In the Ligurian Region, anchovies from the Ligurian Sea have always been known as "Pan do mâ", i.e. “bread from the sea,” because they are the primary source of nutrition for predatory fish and “pesce azzurro”. This product has had one of the highest consumption and production rates in the region since medieval times, when anchovies were a tradable commodity in Piedmont. In 1100, the preservation technique of curing and seasoning them in salt was perfected. This practice is decidedly ancient, as a number of historical documents will confirm (see Statuti comunali -Municipal Statutes).
The salted anchovy from the Ligurian Sea, , is traditionally served as an hors d’oeuvre, particularly in the city of Genoa. It is arranged on a plate, covered in oil, and sprinkled with oregano and garlic. With this type of preparation, the anchovies should be left to marinate and eaten some hours later.
The label above the “arbanelle” or preserving jars, should display the words, in letters double the size of lettering on the jar, "Acciughe sotto sale del Mar Ligure I.G.P. Indicazione Geografica Protetta" (salt-cured anchovies from the Ligurian Sea P.G.I. Protected Geographical Indication). The same label should also display the name, type of company, address of the producer, the packers, as well as the net weight of the drained product. The words "Indicazione di origine protetta," may be repeated on other parts of the container or on the label in the form of the acronym "I.G.P". The composition of the brine and other ingredients used must be listed: anchovies from the Ligurian Sea, water and salt. The packing and expiry dates must also be included on the container. The expiry date must not be more than 24 months from the packing date. Finally, the label must always display the graphic symbol.