This large tin is full of excellent salted whole anchovies, acciughe salate. For true aficionados, it's a real bargain. Italians use these little, aromatic, preserved fish in almost any conceivable dish from one end of the peninsula to the other. Try these delicious, meatier morsels in your favorite Mediterranean dishes, from appetizers to pasta to dips and spreads.
In our opinion, Scalia produces the next best thing to fresh anchovies with salt: anchovies cleaned by hand and packed right away in salt and salt alone, as soon as possible after they are caught.
Tips for Enjoying Salted Anchovies
Salted anchovies are a bit more work, but worth it! but the backbone and tail only take a few seconds to remove. Then, soak the fish in cold water for about 15 minutes (or if you're in a hurry, just rinsed) to yield up their heavenly flavor. We actually find them less salty, once rinsed, than oil-packed anchovies. Once the can is opened, keep the remainder in an airtight container (glass is good) covered with all of the salt and brine.
About the Anchovies
This little fish is a small, warm water relative of the herring, a Northern European staple. And just as the peoples of the north salted their herring to preserve them, the anchovy has long been salted by fishermen and packers in the Mediterranean, where it is a staple.
Anchovies are packed in one of two ways, brined fillets that are packed in olive oil (that is, the good ones are packed in olive oil!) either in jars or cans, and whole salted fish packed in salt, usually in large cans. Of the two, salt-packed anchovies are often preferred for their meatier flavor.
What is most important about these little Sicilian blue fish is that they are only taken during the proper season - otherwise they will have a mushy texture when they are preserved - and cleaned and salted as soon as possible after they are caught. Because of Scalia's attention to detail it is possible to discover the flavor and texture of the ancient Mediterranean.
From one end of the peninsula to the other, Italians use these little, aromatic, preserved fish in almost any conceivable dish. While in the south, they seem to show up with practically the same frequency they use olive oil, they are also a common addition numerous sauces, salads, and other dishes in the north.
About the Producer
Scalia Benedetto has been one of the top Sicilian companies for preserving fish since 1973. While they're neither as large nor as old as their major competitors, this allows them to do things the old-fashioned way, and the difference is clear in the flavor and texture oil-packed fillets and salt-packed whole anchovies.
Scalia Benedetto in Sicily is one of the most reliable producers of salted anchovies now being imported to this country; quality and flavor are both abundant! We are fortunate to have found a source for this can of salt-packed anchovies for those of you who use them with the frequency of a Sicilian or a Calabrese.
The company was founded by Benedetto Scalia in Sciacca Thermae on the Agrigento coast of southwest Sicily, a city famous for its fishing fleet. Their anchovy products are carefully processed by the women of Sciacca using traditional techniques.