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What are the best anchovies you can buy to eat fresh in salads??

I want them to not be too hard/stiff, bony and not fall apart too easily, and have a fine taste. Years ago, i bought a large round flat can with salted anchovies from Ratto's (Oakland,CA), that lasted 2 years.. they were the best!! Can't find them anymore :{

Maybe the expensive ones in the little glass jars are the best.

Nonetheless, what are/is your favorite??

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  1. Ortiz Spanish anchovies are my favorite. You have to try a jar at least once. Whether they're worth the price depends on how much one loves anchovies.

    3 Replies
    1. re: la2tokyo

      Absolutely agree, are in the little jar with a fork on the side.

        1. re: JMF

          double ditto. I love them and use the oil they are packed in for dipping fresh artisan breads.

    2. The anchovies in little glass jars are just as hit or miss as the canned ones. The ones I've purchased have had excellent flavor, but are sometimes too soft. Haven't seen salted ones around here (but I'm in rural VA), so am guessing online may be your best bet. I don't have the catalog in front of me, but there's a Spanish-cuisine company that I believe sells particularly good ones.

      1. Quality and price are just right with Agostino Recca anchovies.

        1. The ones you bought from Ratto's were likely Agostino Recca, as recommended below. I used to buy them there. You can get them from Market Hall in Rockridge (Oakland, CA).

          3 Replies
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              If I can't get good fresh anchovies (depends on what was brought in to the dock that day), these are my next 'go-to' at the Italian market.
              They're a bit pricey, but totally worth it. Not to mention the cans are pretty large, so they can take a while to get through.

            2. My favorites WERE La Barca flats in the tin, packed in a "sauce piquant".

              But I can't find them anymore even online. Now I'm buying the small La Barca jars with oil.

              BTW, La Barca are Greek. I have really become averse to the ubiquitous Moroccan ones. They just don't taste right, (King Oscar, Vigo, Napoleon, etc.). I tried some Peruvian ones also with poor results.

              1. I like Consorcio Anchovies. Expensive, and whether they are worth it or not is up to the user.

                1. I must say, the recommendations about ORTIZ anchovies were quite valid. I tried them and they were smooth as silk, with a nice not too overly-powerful flavor.

                  A keeper!!

                  1. OK, Any help I can get here I will gladly take...I have a recipe for deep fried anchovy...simple, you just make a fritter batter and have at it, sprinkle whatever you want on them when the come out and drain. It calls for teh whole anchovy but I cannot alwasy find that. Fior the tinned variety, I need one that holds up, a meaty piece that won;t fall apart. Any ideas for a brand name? I've had hit-and-miss on this. BTW, if in oil, soak in iced water a little while to get some, not all, salt out. Serve with ice cold martini.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: hazelhurst

                      Good luck on using non-fresh anchovies for that recipe. I've had a fair amount of small-fish fry, and I just don't see it happening with nothing but fresh (or maybe even frozen) stuff. An alternative might be dried fish (think of Japanese iriko). This is a common dish (tempura-style) in Japanese cuisine.

                      1. re: bulavinaka

                        I've done it with tinned successfully...but you are right it is better as designed. Still, some brands hold up better than others. I had good luck with some in jars but damn if I recall the brand.

                      2. re: hazelhurst

                        You really need fresh anchovies for that recipe. It wasn't even remotely meant for the tinned ones. I don't know where you're located, but put the recipe aside & look for fresh anchovies around the holidays, since they're a common ingredient for Christmas Eve feasts.

                        1. re: hazelhurst

                          Perhaps you can try this with salt-packed anchovies (no oil). They are meatier, larger, and hold their shape better.

                        2. Perhaps this is what you are looking for? SARDINES IN OIL-PIQUANT-LA BARCA BRAND
                          100x3.5 oz

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: COOKCOOKS

                            If that was in response tomy plaintive cry for LaBarca 'chovies in a piquant sauce, then "Thanks", but no.

                            Mine were anchovies. I still have one can I've been hoarding. Here's a blurry but legible photo.

                            I tried searching online but to no avail.

                            Seriously though,. thanks for trying.

                            1. re: DoobieWah

                              Since both of these companies/links sell many La Barca products perhaps you can contact them and see if they could order you a case. With a shelf stable product that doesn't take up much space like this you would be good for quite a long time.

                              They may not carry it because they think it wouldn't sell.

                          2. I like the Zarotti brand in the bottle,Firm,not too salty or fishy and fine in everything from dressings to Pizza but really only found them at Costco in Montreal.

                            1. white anchovies, fresh tiny fillets that are mild and excellent, usually packed in a brine.