“Scapece” is a unique fish chutney, typical of the Vasto coastal area of Abruzzo, but also found around Termoli and Montenero di Bisaccia, in the Molise region.
Various kinds of fish can be used for this recipe: gourmets do tend to prefer skate, but often it is prepared with small medium size bluefish, especially mackerel.
The fresh fish is boned, gutted, cleaned and trimmed, cut into chunks and then fried in extra virgin olive oil (200°C or so for 10-15 minutes). Then it is drained and cooled to room temperature for about an hour, before being placed
in a vinegar and saffron sauce that gives it a characteristic golden hue.
The mixture is then stored in wooden tubs, to be true to historic tradition, otherwise in modern, airtight steel containers, from which it is sold at fairs and markets.
The recipe for “scapece” is a time-honoured secret that local producers hand down from one generation to the next.