Colatura di alici is actually anchovy sauce because it is derived solely from fresh anchovies, no other kind of fish. Its roots can be traced back thousands of years back from the ancient Roman period when it was still referred to as “garum”.
There are some specific details that the colatura di alici “Acquapazza Gourmet” producer in Cetara follow. The anchovies used are fished only in the waters of the Gulf of Salerno and on a certain period of the year, between the end of March until the beginning of July. They are then selected, eviscerated and decapitated.
The cleaned anchovies are alternately layered with salt (specifically salt from Trapani, Sicily) inside the terzigni, small barrels made of chestnut wood then covered with a wooden disc and a big marine stone to provide the weight. The anchovies are left to mature for a few months. As a result of the maturation and pressure of the weight, some liquid emerges on the surface which is collected and exposed to the sunlight in which evaporation makes it more concentrated.
After six months, the liquid is poured back in the terzigni, where it passes slowly through the layers of anchovies inside and seeps out from a small hole at the bottom of the barrel. The transparent amber liquid drips inside a clear glass container then it is finally bottled and sold as colatura di alici.
Acquapazza's Colatura is considered to be the best Colatura on the market thanks to the ageing period which produces such a rich and concentrated product and it can only be found in a limited number of specialist shops in Italy and, in the best restaurant around Europe and United States.
The town of Cetara has been declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. For decades this small town has made a living from the processing of anchovies and tuna and the Colatura production really brings the streets of this beautiful little town alive.
Acquapazza Gourmet is a small company founded in Cetara on the Amalfi Coast by 4 friends who share a passion for the tradition of marine products and in particular for the one product which is a symbol of their town – the anchovy sauce (Colatura d’Alici in Italian).