salt packed anchovies,

My market carries a 1 3/4 lb can of salted anchovies (not oil packed) from Italy for about $25. Is that a good price? And for that many anchovies, how long of a fridge life do they have, and what's the best way to keep them fresh? Keep them covered with coarse salt?

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19 Comments

cookinginvictoria April 26, 2013
I gently work a fingertip along the anchovy belly. When I can feel the backbone, I very carefully wiggle it free, pulling it from the anchovy flesh with my thumb and forefinger. Before deboning, I brush as much salt off by hand, then I rinse them in cold water. April Bloomfield suggests soaking them in cold water for a minute after rinsing to remove additional salt. I'll bet thati pizza was seriously delicious!
 
mrslarkin April 26, 2013
anyone have tips on deboning? i kinda massacred these little guys.
 
pierino April 26, 2013
spread them open on their backs. Starting at the head end (now disposed of)take the spine and yank it out. That's all. You will get used to it.
 
mrslarkin April 26, 2013
just opened the can. have to admit, these things are scary looking! They're a bit labor intensive, what with the de-boning. putting them on a pizza tonight.
 
pierino April 26, 2013
Stay with it. Soon you will be both a convert and an expert.
 
mrslarkin April 25, 2013
Yep, that's on the "to do" list. I also found this beautifully written article, with a few great recipes, by our very own Amanda Hesser: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/18/dining/a-little-fish-much-maligned.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm
 
pierino April 24, 2013
Sam's suggestion of caesar salad is an excellent one.
 
mrslarkin April 24, 2013
Thanks guys. Got them today. very excited. Any suggestions on what I should try first?
 
Sam1148 April 24, 2013
Caesar Salad! Yes,I know it's not really 'original'...but I love them anyway. Now, start with some crutons tonight and get the lettuce tomorrow.
 
calendargirl April 24, 2013
Same goes for salt-packed capers, which a friend brings from Italy. The quality is excellent and they keep well. See this from a David Tanis piece a year or so ago in the New York Times about salt-packed anchovies and capers: http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/22/buying-anchovies-and-capers/
 
Hilarybee April 24, 2013
Yum. I'm jealous of all the delicious anchovies.
 
ChefJune April 24, 2013
You're going to like them, Mrs. Larkin! ;)
 
cookinginvictoria April 24, 2013
Mrs. Larkin, I recently bought a tin too and the price was comparable in Canada. I became a convert of salt packed anchovies after April Bloomfield strongly endorsed them in a Girl and Her Pig. The flavor is definitely superior to oil packed anchovies. I find them extremely easy to debone, and I have been finding many uses for them. I have been told by other cooks that they will last for months and months in the fridge. Pierino and Paseo, thanks for the tip about making sure to salt the anchovies to extend their shelf life. I'll make sure to do that as well.
 
mrslarkin April 23, 2013
Thanks guys. I'm going to go for it.
 
pierino April 23, 2013
Paseo has it right all the way. You do have to continue to recover the anchovies in salt. Also, be prepared to pull off the heads and yank out the spines. But they do last for a VERY long time.
 
BoulderGalinTokyo April 24, 2013
I understand about head removal, but why do you take the spines out--good source of calcium. In oil-covered anchovies the spines are very soft, are the salt-packed spines stiffer, pokey inside the mouth?
 
pierino April 24, 2013
Salt packed anchovies are what restaurants prefer to use; think the French Laundry. BoulderGalin, yes the spines are edible but just not aesthetically pleasing to most palates. Typically this type of anchovy is chopped up to add some "bottom" flavor, which is not to say that you couldn't use them on a pizza in place of the tinned ones from Morocco.
 
paseo April 23, 2013
And yes, that about what I pay at an Italian deli in Portland(Maine). Seems to be a fair price for that many good quality anchovies.
 
paseo April 23, 2013
That's what I buy - more work but excellent quality. I remove what I need, then cover the remaining in the can with salt. I use them fairly quickly (it's a LOT of little fish) and find that they last well - a least a couple of months.
 
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