The most ancient dish of Marina di Pisciotta: ‘u cauraro

u cauraro (il calderone – the cauldron)

'U cauraro 'is a soup made of sardines, potatoes, onions, garlic, chicories or Swiss chards, fresh favas and wild fennel. There is a variant with anchovies. Old local people tell us that the main ingredients of this dish once were the sardines. The anchovies should not be eaten, because they were put in salt to be sold! But often the nets (menaide) caught and still catch also sardines. It is not a tradition here to conserve the sardines, but they are very tasty grilled. So the mothers put the sardines with the vegetable of the season. However, the magic ingredient is the wild fennel. Once this was the poor dish for excellence in the fishing village. Nowadays it is a speciality. Perhaps you will be lucky enough to be invited by a friendly neighbour or somebody will teach you how to cook this superb dish (in Pisciotta it happens always). But then there a numerous taverns and restaurants offering a large range of local dishes.