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Nov 21, 2011 03:39 PM

Red spots on anchovies

I have been a happy and devoted user of salt packed anchovies for some years. Never have seen what I found today, though. I buy them in an 850g tin (Rozzoli brand this time), and after opening store it in refrig, using the plastic top that comes with and putting plastic wrap under it. Never gave a second thought to keeping them that way for many months until used. This time however, I found tiny red spots on the unused fish, not fuzzy like mold usually is, but rather shiny and rounded in shape.

I hesitate to use them in a dish--red stuff says stay away to me. Anyone else ever have this experience or an idea as to what this may be? Attempting to attach attempts at photographing anchovies and their hangers-on.

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  1. No idea what that could be. And my personal rule is: when in doubt throw it out. I'd be opening up another tin. Sorry, cause I don't think that was the intent of that post, you want to know what these spots are! But I hate to see an orphan post lol...

    1. I see those red spots all the time and have never given them a thought. I'm going to a good shop today and will try to remember to ask.

      1. Weird. It doesn't look like anything growing. Is there anything on the ingredient list that might explain these? How long have you had them?

        1 Reply
        1. re: rworange

          The ingredients are anchovies, salt, water. Perhaps I should have removed them from can to glass storage, but I never have in past. THey are supposed to last indefinitely.

        2. I asked at my shop (Volpetti, best gourmet shop in Rome). The owner said it is just a sign they are "mature," meaning they have been in the can for a while (which is good) and it's perfectly normal. He didn’t say what they were ("they are the maturation" -- thanks a lot), but they are perfectly all right, which has certainly been my experience. Relax and enjoy your properly mature anchovies.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mbfant

            Thank you so much. Back to the kitchen!