The 29th of March 2022 was a significant moment for Greece and a moving night for the Trikalinos Company, the leader in the production of Grey Mullet Bottarga. The awarding the Walter Scheel Medaille on that night marked international recognition of the overall contribution of the Trikalinos family, specifically, for its unwavering commitment to the implementation, improvement, and evolution of the production of Bottarga, an international delicacy with a history stretching into the ancient world.
The Walter Scheel Association was founded in 1991 with the aim of awarding the medal named for the fourth and most beloved Federal President of Germany to individuals who have rendered outstanding service to the preservation of European wine and gastronomic culture. The patron of the award was the late Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, former President of the French Republic.
With a touching speech, the President of the Organization, Christophe Wirtz, handed the Award to Zafeiris Trikalinos, the Trikalinos Company’s current President. He stated that, “ever since the mid-19th century, the Trikalinos Family has been processing the roe of grey mullet caught in the Ionian Sea and transforming it, with the help of little more than sea salt and sunlight, into an incomparable delicacy: ‘Avgotaraho’.”
Famous in every fishing nation, it is known as ‘Bottarga’ in Italy, as ‘Karasumi’ in Japan, and as ‘Poutargue’ in France. Avgotaraho from Trikalinos, which is now in its fourth generation leadership, headed by Zafeiris, represents the culmination of an artisanal tradition that stretches back in Greece to the Byzantine period.
Created in just a few precise movements and wrapped in natural beeswax, its unique tenderness and aromatic complexity is sought after by top chefs all around the world: from the Roca Brothers in Girona to Alain Passard to Peter Goossens and by restaurants in Taipei, Chicago, and Tokyo.
It is a humble and ancient product in a highly refined form – the essence of the sea. It is in honor of his nurturing and further development of this product that Zafeiris Trikalinos was awarded the XVII Walter Scheel Medal in Athens. It was the first time that this very distinguished award was given to a Greek Company.