Traditionally also known as the “bread of the sea”, anchovies are a cornerstone of the seafood cuisine of Liguria.
They migrate in schools, in front of the Ligurian coasts from spring to autumn but are also found in winter, even if at greater depths.
In particular, they are the traditional dish of all the Cinque Terre. Here they are fished from the month of June (historically from June 29, Saint Peter’s Day) with traditional methods.
Those of Monterosso, then, are the most famous. Both because they are particularly hard and tasty thanks to the special salinity and temperature of the seawater, and because Monterosso since the Middle Ages was known throughout northern Italy for its rich production and trade of salted anchovies.
In this village, in fact, in honor of anchovies, every year in the months of June and September two typical festivals take place: the fried anchovy festival (3rd Saturday in June) and the salted anchovy festival (3rd Saturday in September). If you are in the area at this time of summer don’t miss them!
Here you will find a collection of my Ligurian recipes with anchovies. You will see that there is also the Vernazza anchovy tart (“Tian”), which is one of the five villages in the Cinque Terre.
If you try any these recipes let me know what you think!