(photo: note the wonderful golden brown color of the Colatura di Alici)
What takes 12 months to age and is extracted during an age old curing process, hint it’s not a pork product (cue the Jeopardy music). The answer is Colatura di Alici or anchovy syrup and is produced by Ittica Alimentare Salerno, located in the small village of Cetara, south of Naples, on the Amalfi coast. Note, not all anchovy sauces or syrups age for 12 months; in fact, most only age about 6 months.
Colatura di Alici is essentially an Italian fish sauce, though much richer and aromatic than typical Asian fish sauces, that is made by capturing anchovy juice during the curing process (there are no additives or preservatives, though salt is present given the curing process). Colatura di Alici is Italy’s answer to umami.
Colatura is very salty and should be used sparingly. It’s watery in consistency and has a beautiful golden brown color. The fragrance will probably not be pleasant to North American noses, but hey it’s the juice that drains out of anchovies salted in a barrel. Try it and it will become a staple of your Italian pantry
(photo: beautiful packaging in the Colatura di Alici)