Anchovies are tiny forage fishes that belong to the Engraulidae family, which are usually seen in salt water, specifically in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans. They can be classified into 14 genera and 140 species. Some of the well-known genera of these marine animals include the Engraulis, Lycothrissa, Anchovia and Coilia. They are categorized as an oily fish, which means that they are rich in vitamin D. One of their distinct characteristics is the presence of silver stripes from the caudal fin to their base. To know more about them, it is important to look at the common anchovy sizes.
What Are the Usual Anchovy Sizes?
Anchovies can easily be identified because they are small fishes that have a slender body shape. Their sizes are usually around 0.79 inches to 16 inches. Even if they are small creatures, they have sharp teeth and a distinct rostral organ. They live by eating planktons. They are commonly seen in the Mediterranean Sea. In addition, anchovies are usually present on the coasts of various European countries including Italy, Spain as well as France. Moreover, they are the usual food source of marine predators like sharks, rock fish and the California halibut.
The Consumption of Anchovies
Most humans eat anchovies as a substitute for sardines. In some Asian countries like the Philippines, people dry them before frying. On the other hand, in the other regions of the world such as in Morocco, canned anchovies are very popular. Like sardines, these marine animals are a good source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are helpful in preventing the development of heart illnesses. Aside from this benefit, they also contain minerals and nutrients that are important to reduce the level of cholesterol in our body. In addition, they are rich in selenium and calcium. Moreover, the mercury content of anchovies is less when compared to the mercury content of big fishes like tuna.
More Points on Anchovies
There are various ways of preparing anchovies. For those who prefer to eat canned anchovies, they can wash them with cold water before deboning them. The best way to discard some of the salt is to wash the fishes and soak them in a pan filled with cold water for half hour. Drain water and place them on a clean plate. Put the plate on the part of the house with sunlight. Let anchovies dry for several hours or a day. Afterwards, they can fry them and serve them with a cup of rice. Aside from drying, they can also use them in recipes that use sardines.