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To anchovy or NOT to

Anchovy..that is my question..and I mean on pizza
I adore a pizza with them..dh despises them
.but only on pizzza.I thought i would ask here..who is with me y? And clearly thus very cool and amazing..lol

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  1. Never had them on pizza. Many other way but not pizza.

    1. I love them but don't like it when they have been reduced to little skidmarks of salt. Often I get pizza with friend and have anchovies on the side. Then I just put theanchovy right out of teh tin/jar on the pizza and go from there.

      7 Replies
      1. re: hazelhurst

        Great description, hazelhurst. I like your method a lot.

          1. re: hazelhurst

            I don't think I noticed this tip anywhere else in the thread, but when making a pizza yourself with anchovies, I find that they are best when added for the last minute or two of the cooking time. That way, they heat up and are slightly integrated into the pie without having been obliterated.

            1. re: MGZ

              I agree with this, MGZ. At home, my pizzas generally have close to a 7-minute cook time, and I try to put them on the pizza with about a minute left to go. This time in the oven, plus the residual cooking once the pizza is removed and resting, allows the anchovy flavor to disperse without letting the anchovies disintegrate.

              1. re: MonMauler

                I like them both ways. Sometimes I like them obliterated, sometimes not. Anyone else with me?

                1. re: bmorecupcake

                  Yes,I'm with you....either way,just put them on!

            2. A plain old cheese and anchovy pizza (with good tomato sauce) is one of my favourite things -- but I never get to eat it b/c I'm the only anchovy-lover in the house :(

              2 Replies
              1. re: queueueuq

                Another big fan of anchovy and cheese pizza. Fortunately, I am able to make one almost anytime I like. That may be dinner tomorrow night.

                1. I ADORE them on pizza, but since hubby doesn't, I only enjoy them on "my" pizza. Used to order them on pizza when dining out &/or takeout, but after once getting some that were obviously past their prime & which made me a bit green around the gills, I now only enjoy them on pizza by adding them myself at home. Easy enough to do - just make (or buy) a plain cheese pizza & add the anchovies yourself at home. This way, you can avoid "tainting" your husband's half of the pizza (or his own pizza if you've made/bought small separate ones), & can be sure the little fishies are fresh.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Bacardi1

                    I make pizza about once a week at home so I *should* just do half-anchovy for me, but... I always end up being tempted by whatever toppings I'm doing that week :) Maybe someday.

                  2. Anchovy and olive is my favorite pizza, with a Neapolitan-style crust.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: GH1618

                      Anchovy. And. Olive! Yikes! That is so on my list when I don't have to share with anyone else!

                    2. I wouldn't think of ordering a pizza without anchovies. Don't think i ever have. And a pizza without anchovies is a sad thing to behold.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: arktos

                        Mrs. O and I are right there with you, arktos. I'm not as passionate about them as she is - and I must insist that they don't belong on a Pizza Margherita - but we used to have our Alfa Romeo club meetings at a red-sauce-and-pizza joint that did NOT have anchovies on their toppings list, and it made me crazy. It's like a soul food place with no greens on the menu, just flat wrong.

                        1. re: Will Owen

                          I agree that I don't like them on a classic Pizza Margherita either - that's a classic that shouldn't be tampered with.

                          Actually, my favorite pizza with anchovies is "Anchovies & Onions". I use a mandoline to slice sweet onions see-through thin & scatter them around along with the anchovies atop a regular red-sauce-&-mozzarella pie. Heaven! (Well, heaven for me at least - lol!)

                          1. re: Bacardi1

                            I agree, I think sometimes, some of us overload our pizzas. Anchovy pizza is something that should be simple and enjoyed just for it's own sake, with just a few complimentary seasonings such as: the aforementioned, a whisp/drizzle of a tomatoey sauce, some red chile flakes, perhaps a few scatterings of fennel frond and at the very most, sliced mushrooms(but not too many).

                            1. re: arktos

                              My wife and I use Anchovy on most of the Pizza we make, but in moderation. The local version here is Tallegio, arugula, and Speck, which is strong enough on it's own without adding anchovy.

                              If we did add it with Tallegio, it might be a WMD violation.

                      2. I'm so with you. They used to be really popular when I was a kid, growing up in New York, and Fridays were meatless. My grandmother made her own pizza with them. I would only trust them to be fresh in a pizza joint that does high volume in an ethnic area, so I will add them myself to a cheese pizza. No shot here in Texas. With the exception of Houston, not too many fish eaters here.

                        1. I love anchovies, but there are so few pizza places that handle them appropriately that I rarely order them on pizza. When I make pizza (or pissaladière) at home, I usually soak the anchovies in milk for a few minutes to cut down on the salt.

                          1. I love them too, on pizza or anything really. One trick I do to fool my spouse and kids (who all profess to hate anchovies) is to saute sliced mushrooms in butter with several anchovies melted in, then use the mushrooms on a simple white, thin crust pizza. That way I get the delicious flavor, the texture of mushroom, and no obvious fish bodies for people to rebel against.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: tcamp

                              Sautéed mushrooms and anchovies (perhaps with a drizzle of white truffle oil) on a simple WHITE thin crust pizza sounds like a pizza party about to happen in your mouth. Wow!

                              1. re: tcamp

                                I whirl some ground anchovies or anchovy paste into the tomato sauce if I have some
                                weedlie-weedlies around. They can't tell there are anchovies in it, but they get the umami blast, and I know it's there.

                                1. re: tcamp

                                  'Fish bodies" I love that term.
                                  I am 'afraid' of anything that reminds me of a fishing-worm or anything I can imagine slithering in the sea. That includes a lot of iitty-bitty fishies. It's just something that I'll never get over.

                                  I have tried - from watching a hint many times by Rachel Rae who 'melts' her anchovies - this technique - even bought several jars in olive oil - salted from deli's, etc. I just couldn't really discern any fishy taste, or addition of something good happening in the taste departent. So, it seemed an exercise/technique in cooking I've abandoned, though unhappily when I see that others like them so much.

                                2. For sure! The best pizza toppings are the saltiest -- chovies, green olives, capers....

                                  1. The homemade pizzas that my dad taught me to make in my youth were thick crust, olive oil, crushed tomatoes, anchovies and a smattering of oregano. Simple and lovely. I also love them on salads, with eggs, in crispelli, in puttanesca...any excuse to eat them.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: pinehurst

                                      Yup - I also love them on salads, in puttanesca sauce & in other pasta recipes, draped over deviled eggs, yadayadayada.

                                      1. re: Bacardi1

                                        Oh - & I also love them chopped & added to warm extra-virgin olive oil as a dipping sauce for crudite, mozzarella sticks, &/or Mozzarella en Carroza(sp?).

                                    2. What if I'm in neither camp?? Can I be cool or amazing but not both??

                                      I've had them on pizza and liked it. Surprisingly. However I would not order that way. Just won't pick them off when someone else does.


                                      1. I'm convinced that there must be an anchovy gene. I (happily) married into a family with one, so all my stepkids like them and a granddaughter from that side began eating them on a slice of cucumber at age 3. I do a chicken salad w/ anchovies that blows folks away; I usually don't discuss the full ingredientlist unless someone is wild for it and insists.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: lemons

                                          I insist!! Please, please, pretty please.


                                          PS, put it on the HC board.

                                          1. re: Davwud

                                            I would be honored. It's posted. Tres simple, though.

                                          2. Not a fan. I use anchovy paste in some sauces and dressings, but I don't like them on pizza.

                                            1. Yes anchovies on pizza is a must for me, there was a place on pico blvd. in West Los Angeles named "Zitos" that disappeared in the 1960's that served them in an antapasto salad(spelling?) they also chopped them up and put them in the spagetti sauce, never would know they were in there but what a great sauce.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: malibumike

                                                Yes! Anchovies are an integral part of an antipasto platter. In fact, way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, a popular appetizer in fancy Italian restaurants was roasted red bell peppers drizzled with good extra-virgin olive oil & draped with a number of anchovy filets. While I still enjoy that at home, I can't remember the last time I've seen it on a menu.

                                              2. This is not about pizza but it is about anchovies.The anchovy dish I keep feeling tempted to try (but haven't yet) is in Scandianvian cookbooks and I have seen it called Sailor's Delight or Sailor's Dream. Basically it is a baked casserole of scalloped potatoes with some sliced onions thrown in and a layer or two of salty anchovies, with cream poured over all and then baked. Can't you imagine a sailor on northern seas standing watch all night up on a ship's deck in a snowstorm, freezing his *** and dreaming of this, all hot and creamy and potato-y and salty with the anchovies?

                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: Querencia

                                                  Reminds me of a favorite from "The NEro Wolfe Cookbook. It cals for anchovies with the head on but you can use the tinned ones. Drain them, soak in ice water to get some salt out. Then make a beer batter and deep fat fry them. Put some paprika on as they cool. Serve with an ice cold martini. Doesn't get any better than that.

                                                  1. re: hazelhurst

                                                    So I'm not the only one who likes martinis and anchovies! I make marinated anchovies a la Michael Chiarello where great quality filets are drizzled with red wine vinegar, good olive oil, garlic slivers and red pepper flakes. Left to marinate for a couple hours with a crusty loaf of bread, they are the *perfect* partner to a bracingly cold martini.

                                                    Speaking of which...gotta go. ;o)

                                                  2. re: Querencia

                                                    Querencia: Our frequent correspondent WildSwede made this, under its more common name of Janssons Festrelse, or Jansson's Temptation, and brought it to a CH meetup at our house. It was so ungodly good that when she offered to make me a small one of my own (she was doing a batch for gifts) I happily took her up on it. The anchovies lose all their sharpness and much of their fishiness in all that potato and cream, but the result is strangely richer and more savory than what could otherwise be really too rich, to the point of stodginess. If you've got the recipe I'd encourage you to try it. WS uses the anchovies she gets at IKEA.

                                                    1. re: Querencia

                                                      Wow, that sounds wonderful. Not so much right now given that the temp nearly hit 90 today but I will keep this in mind for December.

                                                      1. re: tcamp

                                                        It's DELICIOUS!! Do a websearch for "Jansson's Temptation recipe" & you'll get a lot of recipes for it, basically pretty much the same.

                                                      2. re: Querencia

                                                        Excellent-- must remember as a Christmas side dish this year.

                                                      3. No brainer. Anchovie- or you could toast your own under the grill while you wait for your pizza. I can eat them like skittles straight out of the jar.
                                                        My wife complains I smell like the cat food. Meow!

                                                        1. Love them. I eat them out of the jar. And add them to my half of the pizza. With cold, fresh tomato slices. I also take a Honey, Wheat, Berry dinner roll, cut in half, butter both sides and make little bitty anchovy and pepperonccini (sp?) sandwiches. Yum!

                                                          1. Lunch today was at the Italian bistro in the village. Had a pizza marinara - tuna, anchovy and olives. And very nice it was too.

                                                            1. Anchovies on take-out pizza... NOOOO! Total fishy overload for me.

                                                              I agreed with hazelhurst... they have to come right outta the tin. A few years back saw recipe on Ciao Italia (Marianne Esposito) for muffaletto (spelling??). She made an olive spread... black/green olives, onions, garlic, herbs, olive oil and ANCHOVIES all zizzed up in food processor to spread on hollowed out bread. She INSISTED that the anchovies were ABSOLUTELY necessary... I was leery?!? Think the recipe called for 4-6 of them. Bought a small tin and when I opened it... NOT that FISHY smell I so associated with anchovies?!? I started with adding ONE to the mix. By the time I got to about 4, was just starting to get a nice salty flavor... so went for all 6.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: kseiverd

                                                                I no longer order them on restaurant pizza either after having been served so many that were obviously past their prime. I can't help but think that they're not the most popular pizza topping (at least around here), & restaurants keep the leftovers around far too longer than they should.

                                                                I DO, however, put fresh-from-the-tin ones on plain cheese takeout pizzas myself, or, of course, on my homemade pizzas.

                                                              2. I like anchovies a lot, in various forms on pizza or noodle dishes or in casseroles. I might wash them off first to get rid of some of the saltiness. Unfortunately, where I live, they are really hard to come by. I get to eat them maybe once every 2 years.

                                                                1. I like them on Pizza, too

                                                                  Here's a recipe that may broaden one's horizon--

                                                                  Home-Style Parisian Potato Salad

                                                                  1. When I sauté sweet onions for pizza I always add a squeeze of anchovy paste to them.

                                                                    1. A few years ago, my wife and I were staying at our condominium in Brasil (Ceara) deciding what to have for Supper.

                                                                      My wife was for heading into town, but I wanted to head South to nearby Caponga / Aqua Belas, to a small seafood restaurant we had seen the week before. Off we headed but by the highway, and not by dune buggy on the beach as before.

                                                                      We arrived at the same time a local driving a Land Rover 110 Turbo-Diesel, and struck up a conversation with that party who then decided to join us. As the evening started, we were walking towards the restaurant when out of the dark came a fishing fleet of Jangadas (small sailboats) headed directly for shore. None had any nav lights, and began to beach through the surfline on shore, using the shore lights to find the town.

                                                                      We all walked down to the beach and the fishermen landing were offering fresh caught Anchovies. I bought one kilo for small price, and we took them up to the restaurant in a plastic bag. After a llittle " corkage " negotiation, the restaurant agreed to grill them for all of us.

                                                                      We all enjoyed a moonlit night of cold Nova Schin beer, grilled Anchovies, and fish caldo, or stew, which kept comiing all night. Someone started to play live music nearby, people began to dance, more beer, another purchase of Anchovy, back to the restaurant grill, and on and on until sometime after Midnight.

                                                                      Memorable, and we made some new friends we keep in touch with and see when we return. I did have to wash off my dune buggy steering wheel though, the next morning, due to the light scent of Anchovy.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                                          Oh man, that's the greatest food memory I've heard, probably.

                                                                        2. The nice thing about anchovies (alice, Pronouned ah leech,in Italian) on pizza is that you do not have to put them on the whole pie. You get pizza with anchovies and DH gets plain.
                                                                          At work, when I order pizza for the staff I always get at least one anchovy pizza in order to insure that I get a couple of slices since the majority of my hungry co-workers go EEEEEWWW! when they see the anchovies.

                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Motosport

                                                                            Exactly. My husband's favorite pizza toppings are turkey pepperoni or mushrooms; mine is anchovy & onions - which he HATES. To the point where he doesn't even want them close to or touching his pizza - lol! So when I either make pizza at home or dress up a plain takeout one, I can either carefully dress a large one, or do 2 smaller ones.

                                                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                                                HATE turkey pepperoni...for me, they're right down there with turkey hot dogs. Strangely enough though, I love turkey ham (not as a substitute for proper pig ham but rather as a thing all its own).
                                                                                LOVE anchovies, though...on pizza, in salads, and in small quantities as a subtle flavor addition to countless other dishes. A trace of it absolutely RULES in beef stew!

                                                                              2. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                Turkey pepperoni is genius btw. Please tell us your source !!

                                                                                1. re: Cheese Boy

                                                                                  "Turkey Pepperoni" is delicious, & has been around for more than a decade. And you're right - it IS genius. Especially if you - like my husband - are a poultry, seafood, & veg. diner only. We always have a pack or two in the fridge for snacking, pizza, salads, etc., along with turkey bacon, turkey ham, turkey pastrami, turkey sausages (there are dozens of varieties these days), duck prosciutto, etc., etc. The poultry products available these days is absolutely amazing.

                                                                                  All the grocery stores around here (even Walmart) carry turkey pepperoni. It's pre-sliced in little bags & can be found with all the other pre-sliced pepperoni. "Hormel" is our go-to brand & the one that all the stores seem to carry, but there are 2 or 3 others that we've come across. In fact, Boars Head recently came out with it as well, but the little bags of those are usually over by the deli department.

                                                                            1. I can take 'em or leave 'em.
                                                                              I do incorporate them into some other recipes, but I no if my husband ever saw one on his pizza, he'd probably scream like a little girl.

                                                                              1. I love 'em. Nobody else I know does, Sad face is me.

                                                                                1. I recently introduced myself to anchovies and can't get enough of them so I think I'd definitely be in the anchovies on pizza party although I've never tried it. I guess an anchovy pizza should be in order sometime soon.

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                    If I make Pizza for guests I always ask about adding Anchovy first.

                                                                                    If I make Pizza for my wife and I, it better be on there, or else !

                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                      If you're new to anchovies and love them, you owe it to yourself to try fresh marinated anchovies. They're popular all over the Mediterranean region, from France to Turkey, and are wonderful. One type that may be easiest to find is the Spanish version called boquerones. Whole Foods usually has them.

                                                                                      To really take it over the top, there's a traditional Spanish tapas dish called Plato Matrimonio, which is nothing more (nor less) than an artfully arranged plate of white (marinated) and black (salt-cured) anchovies. Heaven!

                                                                                      1. re: BobB

                                                                                        OH great, I'll keep my eye out. Are they usually in a jar? I actually am planning to try sardines today as they have been multiply recommended for a new anchovies fan.

                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                          A flat, sealed plastic container that I find near the fresh fish at my WF, as well as (more reasonably priced, amazingly enough) at one of our local Italian grocers. Refrigerated, I'm sure.

                                                                                    2. Go for it!!! Unless you suffer from the gout, then stay far far away!

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                        Most folks w/ gout won't react to the amount on a serving with pizza - YMMV, obviously, but I've known a number of folks w/ gour and none fo them were triggered by the wonderful little fish. chopped liver, maybe, but not anchovies!

                                                                                        1. re: lemons

                                                                                          I was once served pizza with small cubes of foie gras in the topping. Well, it really wasn't so great tasting.

                                                                                      2. We don't do pizza very often but both hubby & I LOVE a cheese pizza with extra anchovies!

                                                                                        1. I've actually never tried anchovies on pizza (or anything else)--they had a terrible reputation when I was a kid--but I'd be willing to.

                                                                                          1. Way, way back on this post, Barcardi 1 spoke of a pizza with anchovies & paper thin slices of red onion. Don't know where
                                                                                            he lives, but I'm on my way to his dining room table for this one! Sounds terrific and it's on my list to make as soon as my tin of salt-packed anchovies arrives from Corti Brothers in Sacramento, CA. 'tho I live near San Antonio, TX, I order these as they are The Best Anchovies I've ever had. Makes those oil packed ones pale by comparison. Try a tin!

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: amazinc

                                                                                              You may want to get her husband's permission...:)

                                                                                              1. re: amazinc

                                                                                                Good point.

                                                                                                Salt-packed anchovy are all we use here.They seem to be larger and thicker than those sold in the tins.

                                                                                                They pack better in coarse salt, are easier to fish out ( no pun intended ), and then cook with. We wipe the salt off ours for salade niçoise, and other dishes. If we need them oily, we only need to spray olive oil on lightly.

                                                                                                1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                                                                  Another vote for the salt-packed. I find them difficult to get here in the Midwest, but will buy a kilo tin when I find them. I remove the whole thing to a refrigerator container (and wash the tin - they're handsome!), and just take out what I need. When DH was alive, the two of us would go through a tin in a little less than a year - we ate out a lot - but it was money in the bank. One of the grandkids would snack on them straight from the container.

                                                                                              2. I was once in a pizza establishment in Queens, NYC to have our waitress (with a remarkable resemblance to Snooky) ask, "Ya want eyebrows on that?" It took a few seconds to register.

                                                                                                I also had a Mexican M.D. neighbor years ago (who was dually-certified in surgery and orthopedics and should have known better) whose idea of a quick lunch was to drain the oil off a can of anchovies, dump the whole thing on a piece of Wonder Bread, roll it up and chow down. I always wondered what his BP was.

                                                                                                IMHO, I think there would be much more acceptance by the general public if pizza makers chopped them up and sprinkled them over the whole pie rather than having large filets of ultra saline fish (with their itty bitty bones) consumed whole. Just an idea.

                                                                                                1. Pizza with anchovies, green olives, and fresh garlic! Not for the faint of heart, but very good!

                                                                                                  1. At one time, anchovies were a staple on pizzas much more in demand than pepperoni. I have always been fond of anchovy pizza although never with a tomato paste, that is just wrong. There has been a long debate as to the origin of pizza, but in the concept of what is modern day pizza the Greeks had the idea first with a flat oven baked bread with toppings.
                                                                                                    When pizza became an Italian thing it started in Naples Italy with the discovery from the Americas that the tomato was not a poisonous fruit as some of their cousins in the nightshade family and the Italians embraced this with gusto. Thus, tomato paste was produced in numerous varieties and the idea of putting as the base sauce on the pizza was born and pizzerias started to appear in Naples and moved across Italy. Also at the time came the original Marinara sauce. The pizza was such a buzz at the time it came to the attention of King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Savoy and were thrilled about it.
                                                                                                    Moving forward, the pizza came to North America with the exodus of Europeans coming through Ellis Island and many of them settling in New York city. Therefore pizza started there very much Italian. But as pizza spread out, as well as the popularity of Italian pasta restaurants opened by the thousands.
                                                                                                    Here is what you might not realize. Most of these places away from the more populated east coast were opened up by Greek restaurant entrepreneur. Two reasons why, Greek cuisine did not catch on right away, and secondly Greeks will tell you, and sorry, I tend to agree, they are better cooks than Italians. I know I will catch flack for that.
                                                                                                    But with the Greek infusion, who, as I mentions really originated the concept, came up with the non tomato sauces, which are usually dressing based, often with white wine, and softer cheeses that are not stringy and will melt into the sauce and not interfere with the popular mozzarella cheeses.
                                                                                                    Now, pizza restaurants have become owned by all sorts of people from different ethnic backgrounds and all sorts of unlikely toppings have become common fare. The worst of course of all time is the ham and pineapple pizza. Must have been invented by the Mormons since they own most of the pineapple plantations in state of Hawaii and also in other countries. I have no clue why the Mormons have an obsession with pineapples, but they put them in everything.
                                                                                                    Oh, sorry, yes. I like anchovy filets with a white sauce, with onions and sun dried nightshade.....er tomatoes.

                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: scratchMB

                                                                                                      Thanks for the history lesson. I hear/tell that some pizzarias that have Hawaiian Pizza on the menu have *never* gotten an order for one. (I can understand why!)

                                                                                                      1. re: scratchMB

                                                                                                        <anchovy filets with a white sauce, with onions and sun dried nightshade.....er tomatoes>

                                                                                                        Do you have a recipe? I want to make this ... now!

                                                                                                        1. re: scratchMB

                                                                                                          Thank you for this very interesting post. I now understand why all the BEST pizza places where I'm from in the Northeast were run by Greeks. My favorite pizza (and I still crave it to this day) was from a place called "Athens Pizza". Now it's not a chain in the typical franchise sense - it's just a large family that has opened up multiple locations (mostly in NH as far as I know). An Athens Pizza eggplant, olive and anchovy pizza is a thing of beauty to behold! And the olives are Greek olives, not those sad little black sliced olives that are often sold on pizza in the US, the eggplant is fresh not some frozen breaded nastiness and the anchovies are to die for. Oh my. Thanks again for this great post.

                                                                                                        2. OMG, I love anchovy pizza ( a/k/a Neapolitan pizza). Especially when dining in a restaurant on the beach in the south of France and simultaneously enjoying a delicious bottle of rose wine. Somehow, the same pizza eaten in my own home is just not the same; it is still good, but just not the same.......

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. Anchovy... the preserved fillets? or the fresh kind often fried or grilled?

                                                                                                            If we are talking Anchovy Fillets packed in oil, I like to ask the Pizzaiolo to add them before he bakes the pie in the oven, and not add them afterward. He usually gets very angry and yells at me as his whole kitchen takes on a very strong smell many Americans do not like...

                                                                                                            Sardines, now we are talking a whole other fish........

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                              In the last century, uh meaning the 1900s. most pizza specialty restaurants used the whole oil packed fillets, they were grand in size and rarely did they add much in the way of seasoning since the anchovy packs such a salty flavor punch. I am somewhat of an amateur restaurant critic being an extreme and pure omnivore, I eat everything. So one thing that really falls hard under my critique is the modern Caesar salad. Now traditionally the Caesar salad did not have anchovies, the taste of the anchovy was attributed to the ingredient Worcestershire sauce. Also note that the salad was the creation of restauranteur Caesar Cardini, and Italian immigrant operating restaurants in America and Mexico. So the salad actually originated in Tijuana Mexico. Yet, here is the thing. Caesar had a brother with him who created a similar salad called the Aviator's salad that had bits of anchovy in it. At the time Caesar did not agree to have anchovy bits in his salad. But as time passed the two salads merged and became one under the name of Caesar salad. Now traditionally and it is still done in some of the high class restaurants, the salad is prepared table side.
                                                                                                              Now do not confuse any of this with the many dressings that are under the name of Caesar Cardini. Although some of them are quite tasty, they should never be used by a restaurant.
                                                                                                              I am a fan of the modern Caesar salad that is the hybrid, between the two original Cardini recipes and is the most common standard in restaurants. Thus, if I don't find those tasty tidbits of anchovy, real parmesan cheese, and the right mixture of fresh squeezed lemon juice, olive oil, egg, garlic, freshly ground black pepper, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce, I surely will not pass on any accolades to the person who prepared it.
                                                                                                              Yes, of course, today there are hundreds of versions and twists to the Caesar salad and some of them are tasty, but they fall under the category of novelty foods. I have nothing against novelty food, there are many I am extremely fond of. In fact I am a practitioner of a novelty food and that being in the Chili category. Every batch I make is unique and a work of art. I can not provide a recipe, simply because there is no recipe. For me it is an event, as one would take a palette and create a painting. I take ingredients and create a Chili using a variety of hot peppers and always employed the reigning champion of hot peppers. It is my homage to pepperheads, of which I am one of not only for the thrill of the heat, and the euphoric feeling one receives when the brain is tricked into believing your mouth is on fire and releases all sorts of the body's natural chemicals to help staunch the fire. Well, since there is no actual fire, these chemicals dance about creating a sensation of fun and happiness. Talk about one of natures little know antidepressants. Not to mention the multitude of other health benefits of the power of Capsaicin which is the oil of the pepper that creates the heat factor. Also peppers are actually a fruit, and provide a powerful whack of vitamin C. So, toss that orange juice and eat a pepper instead. Oh doesn't have to be a hot one, a garden pepper will do. But if you want the rush, and willing to learn to take the heat, hot peppers could be your salvation and non addictive recreational high that is completely legal and healthy to boot.

                                                                                                              1. re: scratchMB

                                                                                                                I enjoyed a Caesar prepared tableside on Monday. As good as my own. Hail Caesar! And they candled and decanted the wine for sediment! And carved the beef tableside!
                                                                                                                Some days are better than others.

                                                                                                            2. Though I enjoy salt-packed ones in cooking/Caesar salads, fresh grilled anchovies are are superb and taste vastly different (stating the obvious I suppose).