Cortez Bottarga is the first in the United States to produce bottarga - the sun cured roe of grey striped mullet. We are located on the Central Gulf Coast of Florida in the Cortez fishing village, one of the oldest working fishing villages in America that was founded in the late 1700's for its abundance of striped grey mullet. The clean waters surrounding the village and Anna Maria Island continue to maintain healthy stocks, known to be some of the highest quality grey mullet in the world, prized for its illustrious golden roe.
For decades, Cortez mullet roe was exported to Europe and Asia to be processed, until Cortez Bottarga started its own tradition of producing bottarga in an effort to add value to community and local fisherman and to produce the freshest highest quality bottarga in the world. We conduct the process from beginning to end, netting the fish, harvesting the roe, curing, drying and packaging the finished product. Giving the world a bottarga of superior quality and flavor, the way nature intended.
The waters surrounding Cortez fishing village is known to have some of the largest, finest quality grey 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 processed. We are proud to be the first in the United States to produce this rare delicacy for international consumption. It is here that Cortez Bottarga produces bottarga in the same hand-made way as has been done for thousands of years. The fishermen use hand-thrown cast nets and the mullet are brought to our dock within a few hours. Here the golden roe is immediately hand-harvested, salted, pressed and set to dry, to ensure optimum freshness and quality. We are confident that with the pristine waters of the bays and inlets surrounding Cortez Village we are able to produce some of the finest tasting striped grey mullet bottarga in the world.
"The flavor also had more pop and wasn't briny or strong, but subtle, bright, and irresistible"
The Cut – New York Magazine
"..it's not overly salty. Instead of cloaking flavors, it brightens and accents."
New York Times
"Cortez Bottarga: The Gulf Coast of Florida’s Caviar of the Mediterranean"
The Genuine Kitchen
Cortez Bottarga uses only sustainable fishing practices to catch mullet and we are rated "best choice" by the Seafood Watch program of the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
We also don't waste anything. Mullet is used to create a variety of additional products, including:
Fish emulsion fertilizer, often used in organic viticulture to lend nitrogen to the soil, can be made from mullet carcasses;
Smoked mullet fillets are cooked over smoldering buttonwood or red oak, chopped, stirred with cream cheese and served as dip with crackers; and Omega-3 fish oil.
Bottarga has many names, such as Bottarga (Italy), Poutargue (France), Karasumi (Japan and Taiwan), and Avgotaraho (Greece).
Bottarga is an ancient delicacy
Egyptian murals dating from the 10th century BC depict fisherman executing the lengthy process in which Bottarga was, and still is made.
Skip the salt
Bottarga is increasingly being sprinkled on food to replace salt. It is a much healthier alternative and brightens the meal.
For every 100 grams of fish roes, you can find more than 22 grams of different protein. Therefore, bottarga is recommended to those who want to strengthen their muscles and develop their body.
Bottarga can be kept in the fridge for up to a year, as long as it's vacuum sealed or wrapped tightly in plastic.
Poor man's caviar no more
Once known as the "poor man's caviar," bottarga is inspiring a culinary frenzy — and now it's used by chefs on flatbread pizza, eggs and vegetables.