This is a category of fish already known and fished since ancient times by the coastal populations of the Mediterranean sea.
Although there is no real scientific classification, blue fish is of small size and owes its name to the characteristic color: dorsal shades of blue with bright silvery belly. The most common blue fish has also similar living habits and behavior, as it gathers in small or large flocks to take often long trips.
In our seas the most fished varieties are sardines, anchovies and mackerel.
Also fish species of a blue color like tuna, swordfish and bonito often tend to be included in this category although they have nothing in common with those listed above in regards to size, shape, type of meat and nutritional properties.
Blue fish is a great food and gastronomic resource, perhaps unfairly overlooked by consumers. Food for fishermen and poor people in the past, it has earned the unfair classification of low quality fish, giving way to species that are considered more desirable. The reason for this is the relative abundance of this fish, present in the national markets in almost every season. This means a much lower consumer price than other varieties that are scarcer and therefore more expensive.
It is also considered a type of fish that is fatty and indigestible; in fact, extensive medical studies have shown that blue fish consumption is recommended as an alternative to protein foods such as cheese, eggs or meat, since the presence of omega 3 fats lowers the level of cholesterol in the blood.
Once caught, blue fish is subject to rapid deterioration because of its properties, therefore it is necessary to preserve it carefully.
Since ancient times various methods have been devised to ensure availability even after a long time from capture; it can be preserved in oil, in salt or crushed into a paste. These methods are now used mainly by canneries.
The fresh blue fish can be cooked in countless ways: grilled, steamed, baked, fried or it can be eaten raw. The fillets obtained separating the skin from the central bone, washed in salt water and dressed only with lemon, are especially delicious.