Anchovies

Yes, I love them.

I’ve loved them for a looooooong time.

I remember, in grade 7, when the orthodontist was two hours late with my appointment, his assistant took me for lunch to a pizzeria nearby on Cote des Neiges, and I had, for the first time in my life, an anchovy pizza. Not a pizza with a few anchovies on it, which I had had before, because my parents like anchovies, but an honest-to-god, anchovy pizza. It is still awesome in my memory.

I get anchovy pizzas these days up at the corner, at Stratenger’s, from their wood-fired oven.

I’ve had fresh anchovies that I pan-fried in Tuscany. I’ve had white anchovies from the Cheese Boutique, slightly pickled in lemon, then put into olive oil to preserve them. Both of these are very different from the typical anchovies we use to add some umami or saltiness to dishes.

I always want to have anchovies to do something with at home.

Sometimes just to put a fillet on top of a buttered cracker.

I’ve tried canned anchovies. Honestly? I didn’t find a brand that made me happy.

Last time, I bought a jar of anchovies in sunflower oil. The brand was Allessia. Meh. They were OK, but I felt the texture was harder than it should be, like the oil wasn’t keeping them soft, or they had been dried too much in salt before they were preserved in oil. I figure I can use the leftover oil for frying something in my frying pan, because sunflower oil has a pretty good smoke point if it has been refined.

Today I went back to Domino’s on the hunt for more anchovies, and found a glass jar — pretty much identical to the Allessia one with its metal pressure closure and rubber ring between the glass lid and bottle. But the label was blue instead of red. The brand was Paese Mio — and these ones were in olive oil instead of sunflower oil. I opened the bottle when I got home, and ate a couple of anchovy fillets.

Not as salty as Allessia’s. More tender. These will mash better into a paste. And they had more fish flavour: it wasn’t all hidden behind salt.

I’ve just got to hope I can keep getting them: they didn’t have many jars of this brand!

How about you? Do you have a favorite brand of anchovy? A favorite dish made with them? A memory that rings out? Tell me about it in the comments!

PS: almost forgot. I’ve got a package of dried anchovies that I bought at T&T Supermarket that I haven’t done anything with yet. If you’ve got any ideas of what I should do with them, other than grind them in my mortar with my pestle, or munch them as-is, I’d like to hear your suggestions!

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About pat

Photographer and writer. I love taking pictures of food that make it look irresistible. Prime interests is field-to-table food, closely followed by gardening and urban nature.

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