The traditional methods of processing anchovies in the Cantabrian region have a long history dating back centuries and have been handed down from generation to generation. These artisanal methods have been developed to preserve the freshness, taste and quality of anchovies. However, changes have been made over time to improve the efficiency and safety of the machining process. 

Our master salters tell us in brief what has changed in terms of traditional and modern techniques.

Anchovies fishing and selection

Let us start with what is the first act:  The Cantabrian anchovy fishery is still mainly a traditional practice, carried out by local fishermen with special nets, but that has been improved thanks to the creation of modern technologies of localization and navigation to help fishermen to identify the areas where the anchovies are most abundant. This has allowed greater precision in fishing, optimizing resources and reducing impacts on the marine ecosystem.

Even the selection of anchovies, of which we told you in another article, has remained a traditional practice, with experts who manually choose the freshest anchovies and adequate size. However, in the machining process, new techniques have been introduced to improve efficiency and safety. For example, specialized machines and equipment can be used to remove heads and entrails more quickly and accurately, often reducing the risk of damaging anchovy fillets.

Salting and maturation of anchovies

And the salting and maturation of anchovies are still carried out following traditional artisanal methods? Yes, but also in this case the technology has intervened and in some cases, temperature and humidity control devices are used to ensure optimal conditions during maturation and the old wooden barrels were replaced by plastic barrels, more robust and durable.

In this article, we tell you all the steps of the production process of our anchovies, from the selection of fish to the canning.

Food safety and packaging

The cleaning and canning of anchovies have remained mainly traditional techniques, with the master salters doing these operations manually

However, more attention has been paid to hygiene and food safety, with the adoption of strict standards and quality standards to avoid contamination and ensure the freshness and integrity of anchovies. Today, it is a good rule that all fish factory workers wear gloves, sterile coats and headphones with which to cover their hair. 

The packaging and conservation techniques of Cantabrian anchovies have been improved with modern vacuum packaging processes and the use of high-quality materials such as glass and cans help to preserve the organoleptic characteristics of anchovies in time

In addition, advanced methods have been developed to monitor and control the cold chain during transport and storage, ensuring that anchovies maintain their quality during transport and until consumption.

Although traditional Cantabrian anchovy processing techniques are still widely used, some changes have been made to improve the efficiency, food safety and conservation of anchovies both salted and in olive oil

The introduction of modern technologies has been driven by the desire to preserve and enhance the unique characteristics of these culinary delicacies while maintaining authenticity and respect for traditional craftsmanship.

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