At the beginning of the summer of 2022, our president François-Xavier Dehédin had the chance to visit Greece and meet the Trikalinos family, who since 1856 have been applying the family philosophy and passion around the grey mullet egg, Argotaraho in Greek, Batarekh in Arabic, Botarga in Spanish, Bottarga in Italian, Karasumi in Japanese and Poutargue in French.
Here is a summary of his visit and the history of the Trikalinos family
Many of you may not be familiar with Bottarga. Bottarga is a delicacy of cured Grey Mullet Roe. Natural without preservatives, with high nutritional value and a pleasant long lasting aftertaste.
The heritage of preserving seafood, farming nutrient-rich sea salt of the tidal marshes and using it to preserve that seafood, is maintained to this day especially in some Mediterranean countries. While the practice of preserving tuna or mullet roe is sometimes thought to be the legacy of the Byzantines, it actually goes farther back to ancient Greeks and Egyptians and even some coastal areas of Asia.
It constitutes a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which reinforce body health by acting positively on the cardiovas-cular system and by strengthening the immune system.
The Trikalinos Family
As mentioned above, in 1856 the three Trikalinos brothers, Zafeiris, Nikos and Giorgos started the production and trade of grey mullet Avgotaraho in Etoliko. In 1942, the family tradition continued with Panagiotis Trikalinos (son of Zafeiris and father of the current owner), an expert in the extraction of Avgotaraho and the most famous skipper in a number of fisheries in the lagoons of Etoliko, taking over the management of the Avgotaraho company. A few years later, in 1995, Zafeiris Trikalinos, the current owner, took over the company, and in 1997, built a new production unit in Athens, the first certified production unit of Avgotaraho in Greece. All traditional techniques are carried out according to standard procedures that guarantee the quality, hygiene and food safety of Trikalinos products.
Subsequently, in 2005, Avgotaraho powder joined the product range. Chef Jose Andrès adds Trikalinos Poutarge to his menus. The latter was awarded at the SIAL Paris 2006 and at the Athens Gourmet Prize.
The consecration comes in 2010 when the great Ferran Adria includes Trikalinos Bottarga in his selection of the 30 best products in the world.
In 2011, the preliminary results of in vivo research conducted by the Pasteur Institute show that Trikalinos Avgotaraho, when consumed as a food supplement, may have anti-atherogenic potential.
The following year, Trikalinos’ Grey Mullet Bottarga received the 2012 ITQI Superior Taste Award.
In 2013, Trikalinos launched the Golden Age Bottarga, a new limited edition product available in our shop.
In 2014, the world’s number one restaurant in 2013, “El Celler de Can Rocas,” launches a dish dedicated to Trikalinos’ Bottarga, with marinated mackerel, anchovies, capers and gherkins.
In 2022, the Trkialinos range arrived at Oysters & Caviar and is now distributed in Canada.
What makes Trikalinos Bottarga so special?
- Produced exclusively from Grey Mullet Roe, recognized as the best roe for Avgotaraho production.
- Standardized production techniques properly balance the salting and drying processes to deliver higher moisture and lower sodium in the final product.
- It is coated by natural bee's wax, which sufficiently preserves the product and its delicate taste during its shelf life, despite the low sodium content.
The visit to Trikalinos
In addition to visiting the facilities and dipping the eggs in the beeswax himself, our president took a course on the history of Bottarga. He taught us that the recipe and the preservation with salt and beeswax were inspired by the Egyptians and by mummification. Moreover, grey mullet roe has been considered a delicacy since the time of the Pharaohs (according to Colombia University).
Then it was time for the tasting: “From there we tasted 8 thin slices in different ways: with lemon peel, almond, nectarines, cherry, black pepper with tails, coffee beans, cocoa beans and finally plain. The texture resembled dried apricot, sometimes it tasted like cantaloupe, pata negra, tuna toro. The taste was different in each bite depending on the combination. François-Xavier recommends it as an aperitif or in cooking on top of a dish, like a truffle or finishing condiments.
“After this short training, we are invited to visit the beautiful offices of Trikalinos. From here we look out over Athens and Mr. Trikalinos explains to me that Socrates taught his courses here to take the students away from what they already know and teach them to step back. Afterwards, we head to Travolta’s restaurant where I was able to sample a variety of signature dishes from the menu. What a memorable day of discovering new products and new friends! I hope this story inspires you to discover these beautiful products and this very friendly family.”
For pairing, Trikalinos Bottarga goes well with champagne, vodka, dry white wines and also Japanese or Scottish single malts.
Also, the product is certified Kosher.
Thank you for this great trip François-Xavier.
Discover the three products of Trikalinos in the shop.