Bottarga is the Italian name for a delicacy of salted, cured fish roe, typically of the grey mullet or the bluefin tuna, frequently found near coastlines throughout the world. Thought to have been introduced by the Phoenicians 3,000 years ago, bottarga (from the Arabic battarikh) is made in several places around the Med, but the variety made in the Cabras lagoon in the west of Sardinia, is regarded by many as the best.
The food bears many different names and is prepared in several different ways.
The product is similar to karasmi, the softer cured mullet roe from Japan, Guneoran, the cured mullet or freshwater drum from Korea and East Asia.
But more often we see it used grated into pasta or on eggs, vegetables or over a salad of bitter greens. Bottarga has a distinctive flavour. It is intense, salty, a little briny, a little bitter, and very similar to caviar (which makes sense since like caviar, bottarga is fish roe).
Where can I buy Bottarga?