Taramasalata (Greek: ταραμοσαλάτα, from taramas, from Turkish: tarama "meze made from fish roe" + salata "salad") is a Greek and Turkishmeze. The spelling taramosalata is sometimes used in the US, but based on the Greek and according to most dictionaries it is spelt with an A.
Taramasalata is traditionally made from taramas, the salted and cured roe of the cod or the carp, though blends based on other forms of fish roe have become more common. The roe is mixed with either bread crumbs or mashed potato, and lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil. It is usually eaten as a dip, with bread and/or raw vegetables. The colour can vary from creamy beige to pink, depending on the type of roe used. Mass-produced taramasalata is often a bright pink due to the addition of food colouring.
In Greece, taramasalata is mainly eaten on Clean Monday (Καθαρά Δευτέρα), the first day of the Easter lent.
A similar dip or spread, salată de icre ('roe salad' in Romanian) is also common in Romania and Bulgaria (known as хайвер, or haiver). It is made with pike, carp or herring roe but generally with sunflower or vegetable oil instead of olive oil and without any thickener like bread crumbs or mashed potato. It is mass-produced and is widely available in grocery shops and supermarkets, as well as being made at home, in which case chopped onions are commonly added.
A version of this dip is prepared with mashed beans, sunflower oil, garlic and chopped onions, called fasole bătută or fasole făcăluită (mashed beans) or icre de fasole (beans roe).
^-a- is the only spelling given in The Macquarie Dictionary (1995) for Australian English and in Chambers Dictionary (1994), Collins English Dictionary 6th Edition (2003), Concise Oxford Dictionary 9th Edition (1995), and The Times English Dictionary (2000), all of which represent British English but indicate alternate American spellings and indicate nothing here. -o- is also given, but second so that -a- is preferred, by Longman Dictionary of the English Language (1988) (British publisher). The word was not given at all a few decades ago such as in [Merriam-]Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary (1977) or their three-volume 3rd International (1971) and is now given with -a- in The American Heritage Dictionary, see note above.