Found in almost any Italian pantry, Anchovies or Acciugha, are small silvery, pungent fish native to Mediterranean waters and southern European coastlines, particularly the Piedmont and Ligurian regions.

Anchovies are used in both their fresh and preserved forms. In America, we most often use the latter. The best quality anchovies, called acciughe sotto sale, are packed whole in salt and must be rinsed and filleted before using. You can also find anchovies preserved, canned, packed in olive oil or used as a paste.

Finding fresh anchovies can be difficult because demand is rather low and they are highly perishable. Fresh anchovies blemish easily as their flesh is soft and easy to bruise. If you manage to track down fresh anchovies, you won’t regret it. When cooked fresh, they are absolutely delightful.

Recipe Suggestion: Tagliatelle with Anchovies and Morels