Colatura di Alici: Ancient Fish Sauce from Local Identity to Protected Luxury Commodity
Time: 11:15 am to 12:45 pm
Claire Alsup, NYU Steinhardt, Food Studies program, Master’s student
Key Words: Bait fish, local economics, sustainability, authenticity, D.O.P. status
Along the Amalfi Coast of Italy, nestled in a valley and set back along the coastline, is the small town of Cetara. Home to just 2,100 residents, it is a less obvious destination than its more glamorous neighbors, Amalfi and Positano. In the fishing village, people have been making the anchovy fish sauce colatura di alici for centuries. But until the 1990’s, colatura di alici had never been bottled; it had never been available to purchase.
Ms. Alsup’s research examines the decision to commodify the product in the nineties and what that change has meant for the town and the product itself. Issues of authenticity, the protection of local production methods, supply chain transparency, globalization, and sustainability are all raised, and debated. This presentation is based on research conducted in Cetara in 2017 which included oral histories, observation, and interviews with chefs, fishermen, historians, government officials, and producers.