If you dislike anchovies, it is probably because you haven’t tasted the real thing!
Most people prefer to stay away from anchovies and order their pizzas without anchovies. Interestingly, anchovies are superfoods with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. So, you are missing a lot of healthy nutrients when you avoid this fish.
Now, if you choose the right brands, you will find that they are tastier than sardines. Anchovies also have lower mercury levels than most tinned fish.
Fresh anchovies are the best. However, anchovies are highly perishable. So, canned anchovies in oil are a practical way to enjoy them.
But not just any type of canned anchovies!
Choose from the following best brands of anchovies to enjoy this healthy fish in its finest form.
7. Olasagasti Cantabric Anchovy Fillets
Olasagati Cantabric anchovy fillets are produced by an Italian family-owned business in Spain. The company follows traditional, sustainable methods of production and packaging to ensure each can contains delicious anchovies with a meaty texture. The fish are caught from the Cantabrian sea and are freshly packed. Hence, the original flavors are retained.
We love the fact that these anchovies are neither too salty nor drowned in vinegar. Instead, the fish are mildly salted to retain the original taste. Since they are packed in olive oil, these anchovies are easy to prep and eat. Olasagati Cantabric anchovy fillets are packed carefully. They retain their original shape and are gently marinated in the surrounding fluid.
6. Roland Flat Fillets of Anchovies
When you buy Roland anchovies, you get larger fillets than most other brands. This can be a good thing if you like more juicy pieces. Roland Anchovies are packed in olive oil in compact cans with easy-open tabs. This brand consistently delivers in terms of taste and flavor. The fish are fresh without any “fishy” smell or aftertaste. The fillets are fresh, tender, and succulent. Although the anchovies are packed in olive oil, it is not mushy. The saltiness is just right.
However, the fillets do not easily break down. So, they may not be good to flavor sauces where they should blend in. Nonetheless, these anchovies have rich Umami flavors and we love the way they enhance the taste of pizzas, salads, and various other dishes. You can also enjoy them as a delicious snack on their own.
5. Cento Flat Fillet Anchovies
If you like anchovies with a strong fishy taste, you will like Cento flat anchovies in olive oil. However, steer clear of the brand if you dislike salty fish with a strong fishy flavor.
Cento flat anchovies are harvested and packaged in Morocco. They are packed in olive oil and the cans come with flaps with easy-open tabs. The brand does not use any preservatives and the contents are fat-free. However, it is very salty. The fish do not have a firm texture and go mushy easily. Occasionally, users complain about coming across bones in their fish. It works fine as a pizza topping or on a cracker with cheese. But look out for bones. The packaging is not the finest as it often has dents and bulges. Nevertheless, the cans are compact. You can easily stack them which makes them very easy to store.
4. Agostino Recca Anchovies Fillets
Agostino Recca anchovies are sourced from Italy. The brand is owned by the famous Recca family, leaders of the canned fishing industry in Sicily, Italy. The anchovies are wild-caught, cured, and packed in olive oil. Hence, they are deliciously meaty and taste fresh. The fillets are tender but firm. You will not find too many bones. Overall, the quality of the fish is excellent.
This brand deserves extra points for its beautiful packaging. The fish arrive in reusable glass mason jars that allow you to visually inspect the contents. The labeling adds to the attractive finish. They are not too salty and taste great in omelets, pizzas, pesto, and various other dishes. However, the best way to have it is on its own. Agostino Recca anchovies are pricier than most brands. But, the quality makes the price tag worth it.
3. Don Bocarte Cantabrian Anchovies
Don Bocarte Cantabrian anchovies are premium anchovies. These flavorful, tender fish are pure gourmet quality with just the right amount of salt. The anchovies taste so fresh that it is difficult to believe they are canned. The fish are packed in extra virgin olive oil to keep them healthy as well. Once you try Don Bocarte Cantabrian anchovies, it is difficult to settle for anything else.
Nevertheless, quality comes at a price. Don Bocarte Cantabrian anchovies are expensive. The packages are shipped on ice. So, make sure you receive them cold. Although the brand is very customer-friendly, buyers have occasionally been forced to return the fish because it arrived melted.
2. King Oscar Finest Quality Anchovies Flat Fillets
King Oscar Anchovies are very popular with fish lovers everywhere. The brand has even been reviewed and recommended by America’s Test Kitchen. The anchovies are caught from the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Peru and Argentina. They are packed in olive oil. Although the anchovies are salted, the saltiness is not overpowering. The anchovies are full of flavor and very delicious.
King Oscar anchovies work beautifully in Mediterranean salads and recipes. It has just the right umami flavors to add delicious flavors to a simple dish and elevate its taste. However, the consistency of the product is unpredictable. At times, the fish may have too many bones and a mushy texture. Another concern is regarding the packaging. The cans are not easy to open and use. The oil easily spills and makes a mess.
1. Ortiz Anchovy Fillets in Olive Oil
Ortiz anchovy fillets are packed in olive oil and mildly salted. The fish are wild-caught Cantabric anchovies. This brand is committed to sustainable and traditional fish harvesting practices. So, you know that your fish have been caught and processed in the best possible way. Ortiz anchovies are full of flavor. These anchovies are true fillets with plenty of tender, succulent meat and almost no bones at all. The flesh of the fish is firm, and it tastes fresh. They have clean flavors with no offensive aftertaste. Once you dig into it, you will find it difficult to stop.
For the great taste of Ortiz anchovy fillets, the price is very reasonable. The packaging is also neat and easy to open. If you are looking for no-fuss, clean, simple but true-tasting anchovy fillets, you will love Ortiz.
To wrap it up…
Fresh anchovies are light, briny, mild-tasting, meaty fish. They have a unique ability to elevate the flavor of any dish by packing it with delicious umami flavors.
While there are hundreds of brands offering canned anchovies, they are not created equal. The great majority are overly salted, mushy, or full of bones. Hence, the bad rap for anchovies. However, a few brands do a good job of preserving anchovies and bringing their best to your table. The brands in our list retain the authentic flavors of fresh anchovies. So, if you are looking for the best anchovies, this is it. And do drop us a note if there are any other brands that you like but and are not on our list!