Pissala is a fish paste. Fish is fermented for a few days, then puréed and mixed with olive oil and seasoned with thyme, bay leaf, cloves, etc. Generally anchovies are used, but sardines can also be used.
Unlike some of the earlier Roman fish sauces and pastes that were made, the strong taste of the fish definitely survives and comes through in Pissala.
It is used, amongst other things, to make the Niçois pizza called Pissaladière (though oftentimes these days anchovy filets are just used instead.) The flat bread that it was spread on was called a “pompe.”
Pissala is traditional in the Provence area of France.
The word pissala may come from “piscis” (meaning fish) and “sal” (meaning salt). Has also been called “peis-salat” and “pissara”.