The art of preserving fish was probably introduced to Orbetello by the Spanish in the 16th century. Botargo has been made around the lagoon for centuries, but until recently only at home. Most of the mullet with eggs were sent fresh to Sardinia and processed there. Botargo is made by delicately extracting the egg sacs from the female fish, salting them for a few hours, pressing them and then letting them dry. The amber-colored, irregularly shaped blocks of salted eggs are firm but not dry.
Mullet fishing takes place all year, but culminates between August and September.