sicilian mackerel fishing season inaugurates around the Aeolian Islands. Nutritionally impeccable and packed with flavor, this "stummu ucchiutu" (big-eyed mackerel) is the freshest-tasting canned sgombro we have ever come across. These firm and glossy Sgombro fillets keep their bite and deliver an irresistible scent without any bitterness or metallic aftertaste. Once in the jar, the fillets are preserved in a precious and delicate organic extra virgin olive oil from Sicily. Over time, not only will the EVOO not alter the flavor of the fish, but it'll be enriched by it.
The Testa family has been steering its boats, the Futura Prima and Atlante, through the Mediterranean Sea since the 17th Century. From October to March, they fish the healthiest sgombro, sugarello, anchovies and process them within 24 hours from the moment they’re caught. Never boiled nor frozen, the fresh fish are simply steamed to fully maintain their flavor, aromas, texture, and nutritional properties. After cooking, they are dehumidified, filleted, and finally pasteurized. Every single step of the process is hand-made.
Use them in sandwiches, in a bean or potato salad, with pasta, farro, rice, or simply eat them straight out of the jar with some lemon juice. And don't throw the oil away! This is extra flavorful Sicilian extra virgin olive oil that will enrich all your cooking projects: make a soffritto, brush your vegetables before baking, or make a killer mayo.
For the Testas, having a small-scale, mindful, and artisanal fishing operation means carefully following the marine life cycle, constantly looking after the size class of their catch, and working with scientists to minimize their environmental impact. Their relationship with the sea is founded upon respect and knowledge rather than exploitation. By adopting virtuous practices both onboard and ashore, their first goal is to protect and preserve the sea. Their operations are traceable and transparent, so when you get a jar of wild fish preserved in EVOO by Pippo, Nino, Tuccio, and Giuseppe Testa, you are getting to taste what pursuing the highest quality means to them. And yes, it's going to taste great!