• Taste

Avgotaraxo: The exceptional greek delicacy

Did you know that Greece has its own bottarga?

Bottarga, a delicacy renowned for its distinctive flavor and artisanal craftsmanship, finds a special place in Greek culinary tradition. Often referred to as “avgotaraho” in Greek, bottarga is a culinary gem produced primarily in regions with a strong maritime influence, such as the Ionian Sea.

Avgotaraxo, the exceptional Greek delicacy, the Greek bottarga, comes from the mass of eggs of the female grey mullet.

The compound word means “egg” (ago) and“tarihevo” which means “to preserve”.

It can be found almost exclusively in the region of Messolonghi in Western Greece and it was actually first referenced in writing in 1668.

Regarded as one of the most gourmet gastronomic choices when it comes to seafood it is also 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

Only 500 to 700 kilos are produced each year, the preparation process is arduous and the fishing period is very short, only two months maximum.

Messolonghi locals describe avgotaracho as the “gold of the lagoon”. First of all, because it has kept generations alive, and secondly, due to its distinctive amber color.

Now let’s see how it’s being prepared.

The fishermen head out to the lagoon from August to September, day and night patiently searching the “ivaria” (naturally restricted areas in the water) for pregnant female “mugil Cephalus” (flathead grey mullet) also known as “bafes”.

Once the bafa is fished, the twin pouch (ovaries) with the eggs (fish roe) is removed extremely carefully so that the tiny eggs remain intact.

The sac is carefully washed, cleaned, and dried.

It is then placed in sea salt or “Africa” and massaged softly to ensure the salt goes everywhere. The pouch is then left to dry and cure in sea salt for a few weeks depending on its weight.

Once the air-drying process is completed, the avgotaracho is hung and dipped into beeswax which ‘seals in’ the taste and preserves the delicacy.

You can taste it in a fresh salad or as an appetizer on toasted bread (bruschetta) with tsipouro, vodka, champagne, and even cocktails!