The Cantabrian anchovies are considered among the best in the world for their quality and their extraordinary taste. Recognizing a good anchovy from this region requires an expert eye and a knowledge of the distinctive characteristics that distinguish it.

This is why we at Conservas La Rosita have decided to put together useful tips and information on how to recognize a good anchovy of Cantabrian and appreciate its superior quality with greater awareness. 


The first suggestion concerns the origin; a fundamental factor to evaluate the quality of the Cantabrian anchovies. Experts advise looking for products that clearly specify “Cantabrian Anchovies” or “Cantabrian Sea Anchovies” on the label. This mention indicates that anchovies were fished in the waters of the Cantabrian, famous for their wealth of nutrients and their pristine marine environment.


But what does the appearance of a good Cantabrian anchovy look like? It must have a fresh appearance and a uniform and brilliant colour, with a shade ranging from silver-white to golden. The higher-quality anchovies also have a smooth and not-too-fine texture and a fleshy appearance and are often generated by the coldness of the waters of the Cantabrian where the anchovies move continuously without being able to stand still. 


The size of the Cantabrico anchovies may vary, but experts generally prefer medium-sized ones. Anchovies must have a soft but compact consistency, with fillets that can be easily separated without breaking. A good anchovy will have a perfect balance between softness and resistance.


We also know that the real test to recognize a good anchovy of Cantabrico is in the aroma and taste. A good anchovy exudes an intense scent of the sea but is not pungent. The taste must be balanced, with a taste rich in umami – a particular taste sensation which we will talk about in another article – and a slightly salty note. 

High-quality anchovies also have a long and persistent aftertaste.


Another useful tip concerns the oil in which the anchovies are immersed, which at best should be olive oil: bright, clean and delicate flavour to enhance that of the anchovy. 

Of course, artisanal processing is also a hallmark of the high-quality Cantabrico anchovies. Experts appreciate the care and attention of the master salters in selecting, salting and maturing anchovies. The artisanal tradition gives the anchovies a complexity of flavour and a unique consistency that is reflected in the final quality of the product and that depends on the right amount of salt, the time of maturation and of course the conservation.

Recognizing a good Cantabrian anchovy requires attention to detail and an understanding of the characteristics that determine its quality. 

You just have to try the Cantabrian anchovies of Conservas La Rosita to refine your palate and fully appreciate the complexity and delicacy of these marine delights.

If you want good advice on how to store your Cantabrian anchovies salted or in olive oil, read this article.


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