Cantabrian Anchovies: Worth the Hype?

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The Hype around Cantabrian Anchovies: Valid or a Hoax?

Cantabrian anchovies

Let’s talk about Cantabrian anchovies. This seafood lost its value in the late 90s, but it’s safe to say that we are witnessing a comeback of anchovies to our preferred cuisine.

Interestingly, many reputable chefs are now using this delicacy to prepare delicious meals for their restaurant customers. And the customers aren’t complaining at all because the meatiness and richness anchovies bring to soups, salads, and stews stay unmatched.

Spanish fish farmers were the first ones that started selling anchovies to the general public. And until today, these small fish are a quintessential part of Spanish cuisine. But what makes them so appealing, and why are they so popular? You’ll find out soon enough.

This article contains necessary information about Cantabrian anchovies for you to understand their composition, taste, and benefits.

We will also discuss how this inexpensive add-on ends up in storage cans from the ocean. Let’s start.

What are Cantabrian anchovies?

anchovies on pizza

Cantabrian anchovies are a rarer kind of fish often farmed in the deep waters of the Cantabrian Sea through tested methods. With a nutrient-rich composition and an exquisite taste, no wonder this delicacy borderline allows the consumer to include it in literally everything.

You may have noticed pizzas, sandwiches, and other food items continuously adopting this add-on to substitute for different kinds of meat.

Are you wondering how Cantabrian anchovies are processed? First, anglers typically identify a school of fish through appropriate equipment and surround these tiny sea creatures by dropping reliable nets around them.

Then, the boat drives in a circle above the water to ultimately gather all the fish, eventually pulled on board. Lastly, the boat workers scoop the fish out of the net to store them and deliver them as soon as possible.

When the trend first started, fishers and vendors started preserving the caught fish with salt. But soon, they realized that butter did a better job at retaining the meat’s quality. However, shortly after, most sellers opted to use olive oil as an economical alternative. This trend of olive oil preservation still stands strong today.

Today Cantabrian anchovies come in familiar cans, readily available at any supermarket. Some brands also offer a pasty spread of anchovies, which may not taste the same as fresh ones or canned ones, but it does the job well. You can always experiment with your purchases to find the best fit for your taste buds.

Why Use Cantabrian Anchovies?

Anchovies are a go-to for many chefs because of their versatility that makes them a perfect fit with almost any recipe. Want an anchovy soup?

You got it.

Feel like making a fish salad out of an anchovies can?


Want a savoury dip to magnify the taste of your already delicious meal?

No problem with this seafood delicacy.

Additionally, you can consume them as a snack. Just grab a fillet and devour it whole for a creamy, meaty taste your mouth will remember for the rest of the day.

Our point being anchovies are perfect with practically everything, and we love it. And since these species have a breakneck reproductive cycle, we are blessed with a constant supply to add richness to our meals.

If you’ve never tried anchovies, this is your cue to head over to an online store to order a can of Cantabrian anchovies and discover the ultimate taste that lies under their chewy exterior.

What do Cantabrian anchovies taste like?

Cantabrian anchovies are a level above in taste, texture, and smell than the regular types of anchovies that you can get from your local market.

They have a reddish-brown colour and often come packaged in olive oil and salt. These added ingredients act as a preservative to increase the shelf-life of your Cantabrian anchovies.

More often than not, locally available anchovies have a metallic taste due to their canning methods, making them non-ideal for a natural, flavorful experience.

anchovy snacks

Why are Cantabrian anchovies so popular?

You may wonder why anchovies are everywhere you go. They are available at cheap rates, and hundreds of sellers put them in stores for people to buy. But what makes them so popular among the community, especially cooking professionals? Let’s find out:


We have repeatedly mentioned and praised Cantabrian anchovies’ versatility throughout this article, and it may feel redundant. But this delicacy is just that good. No matter what you’re trying to eat, a hint of anchovy sauce or a whole fish topping can bring a spark of joy to your meal.

Most people are always on the lookout for food products that are delicious and require very little energy to prepare. And Cantabrian anchovies fit the profile perfectly. So it comes as no surprise that they are so popular worldwide.

Exquisite Taste

A creamy meatiness filled with salty undertones that dissolve in your mouth like butter takes the crown from us. Cantabrian anchovies add an earthy flavour to any dish you find suitable to combine with a delicious meal.

Adding to the versatility, the finger-licking taste of Cantabrian anchovies makes it a gold standard for other food products. If you’re hesitant to try it, buy a can for trial purposes (that’s how I convinced many of my friends to get them hooked).

Easy Storage and Long Shelf-Life

Cantabrian anchovies UK are incredibly easy to store and can stay suitable for up to 18 months if refrigerated properly. You can also keep the can in a cold, dry place if you choose not to open it.

Readily Available

This delicacy is available at most local markets, but if you can’t find one at a physical store, there is always an option to order it from an online store such as Amazon. Get it delivered straight to your home without any hassle and enjoy it with your family and friends.

Incredibly Healthy

The last point on our list is its immense health benefits for people of all ages. The recent awareness in medical professionals regarding the use of Omega-3 acids and their benefits for human development has cemented a place for anchovies in one of the most nutrient-rich foods.

On top of that, tons of minerals, vitamins, and protein are readily available to the consumer for a healthy meal.

Cantabrian anchovies being salted

5 common uses of Cantabrian Anchovies

If you’re looking for ways to help you enjoy anchovies in different ways, we are here to help. Here is a list of ways most people around the world consume this delicacy:

1. Snack on its own

As much as anchovies make an average meal into a delicious treat, you can also enjoy them straight out of the can. Open the packaging, sit in front of the TV, and munch on a very fulfilling, meaty snack of Cantabrian anchovies.

2. As an add-on

As we mentioned, versatility is bread and butter for anchovies, where you can add them to everything. Pizza, pasta, salads, and soups are some ubiquitous options among the community.

3. As a sauce

If you don’t like the thought or texture of eating full-sized anchovies, you can always opt for making a sauce out of them. Since the meat dissolves quickly once subjected to heat, you can easily prepare your favourite kind of dip to accompany your meals.

4. With butter

As it’s dissolvable, you can mix it with butter to use in your recipes to bring an extra touch of meatiness to your food. Butter and anchovies work well together, where the former complements the smell and intensity of the latter. You can use the mixture of both these elements as a substitute to using regular salted butter.

5. Meat on meat action

It’s never a bad idea to add this delicious treat to your meat recipes. It’s up to you whether you want to use it as a sauce, cut it up or use it as a whole. Imagine an anchovy sauce on top of a buttered steak! Beautiful, to say the least!


Cantabrian anchovies UK make a good case for themselves regarding practicality, availability, and sophisticated taste.

Not only do they make a perfect fit for most recipes, but they also have a universally liked taste that most people enjoy a lot in their daily meals. If you’re new to the anchovy world, you are about to discover the culinary heaven on earth.

We hope this article helped you inform yourself of the necessary details surrounding Cantabrian anchovies. So when you go out to buy a can of this seafood the next time, you feel confident in your purchase. Stay healthy, and eat well!

Andy Canter


Ever since I started cooking I’ve been fascinated by how different people’s techniques are and how they best utilise the ingredients around them. Even the person living next door will have their own unique way of frying an egg or cooking a salmon fillet.

This fascination led me on a journey across the globe to discover the countless practices and traditions the world of cooking has to offer. I thought you’d enjoy and find value in sharing that journey with me so I created Cooked Best!