All about anchovy > Preparation methods
Since those days, preparation methods have not changed. As in the past, the anchovies are beheaded and gutted by hand, since no machine exists that can remove the head and viscera at once.
After being gutted and cleaned, the anchovies are placed in clay or glass pots with sea salt for 3 days so that they will exude their liquid. They are then placed into barrels, layers of anchovies alternating with layers of salt, arranged in a wreath pattern, head to tail, belly down. Care is taken to ensure there are no trapped air bubbles. Finally the anchovies are completely covered with salt and brine. They are weighted down and left to mature for several months and the fat that rises to the top is regularly removed. When the master salter judges that the flavor and aroma are at the right point, the anchovies are ready to be eaten. They are packed by hand into glass jars and vacuum-sealed.
After the maturation process described above, the anchovies are desalted in several changes of water of varying temperature. They are then dried, filleted and packed by hand into jars and covered with vegetable oil or organic olive oil depending on the choice offered to the consumer.
The fillets are naturally marinated in their oil and flavored for a milder or stronger flavor as desired. They are then preserved in glass jars.
Anchovies may also be prepared in vinegar, in hot sauce, rolled with capers or peppers, or placed on skewers with olives.
Hints & Tips