Avgotaraho (bottarga)

The greek caviar

Avgotaraho is Greece’s answer to caviar. It’s a product of high nutritional value, mighty taste and extremely long aftertaste. The more velvety texture it has, the more nutritionally rich it is.

Avgotaraho is produced from mullet caught in Greek lagoons, preferably after mid-August. It has a characteristic spicy flavor that can be attributed to the flora and fauna of the sea lake. Once the fish is caught, the whole, mature ovaries are removed from the fish, washed with water, salted with natural sea salt, put to casts and are then air-dried under controlled conditions.

One important difference that distinguishes Greek Avgotaraho from its “cousins” is that the mullet roe is sealed in approximately eight layers of melted beeswax. The beeswax provides a natural way of shielding the product from oxidation while allowing it to keep its humidity. The beeswax also helps preserve the nutritive qualities of the ingredients of the roe.

It is rich in vitamins A, B, C and calcium. It constitutes a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which reinforce body health by acting positively on the cardiovascular system and by strengthening the immune system.

Holding a significant role in the diet of ancient Greeks and during the Byzantine Empire, it became part of Greek culinary heritage. It is considered Greece’s caviar and Lord Byron spread Messolonghi Bottarga throughout Europe.

For the novice, avgotaraho appears quite unique, odorless, and may look like a flat waxed sausage. But once the wax is removed, your taste buds will discover one of the most flavorful marine products.

Try it plain into thin slices, with dried figs or on a melba toast, with goat spread cheese.

Avgotaracho Messolonghiou, made from fish caught in the Messolonghi-Etoliko Lagoons is a European and Greek protected designation of origin, one of the few seafood products with a PDO.

MLGFB Tip:

To easily remove the protective wax, leave the bottarga stick outside of the refrigerator for at least one hour before you cut it with a sharp knife. Keep the remaining waxed bottarga in the drawer of the refrigerator, covering the exposed part with cling film.

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