Being from Spain, anchovies have always been something very close to our heart. Spain has a huge tradition of producing (and eating) anchovies. Two of the most famous corners for anchovy production is Spain are Santoña on the northern Cantabric Sea coastline, and a small town named L'Escala in Catalonia, on the Mediterranean coast.
The anchovy fish (or "boquerón", as we know it) is captured during the spring months. After carefully cleaning and slicing the fish in fillets, it's covered in salt and stored. After 6 to 12 months, voilà, you have anchovies. Salt preservation is one of the oldest methods for keeping food for extended periods of time, it goes back thousands of years!
Anchovies are so versatile, and there's so many different dishes and preparations that you can make with them, that it would be too long to list them here. Basically, if you want to have a proper stocked pantry at home, you need to have anchovies. Some of my favorite preparations include:
- Anchovy pizza (the classic Napoli pizza includes anchovies and capers)
- Many pasta dishes, most famously the "puttanesca"
- Anchovy and tomato salad, total killer combination
- Tuna, red pepper, olives, anchovies sandwich (aka "Cantabrico")
- Together with some green olives for a snack. Often times in Spain for "vermut", the olives are also pitted with anchovy paste
- Nacho's favorite: "el matrimonio" (the marriage), a tapa combination of salted and non-salted (vinegar-based) anchovies
Here at Lata we are proud to include one of the best anchovies in the market that do not need refrigeration: the Olasagasti Cantabric Anchovy Fillets in EVOO
"It took a while for us to find the right anchovy for our shop. We were looking for a fresh and tender fillet that wasn't overwhelmingly salty, but those tins usually need to be refrigerated. We kept looking until we found Olasagasti's, and it was love the moment we met"
Olasagasti Cantabric Anchovy Fillets in EVOO come in two different sizes, 48gr and 120gr. Get the smaller anchovies if you just want to try it, and the larger ones to treat yourself - you will not regret it.