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Pizzo Calabro Tuna

Vibo Valentia is known all over the world thanks to its traditional tuna production. In ancient times, Pizzo Calabro was called Napitia, this name was given to it by Napeto, chief of the Focesi tribe who survived the war of Troy and who settled by our shores.

During ancient Greece, Pizzo tuna was known as Hipponion’s tuna. Archestrato, one of the most famous gastronomes of ancient Greece, wrote: "in the great and holy Samo, you shall see an extremely large tuna, which we call ‘orcino’, whilst others call it ‘Ceto’; buy it quickly and at any price; you will find it in Bisanzio, Caristo, Cefalù and Tindari, but if one day you go to Ippona ( today called Vibo Valentia), where the Bruzii are, you shall find the best tuna around.

In 1523, Leandro Alberti, a Dominican friar, described the tuna fishing technique of Pizzo; it was also mentioned by an article dating back to the Napoleonic era, and so on until our times. Anciently, the coast that stretches from Parghelia to Pizzo Calabro had immense tunny-fishing nets and plants for the production of tuna, sardines, anchovies and fish-based sauces; these numerous tunny-fishing nets were used between the 16th century and half way through the 20th century along Vibo Valentia shores; Bivona’s one is dates back to 1445.

What makes this product unique in its kind is its production which is still handmade (from the selection of the pieces to the packaging carried out for the more valuable products, like the ones packed in jars and those destined to delicatessen counters) and the very good quality of Red Tuna, a characteristic which only Vibo Valentia’s sea has. Besides Tuna in olive oil, you can also find the Ventresca (belly of tunny in oil), very tender and delicious, the Tonnina which is a cold meat made with the back of the tuna and the famous botargo, called tuna caviar, made from the ovaries of the fish; the Bottarga (botargo) is mostly used to dress spaghetti, but also for the preparation of tarts.
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