These odd structures with the odd name of trobacchi are actually an ingenious way to fish without ever going out to sea. Like fishing huts on stilts. They dot the 15 km southern coastline in my province of Abruzzo with their organic, quirky constructions that look like the anatomy of some exotic sea creature. Two or three of their long arms provide a network for nets that project out to sea and take advantage of favorable currents to scoop up fish.
Made from acacia trees that grow behind the beaches and salvaged drift wood washed in by the tide, each one looks quite different. Fishing families since the 18th century used these ancient formations as their main source of income. It took ingenuity to devise a framework for fishing based on a sparse population that needed to lessen loss of life at sea and not be hampered by weather conditions. Indeed, as they are repaired, trobocchi have resisted decades of storms while remaining flexible. Impressive.
Due to the over- fishing in deeper waters, Trobocchi are now cultural symbols, tourist attractions and even restaurants rather than sustainable fishing machines. My Honey and I joined friends for a Slow Food meal on a trobocco not far from us near Vasto and pictured below. The food was fresh, local and typical (the criteria of Slow Food Movement) and we feasted on gifts from the sea. One dish was a local fish soup called Rodetto di Pesche all Vastese made with assorted fishes, tomatoes, garlic and olive oil. Delicious.
There is some food that feeds more than physical hunger. This would be an example.
How about for you?