Bottarga is striped grey mullet roe which has been salt-cured and sun-dried. Throughout the world it has many names - Bottarga (Italy), Poutargue (France), Karasumi (Japan & Taiwan), Avgotaraho (Greece), among others. The tradition of making Bottarga dates back to ancient times. Egyptian murals dating from 10th century BC depict fisherman executing the lengthy process in which Bottarga was, and still is made. Since then, the pressed dried fish eggs have become a staple of Mediterranean cuisine. Most often associated with coastal Italian fare, primarily of Sardinia and Sicily, the cured roe has also been dubbed the “Caviar of the Mediterranean”. The Striped Grey Mullets' golden roe is considered a delicacy around the world.
The waters surrounding Cortez Village, on the central gulf coast of Florida, are known to have some of the largest, finest quality mullet roe in the world. For decades, Striped Grey Mullet roe from the Gulf of Mexico has been exported to Europe and Asia to be salt-cured and dried. We are proud to be the first in the United States to produce this rare delicacy. It is here that we produce Cortez Bottarga in the same hand-made way as has been done for thousands of years.
The pristine waters of the florida gulf coast, off of Anna Maria Island and connecting village of Cortez, are home to one of this country's last wild fisheries. Seth Cripe, a Florida native, started Cortez Bottarga with the mission of working to support his friends and family's way of life as fisherman, and preserve it for the livelihood of future generations. Upholding our cultural integrity and increasing economic development in the Gulf region is part of our greater commitment to supporting fishing that ensures the ecological health of our oceans, their marine life and their surrounding communities.
We do it all - fishing sustainably using hand-thrown cast nets, cleaning the mullet, cutting out the plump golden roe, curing the roe with kosher sea salt and then pressing and drying it to ensure optimum quality. This is all completed within days, thereby creating the freshest bottarga you will ever try. This vibrant delicacy adds a wonderful complexity to dishes with its bright flavor and balanced salinity. We are confident that we are able to produce the truest expression of striped grey mullet bottarga in the world.
Our Bottarga has become a staple at many of the nation's most progressive and top restaurants including Gjelina, Gjusta, Bestia, Alma, Hatchet Hall, 404 Kitchen, Rolf & Daughters, Bacchanalia, City Grocery, Michaels Genuine Food & Drink, A16, Flores, Upland, Octavia, Benu, Scarpetta, Collichio & Sons, Franny's, Roberta's, Ava Gene's, Lincoln and many, many more.
NEW YORK TIMES
GULF SEAFOOD NEWS
Grey Egret w/ Breakfast
Shishito/Padron Peppers ( 1/2 lb.) I say either/or because they are incredibly similar
Red Wine Vinegar
Step 1: Place 1/2lb. Peppers in a mixing bowl. Gently toss with 1tbsp Olive oil, a few turns of the Salt & Pepper mill. Set Aside. Place large sauté pan on high heat (you can also use very hot grill). While the pan is heating up add the Peppers, be careful not to overlap them. Once the pan begins to smoke add 1tsp Olive oil. Let Blister on each side (about 2 min.)
Step 2: In a medium sized mixing bowl add 3tbsp Red Wine Vinegar, 1/4c Olive oil, 2oz shaved Cortez Bottarga (using microplane). Add the Blistered Peppers and gently toss, making sure they are nice and coated. Plate on your favorite appetizer platter, Add a few more grates of Cortez Bottarga on top, serve and enjoy.
*This is a very simple, delicious and somewhat exotic dish to serve while entertaining guests. It's great for a passed appetizer or hearty side to any main course.
The Captains Mixtape
"Cortez Bottarga in terms of flavor, texture, and color is simply the most superior product available anywhere. Given the relatively short history that Mr. Cripe and Co. have in the industry, this accomplishment is truly extraordinary and speaks to the level of commitment they have to tradition and craftsmanship"
Travis Lett, Chef at Gjelina, MTN, Gjusta & GTA, Venice, CA
"Cortez Bottarga has a milder, fresher taste and more refined texture than any other Bottarga I have ever used...We love it." Christopher Kostow, 3 Michelin Star Chef at Meadowood, St. Helena, CA
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