Cuoppo – Italian fish and chips

Sometimes I really miss fish and chips. Honestly I do. Especially really GOOD fish and chips like the ones you get at Anstruther – fresh fish, cooked to order, single portions of chunky chips cooked to order in fresh oil and plenty of salt and vinegar… especially sitting at the harbour overlooking the sea.

So what’s a Scot to do when she gets a craving for fresh fried fish and lives in Southern Italy? It’s a bit far to get to Anstruther and a carry out would cost a fortune, not to mention being soggy by the time it gets here.

One solution is to visit Cetara and its famous Cuopperia!

fritto misto
fried fish, Italian style

The cuopperia has been around for so many years that it has become a true part of the Amalfi coast’s culinary heritage; and in fact the motto of the place is La cucina è memoria – cuisine is memory, alluding to the fact that the history and character of a country, town, region or area leaves an indelible mark on the flavours of the traditional cuisine.

At the Cuopperia the speciality dish is of course the Cuoppo, which is essentialy a rolled up cone of greaseproof paper filled to the brim with morsels of fresh fish and seafood which have been fried until cooked perfectly and a wonderful golden brown colour. This is served with a couple of slices of lemon, and is best enjoyed with a glass of cold white wine.

fish and chips italian
See the paper cones? That’s what the fish comes in.
Also on the menu are various snacks such as alici con la mozzarella (anchovies with mozzarella cheese), polpette di alici (anchovy meatballs) and spaghetti con la colatura di alici (spaghetti with anchovy sauce).
If you think you are seeing a theme here then you are right – they like anchovies. Alot. It is worth mentioning that these are not those salty, limp things you get from a jar, these are plump, fresh little fish and this area is famous for how meaty and tasty the anchovies are. Anchovies from the Gulf of Salerno in fact sell for up to twice as much per kilo as anchovies from other parts of the Mediterranean – and trust me they are delicious.
Of course, one of the things that makes this place so special is also what makes the Anstruther Fish Bar so good – its proximity to the sea. A different sea, a different country but both are home to me now nonetheless
A bit warmer than the North sea, but still!

7 Comments Add yours

  1. curiousappetite says:

    they (sort of) have a Tuscan version of this inside the fish stands at Mercato Centrale in Firenze! Try it if you’re ever there visiting the fish mongers…yum!!!

    1. Oh, good! i’m going to Florence in October, I’ll be sure to keep my eyes peeled for it!

  2. Love your blog! Any recommendations for good places to dine in Rome?? Ciao!

    1. I’m afraid I don’t know Rome too well… I’ll ask Roberto and get back to you, he often goes to Rome on business.

  3. sybaritica says:

    That *does* look good!

    1. Trust me, it is good 🙂


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