Consistenze Liquide (liquid textures), a recipe by Angelo Sabatelli of the homonymous restaurant in Masseria Spina, Monopoli (Bari), tel. +39.080.802396. The bubbles are made with seawater and tomato water, paired with a cream made with fiordilatte cheese (photo by Valerio Napoletano for Acqua di Chef)
There’s a very common custom, in marine villages, and especially those in the South: drawing seawater and using it to wash the fish, keep molluscs alive and, why not, cook too. This custom, however, not only is risky, it is also illegal. First of all, contaminated water could cause an intoxication or an infection. But it could also cause a charge: drawing water from the sea, in fact, is an infringement of the right to use a good that belongs to all, the legal Latin term being res communes omnium, in the same way as it is forbidden, for example, to take home some sand from the beach to use it in your garden.
Nettuno, a cocktail by Donato Marzolla of Palazzo Avino in Ravello (Salerno): crushed lime, kiwi caviar, rosemary, sugar, light rum and seawater (photo by Il Vescovado)
Spanish Agua de Mar is the company that more than others has managed to guarantee the healthiness of packaged seawater. Drawn in natural parks, it undergoes a micro-filtration procedure in order to preserve its mineral content. It is then sanitised from a micro-biologic point of view, by eliminating even toxic contaminants that are often to be found in the areas where the water is drawn. As required by the very recent recommendations of the Spanish Health Ministry (soon to be followed by an official EU statement), in order to be sold, seawater must be necessarily free of poisons such as boron and arsenic. Other important companies selling seawater are Spanish Lactoduero and Scottish Aquamara.
In the kitchen, among the most interesting uses of seawater, we’ve found olives in seawater, beer with seawater, cheese produced in seawater and bread, an experiment undertaken by an excellent baker, namely Roscioli in Rome. The most creative barmen have used it in a fantastic gin tonic, instead of putting salt on the edge of the glass while in Palazzo Avino, maitre Donato Marzolla used to prepare a cocktail called Nettuno. Not to mention the recipe by Angelo Sabatelli of Masseria Spina that you can find at the beginning of this article. It left us speechless.
The truths of the fish world revealed by Antonio Vasile. Against a thousand lies and dangerous commonplaces