Anchovies are a low-cost, versatile, and nutritious bluefish that can be fried, marinated, grilled, or eaten parmesan-style.
Among the many fish that fall into this category are mackerel, sardines, and anchovies.
But we’re focusing on anchovies, which you might think you know just by hearing the name.
But do you understand all of the characteristics of anchovies and how to cook them to perfection? And how you can distinguish the bad ones from the best ones? Today, we reveal everything you didn’t know about these big little fish, including simple recipes and health benefits.
What are the little hairs on Anchovies?
The little hairs on anchovies are fish bones. It’s safe to eat those tiny hairs or fish bones because they’re not harmful.
Anchovies have a tapered, almost flattened shape, a size of no more than 20 cm, a silvery color, and a greenish back that tends to be blue once fished.
Small fish, but well-loved for their strong flavor and numerous health benefits: 100 grams of anchovies contain only 130 kcal, about 20 grams of protein, and about 5 grams of good fats, omega-3.
Among the vitamins, group B and vitamin E stand out, and mineral salts such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and potassium are abundant.
Among the minerals most abundant in these small bluefish, You must mention calcium and selenium: the first is an excellent ally for bone health, and the second is excellent for controlling thyroid function.
Not to be overlooked is that anchovies have the lowest concentration of mercury, a metal that, as a result of pollution, is now increasingly present in our seas and is taken up by fish.
The Effects on the Body: The Advantages and Disadvantages
According to research, anchovies contain a high concentration of polyunsaturated fats, which can help lower bad cholesterol.
Cell and Tissue Regeneration
For a long time now, scientists have known that the proteins in the anchovies help human cells to grow, by regenerating tissue, metabolism and growing again. As a result, anchovies, when eaten as part of a healthy diet, are a great way to help the body heal itself.
It’s good for you to eat anchovies because they are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, cholesterol that is “good,” vitamin E, selenium, and other minerals. People should eat a lot of these nutrients to improve their skin’s health.
Bones of Steel
These little fish have a lot of vitamins and minerals that are good for the body. One of the benefits is healthy bones. A lot of fish have calcium and phosphorus, as well as vitamins A and D, which can help keep your bones and teeth strong until you’re old.
Do you know what anchovies can do for people who are overweight? For people who want to lose weight, anchovies are a good choice due to a lot of protein and very few calories in the small fish. Higher protein levels in food help speed up satiety and prevent overeating.
Remember that anchovies are very salty fish so you should keep that in mind when you cook them. And, as you may be aware, salt retains excess fluid in the body, resulting in significant weight gain (due to edema).
Consuming anchovies provide a quick source of vitamin A. This vitamin is well-known for its importance in eye health. It helps to prevent macular degeneration, cataracts, and other eye diseases.
The Negative Aspect of the Fish
Anchovies are highly susceptible to parasites, according to recent research. It is, therefore, preferable to freeze or heat treat fish before consumption to increase safety.
Furthermore, keep in mind that this salty fish contains high sodium levels, which contributes to increased blood pressure, which has severe consequences for people with heart disease.
Because of this, it is best to let the fish soak in water to get rid of the extra salt (about 30 minutes).
Pickling, Canning, and Paste are All Methods of Preparation
Because fresh anchovies have a short shelf life, we invented a pickling technique (which hasn’t changed since late Roman and medieval times).
However, to preserve the taste and aroma of the fish, it is critical to begin processing it as soon as possible after the catch.
To begin, anchovies are cleaned, brine washed and dried. A lot of sea salt is put on each layer of fish in cans.
When the container is full, gravity pulls the fish down (to remove excess moisture and fat). Billets are kept in this form for at least two months before the fish can be used.
Olive oil is another popular method for preserving anchovies. As for the pickle process, it should start as soon as the small fish has been caught.
The fish is then cleaned and immersed in brine. After two months, the anchovies are cleaned, cut into filets, and packed in olive oil cans.
Use the pickling method in Sicily. The fish is dipped in white vinegar or lemon juice and olive oil to achieve this.
Don’t like any of the ways we’ve already talked about for storing anchovies? Alternatively, you can puree the fish to create a sauce (groundfish mixed with salt and oil). Italians frequently use this product in conjunction with foods such as pizza.
World Cooking with Anchovies
Anchovies are a well-known part of world cuisine because they are used in the famous dish Caesar salad.
Many people argue that the original salad recipe should have used Worcestershire sauce instead of anchovies.
This fish is pickled, fried with pepper, and served with olives in Spain, but it is also used in sandwiches with anchovies, boiled eggs, and crusty freshly baked bread.
People in Italy eat small fish that are served with a tomato sauce that has a lot of chili, onions, olives, and capers. Anchovies are famous in French dishes made with tomatoes, olives, and beans.
Steaming anchovies with ginger, turmeric, garlic and green pepper and onions in banana leaves is a common way to cook them in southwest India.
In Korea, dried fish is fried with soy sauce, rice wine, and sugar, and it tastes great.
Frequently Asked Questions on What are the Little Hairs on Anchovies?
What are the characteristics of fresh anchovies?
smell: it must be pleasant, delicate, and not based on ammonia, incredibly close to the gills;
color: bright green, bright eye with black and not red pupil, blood-red gills;
consistency: the flesh must be firm, with the scales adhering to the body, protruding eyes.
flavoring: it must not taste like ammonia.
Can you eat the tiny bones in anchovies?
Because the fish’s small bones are edible and soft when cooked, you can eat the entire fish, including the bones. Even after cooking, the flavor and seasonings of the fish remain in the bones, ensuring that the dish is both safe and tasty.