Anchovies by Testa
That of Testa family is a story of shipowners and fishermen from Ognina, an ancient and characteristic fishing village in the district of Catania, Sicily
For 200 years, the Testa fishermen have had a deep connection with the sea, almost a sort of devotion for “a profession that requires faith, courage and humility, patience, carefulness, respect, modesty”, as the captain Pippo Testa tells.
Pippo sailed for the first time as captain when he was very young. He was 14 years old, it was 1960.
Nino Testa, now deputy commander, started sailing when he was only twelve and when he turned sixteen he became officially a fisherman.
Many years have passed, but that passion is still alive and today the Testa family, in addition to fishing, takes care of storing the fish processed in the Portopalo factory.
The company has entrusted Tuccio Testa with the commercial direction and collaborates closely with Ciccio Sultano, 2 Michelin stars chef from Ragusa Ibla.
The fishing practiced by the Testa is a fishing that is responsible for the sea, where low-environmental impact facilities are used and the fished quantities permits the animals to constantly reproduce themselves.
An example above all: Testa has joined and totally respected the fishing quotas fixed by ICCAT, the system that saved the Mediterranean red tuna from extinction.
Testa family owns two vassels: Atlante, for the fishing of red tuna in the Tyrrhenian Sea from which they obtain the Red Tuna Fillets, the Red Tuna Ventresca and the Red Tuna Buzzonaglia, and Futura Prima that sails in the Ionian Sea and around the Aeolian Islands for the fishing of blue fish like mackerel, from which the mackerel fillets are obtained, and the anchovies that we present now.
Anchovies are fished from June to September offshore of Portopalo di Capo Passero
The time is an essential factor to determine the quality of the anchovies: between the fishing and the processing don’t pass more than 12 hours
When anchovies arrives at the plant, head and bowels are eliminated, then the fishes are salted and placed in layers in containers called “cugni”.
On the container a weight is placed which, thanks to the pression, permits the draining of the excess blood and water.
The anchovies are then left to mature in salt for a variable time, which depends on the climate and humidity. After the maturation, they are removed from the salt and trimmed, then they are centrifuged to eliminate any residual liquid and finally put in oil.
In order to have an excellent result on the palate, also the choice of the conservation oil is made with great care: an organic sunflower oil, cold-pressed, which is not to throw away, but it can be used to make excellent sauces or to season. Trying is believing!
THE MAYONNAISE BY CICCIO SULTANO
“Two parts of oil from the Testa jar and one parte of soy milk. Blend and here is a light and tasty mayonnaise. Do not waste the oil of the Testa products!”
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