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Tuscan Sea Palamita (Italy)

A relative of tuna and mackerel, palamita (Atlantic Bonito) is a streamlined, pelagic predator with a large mouth with sharp teeth even on its palate, small circular eyes and a body ip to 80 centimeters long covered with scales that on the back are dark blue to sky blue-green, with silvery sides and oblique blackish stripes. It is caught from late-Spring to early-Summer and again at the end of September, when it weighs up to five-six kilos.

The fishing area extends along the entire coast of the Tuscan Archipelago, with several favorable points such as Capo d'Enfola, near Portoferraio, on the northern coast of Elba, where until a few decades ago there was still a tonnara dedicated to processing this fish.

The meat of ‘palamita fish' has a strong flavor with a delicate hint of acidity and can be cooked in various ways: grilled with fine herbs, oil and salt, or steamed with tomatoes, parsley, garlic, capers, olives and chili pepper (known as ginger in Tuscany). Yet the best way to savor palamita is preserved in olive oil: the larger fish are boiled after cutting them into fillets and kept under olive oil with bay leaves, pepper and the ever-present ginger. The result is very delicate fillets similar to tuna.

The Presidium aims to encourage resumption of processing techniques and create a market value chain: at the time being, there are certain fishermen who would like to restore the use of ancient nets and restaurateurs interested in serving palamita in olive oil.


Production area:

Sea around the Tuscan Archipelago, provinces of Grosseto and Livorno


Presidium supported by:

Province of Grossetto, Province of Livorno, Municipality of San Vincenzo, Municipality of Piombino

Presidium coordinators:

Stefano Ferrari, tel. +39 0586 630822
Massimo Bernacchini, tel. +39 0564 860288



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