Italian tuna-fish musciame (“musciame di tonno”) – Christine Zilka CC BY 2.0

Musciame or mosciame is a traditional Italian preserved meat made from dolphins’ salted and sun-dried flesh. It is black and looks like a piece of charred wood hanging from a string.

The sailors and fishers of Liguria and Versilia made it; under European law, it may no longer be legally produced or sold.  A similar product in Sicily made from a fillet of tuna often marketed as “mosciame di tonno” is essentially the same as the mojama de atún of Spain.

Dolphin musciame may be substituted with similar food, musciame di tonno, made from tuna fillet. In the summer months, it is prepared by salting strips of tuna fillet from the sizeable conical muscle known as bodano, which are then sun-dried, smoked, or – more often – dried in a warm oven.

Musciame was a fundamental element of Ligurian seamen’s diet, who ate it with the ship’s biscuit softened with seawater and vinegar, accompanied by vegetables. It is eaten very thinly sliced; it may be seasoned with olive oil, or served on tomato slices, or accompanied by boiled beans and onion. If the meat is particularly hard, it may need to be softened by soaking in cold water for a few hours.

Musciame or mosciame is a Regional Recipe from Liguria, Sicily, and Sardinia

Enrico Massetti was born in Milan, Italy.
Now he lives in Washington, DC, USA.
Still, he regularly visits his hometown
and enjoys going around all the places in his home country
especially those he can reach by public transportation.

Enrico loves writing guide books on travel in Italy
to help his friends that go to Italy to visit
and enjoy his old home country.
He also publishes books on the Argentine tango dance.

You can reach Enrico at