Caviar of Crucoli

88812 Crucoli KR, Italia

Simona Bertolaso



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In Crucoli, Calabria, a specialty which cannot be found elsewhere is produced: caviar. It is a preparation based on fry, or newborn sardines, which after being fished are marinated with ground chili pepper and wild fennel seeds. This preserve is ideal to be spread on bread, croutons and to be used as a condiment.
Sardella di Crucoli has incredibly ancient origins. It is said, in fact, that it descends from the Roman Garum, a condiment of ancient Rome based on marinated fish and aromas which was left to mature for a long time inside earthenware containers.

The techniques used to process sardines in order to make them into Sardella are those of the long local tradition and consist in washing them accurately and let them dry inside baskets with salt. They can then be salted inside clay containers by alternating layers of salt with layers of fish and seasoning with wild fennel tops. The seasoning lasts about 6-7 months and, after being mixed by hand with fennel seeds and plenty of red chilli pepper, the mixture will have reached the characteristics with which we know it.
Every year, during the month of August, in Crucoli is celebrated the Festival of Sardella. The occasion is greedy to taste every delicacy based on the delicious condiment, starting from pasta, up to eggs with leek and toasted bread.

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