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Cortez, on Sarasota Bay in Manatee County, is one of the last remaining fishing villages on Florida's Gulf Coast. Originally known as Hunter's Point, the village is located on the northern edge of Sarasota Bay adjacent to Anna Maria Island. Founded by settlers from North Carolina in the 1880s, the community was renamed after the explorer Hernando Cortes, because Hernando Desoto, the actual first explorer of the area already had a town incorporated in his name. Today, Cortez is one of Florida's only traditional fishing villages that has been able to retain its cultural integrity.

Bottarga is striped grey mullet roe which has been salt-cured and sun-dried. It has many names, such as Bottarga (Italy), Poutargue (France), Karasumi (Japan and Taiwan), and Avgotaraho (Greece), among others. The tradition of making Bottarga dates back to ancient times. Egyptian murals dating from the 10th century BC depict fisherman executing the lengthy process in which Bottarga was, and still is made. It is even documented in the writings of De La Vaca during the Narvez expedition of the Gulf of Mexico in the 1530s, that explorers encountered Native Americans around Cortez drying golden mullet roe in the sun. "The striped grey mullets' golden roe" is considered a delicacy around the world.

The waters surrounding Cortez fishing village, on the central gulf coast of Florida, is known to have some of the largest, finest quality grey mullet roe in the world. For decades, striped grey mullet roe from the Gulf of Mexico has been exported to Europe and Asia to be processed. We are proud to be the first in the United States to produce this rare delicacy for international consumption. It is here that we at the Anna Maria Fish Company produce Bottarga in the same hand made way as has been done for thousands of years. The fishermen use hand-thrown cast nets and the mullet are brought to our dock within a few hours. Here the golden roe is immediately hand-harvested, salted, pressed and set to dry, to ensure optimum freshness and quality. We are confident that with the pristine waters of the bays and inlets surrounding Cortez Village we are able to produce some of the finest striped grey mullet bottarga in the world.