The secret of good fried anchovies, as written in a previous post, is the temperature of the oil and the cooking time: they are just slightly floured, then fried at 180/190°C for about 3 minutes. This way the meat is sealed (almost like steamed from the inside) and on the outside you can enjoy a thin, light and crispy layer. Made with extra virgin olive oil, this way of preparation adds even more nutrients to it.
On the other side “boquerones” are often consumed marinated. For “anchovies in vinegar” they are cleaned thoroughly and then immersed in vinegar (it can also be done with lemon). This causes the meat to get tender and to preserve it.
Spanish white anchovies in vinegar. La Cosmopolita, Malaga.
With garlic, parsley and salt
it will be flavored to perfection.
What is very important to note here is that it is advisable to eat this dish with a “caña” (a small draft beer), since it is a perfect pairing (however white wine in combination with vinegar creates an unpleasant taste in the mouth). Another possibility is to marinate it in lemon or orange juice (usually foods marinated in fruit juice are called “ceviche” in Spanish) and like this, it can also be used as a special delicatessen in a salad.
Belonging to the type of “oily fishes”, it provides several positive effects on our health. Although it is indeed quite greasy, this is just what it makes so beneficial- it contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B3 and B6, reducing like this cholesterol levels and blood pressure and the high quantity of calcium is ideal, especially for pregnant women.
Another curiosity is that this fish was used as a basis for a sauce called “garum“, which was prepared during the Roman Empire and hence, as well in Malaga. It is a sauce or condiment made from fish and fish guts, herbs, wine, vinegar, oil and salt and is then fermented during days to months before using it to add flavor to cooked dishes (perhaps comparable with oyster sauce today). In Malaga there can still be found vessels in which they were kept, as well as old factory sites: next to the Roman Theatre, in the Rectory of the UMA or the Thyssen Museum. In fact, there are still more remains beneath the city.
And a last detail: did you know that this fish is so famous and representative in Malaga that people from that city are actually called “boquerones”?!
Sorry to bother you with a little bit of self-promotion here :) but we just wanted to let you know that if you want to learn more about spanish tapas andour local food in Malaga, we invite you to join our Tapas Cooking Class or one of our food tours which we are very proud of.