Because Italy is a rather long, thin peninsula thrust deep into the sea, one would surmise that this is a country that is dedicated to eating fish. Italians have been important consumers of fish since the days of the ancient Romans and it can be argued that nobody in the world cooks fish better than them.
Saltwater fish play a more important role in the diet of Italians than freshwater fish. They seem to appeal more powerfully to the essence of the Italian spirit, and they offer a much wider variety, too.
Most of us only know anchovy as a form of tiny salted fillets which give a certain tang to dishes. Fresh anchovy is of a delicate and subtle flavour and a treat for the taste buds. These are best caught fresh and eaten right away right on the Italian coast.
Mullet fish – these are referred to as either cefali or muggine. Mullidae are red mullets, triglie in Italian and both have their place in Italian cuisine since Roman times.
Eel is a favourite dish among Italians and has been for centuries. It is highly appreciated in both Rome and Naples and is enjoyed at festivities such as Christmas Eve. Most of the eels in Italy come from the Orbetello lagoon which is famous for a particularly fat, juicy variety called capitone. The most famous eel breeding area in Italy is in Comacchio.
The sole is a fish that has been admirably adapted to Italian cuisine, and like pasta, it cries for enrichment and adornment with a little extravagance. These are what Italian cooks love to provide – they are moved to perform miracles when given a plain sole to cook.
Since time immemorial, tuna has held a most important position in the Italian diet.
The above is a “drop in the ocean”. There are many more varieties to be enjoyed regardless of the region. The coast of Italy is blessed with an overabundance of rich and diversified bounty offering a smorgasbord of shellfish.
If you love fish – Italy will never disappoint, regardless of which area you visit.