Botargo, bottarga (Italian), poutargue or boutargue (French), botarga (Spanish), batarekh (Arabic) or avgotaraho (Greek αυγοτάραχο) is a Mediterranean delicacy of cured fish roe.
Sometimes called the poor man's caviar, botargo is the roe pouch of tuna or grey mullet, or sometimes swordfish. It is massaged by hand to eliminate air pockets, then dried and cured in sea salt for a few weeks. The result is a dry hard slab, which is coated in beeswax for keeping.
It is usually used sliced thinly or grated.
In Italy, it is best-known in Sicilian and Sardinian cuisine; its culinary properties can be compared to those of dry anchovies, though it is much more expensive. Bottarga is often served with lemon juice as an appetizer or used in pasta dishes.
The word in most languages comes from the Arabic buṭariḫ بطارخ (attested in 1400), which in turn comes from the Coptic outarakhon, from the Byzantine Greek < 'egg' + τάριχον 'pickled fish', mentioned (and denounced) by Simeon Seth in the 11th century. The modern Greek name substitutes the modern version αυγό for the ancient word .
In Greece, avgotaracho is produced primarily from the flathead mullet caught in Greek lagoons. The whole mature ovaries are removed from the fish, washed with water, salted with natural sea salt, dried under the sun, and sealed in melted beeswax.
Avgotaracho Messolonghiou, made from fish caught in the Messolonghi-Etoliko Lagoons is a European and Greek protected designation of origin, one of the few seafood products with a PDO.
botargo in German: Bottarga
botargo in Spanish: Botarga (alimento)
botargo in French: Poutargue
botargo in Italian: Bottarga
botargo in Latin: Ova taricha
botargo in Dutch: Bottarga