Anchovy in our A-Z - Cooking Index
Most people's first experience of anchovies is on pizzas and it is usually an experience that is enough to put them off anchovies for life. That would be a mistake because anchovies are one of the finest and most delicious small fishes in the world. The ones used on pizzas tend to be over-salted, low quality and overcooked - a very bad combination.
Fresh anchovies (alici in Italian) are no more than 9 inches long and are usually about 3 to 5 inches. They should be gutted and lightly grilled.
Anchovies are a sea fish and do not like extremes of ater temperature; they and are usually caught in the Mediterranean.
Preserved anchovies are usually gutted, salted and then packed in olive oil. They are sometimes packed in a vinegar mix, when they are known as white anchovies (sometimes sold in the United States as 'alici').
Anchovies are the main ingredient in Gentlemen's Relish, an anchovy and butter paste that is popular in some British households. It is spread on toast either for breakfast or tea. Anchovies are an important ingredient in Worcester sauce. A Caesar salad should contain anchovies too although many chefs now choose to leave this ingredient out because it is so often sent back by ignorant diners who did not expect to find fish in their salad.