Garum, a sauce much appreciated by the ancient Romans, was used in our areas until it was passed for quality, fragrance, perfume and for simplicity of production, from the “discovery” of the Anchovy Colatura occurred, probably, around the second half of the XIII century, by the Cistercian monks, inhabitants of the ancient S. Pietro in Tuczolo Canonica, located on the homonymous hill near Amalfi.
The monks possessed a modest fleet that they used to transport wheats and during the summer months transformed into fishing boats for the fishing of blue fish and in particular of anchovies. The monks had also installed a modest industry for the conservation of fish. The entrails and the heads were patiently removed from the anchovies and, after a rinsing in sea water, they were transferred, alternating with layers of salt, into the barrels whose staves, unglued by time, could no longer be used to contain the wine produced from the grapes of the convent vineyard.
After this operation the barrels were placed on wooden beams half a meter from the floor. In early December the salt and the large stone placed as a press on the wooden lid, had worked the maximum maturation of the anchovies, causing them to lose the remaining liquid that passed through the slats of the barrel and dripped on the floor giving off a pleasant scent. The scent was completely different from that produced by the same anchovies during the previous period of first maturation. The new pleasant fragrance, the limpidity, the amber color of the liquid induced the monks involved in the salting to collect it and submit it to the judgment of their cook who, having sensed the importance of the new discovery, immediately used it on the boiled vegetables.
The monks collected so much of that special liquid that they sent as gifts to the convents of the area and to many citizens who subsequently began to produce the liquid at home. Then a hood was used to filter even the well-ripened liquids and anchovies and the residuals in the bottom of the clay pots.
Anchovy colatura later definitively coupled with the most important partner in the history of Italian cuisine: pasta. In fact, around the middle of the 16th century, pasta makers from Minori, Atrani and Amalfi, spread this type of pasta throughout the region.