Marinated Eel from Comacchio Lagoons
In Comacchio Lagoons fishing and the extensive farming of many valuable fish species are made: eels, sea bass, valley shrimps: particularly the eel, a snake-shaped fish that breeds in the Sargasso Sea but accomplishes the life cycle (7-10 years) in the inland waters.
Eels come alive on the market and can be eaten fresh, following the countless traditional recipes, but, given the concentration of the fishing season in a very limited time, they are traditionally marinated in vinegar in order to preserve them.
Spit-cooked eels are placed in wooden containers, called “Zangolini”, together with brine. The secret is in the cooking and in the raw material: the wild lagoon eel. The brine composition is also very important: the original recipe includes the amalgam, in each litre of white wine vinegar, of about 70 grams of sea salt of Cervia and a glass of water. Finally, add a bay leaf.
After this manufacturing, the eel maintains its organoleptic characteristics for several months, as once it was eaten at Easter.
Fun fact: eels are caught from October to December and marinated only in the winter season. They are preserved in tin cans throughout the year.