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Fish sauce – Maremma Box

Learn more about the fish sauce that is part of Radici Italiane’s Maremma Box.


The link between the Orbetello lagoon and the Pescatori di Orbetello, a cooperative founded in 1943, is now stronger than ever. In fact, fishing in a closed environment such as the lagoon makes it necessary to practice responsible and sustainable fishing. A philosophy that is in line with the balance of the biomarine system and which places the idea of guaranteeing a product that is always fresh at the centre of its activities. Just as fish sauce should be.

Just beyond the bridge separating the Argentario promontory from the mainland, inside a fishpond the fish are sorted by means of a series of grids of various sizes, which allow the different sizes of fish to be separated. This avoids any form of intensive breeding, resulting in greater well-being for the fish, which can move freely in the lagoon.


Fish sauce and its history in the lagoon

Right in front of the lagoon, Sergio, one of the longest serving fishermen, tells us how it all began. During the hard years of the war, the old custom of going out to sea alone spending whole days in a boat was replaced by the initiative of a few fishermen. They created an initial union of forces, founding the Cooperativa of Pescatori di Orbetello. By doing so, they could count on more energy and better investments to optimise fishing times. Over time, the Cooperative has grown but the fishing methods have remained unchanged.

The techniques for processing and preserving fish are those inherited from the Spanish, when Orbetello was the capital of the Presidi State. As early as 1100, in some municipal documents, mention was made of the unique botargo and mullet from the lagoon, with which the tasty ‘Sugo del Pescatore‘ is made.

How strong is the link between the fishing community and the lagoon territory is reaffirmed by Sergio at every good opportunity, stating that ‘in Orbetello there is only one family: one big family, that of the fishermen and its people‘.