As soon as we stepped foot on the Sacro Cuore, one of Cetara’s anchovy fishing boats, we felt the first drops of rain. Watch the video below. You can actually hear the thunder as we headed out to sea. This did not bode well for the anchovy hunt. It was 7:30pm and we were headed out for the night. ALL NIGHT.
The boat was staffed by 8 people, led by their comandante Domenico Giordano. A fisherman in a long lineage of fisherman. Actually, Domenico couldn’t remember how many generations of men in his family were fishermen, we got to great-great-grandfather before he said he couldn’t remember.
By 9:30pm the rain had stopped and team Gustiamo was getting impatient for anchovies. We had only been on the boat for 2 hours and we were already weary of fishing. Beatrice, moonbathing on the bow of the boat started fantasizing about dinner. “Spaghetti con la colatura,” she said, placing her order with an imaginary waiter, “with a big glass of Falanghina, and for my secondo, a plate of fritto misto!” She was convinced that the fishermen would call it a night. “There are no Anchovies!!” she said. It was totally melancholic. We felt done after just a couple hours. Imagine these guys who do this every night. Talk about hard work.
We were convinced it wasn’t going to happen. But then, all of a sudden, with no warning, we could hear the nets being let out. As we surrounded the school of fish and started to reel in the nets, we could see the fish jumping and the water started to sparkle with fish scales. It looked like the sea had been glitter-bombed! And you could smell them; that distinctive smell of when there is a lot of fresh fish all in one place.
Our crew, in an instant had gone from depressione totale to attack mode. They donned their yellow fishing suits and hauled the fish on board with great skill. It was almost 1am. Besides anchovies they scored sgombri, palamiti, seppie, and even an octopus!
We were impressed. The anchovies were small, perfect for colatura! We were in awe of their work, in a way that they probably did not understand. This was SLOW food. Artisan fishing. Small scale to the max. A kind of food sourcing that takes serious skill and know-how. We are very proud to be the importers of the anchovies that Domenico and his team on the Sacro Cuore catch. What a night!