Anchovies add a terrific taste to many food items. Where would Caesar dressing be with out that anchovy tang? Where would Worcestershire sauce be without anchovies? I bet many people did not even know there were anchovies in it. I read labels for fun....seriously, I read all food labels. They are hidden gems or curses depending on how many are added. They are little fish with minuscule bones that are supposed to be healthy for you. I'm all into health and eating well, but I just can't eat a whole anchovy.. I can pretty much eat any food stuff I don't like with a hint of lemon, but I just can't get around to the anchovy-lemon bit.
My first memorable experience with a whole anchovy was when we traveled as a family to Europe. My parents, brothers, and I are all ready and willing to eat whatever the locals eat when we are travelling. We had eaten wonderful Kale soup from Portugal, delicious onion soup at Montmartre in Paris, the best seafood and oranges of my life in Spain, and now we were in England. We had tried all of the items we'd not heard of on the menu to expand our palates. We still do it to this day with awe and wonder in our eyes to experience what the locals call "comfort foods". They are indeed comforting. I now have quite a collection of international cookbooks so that I can experience home cooking from other countries at home.
Anyway, it was lunch time and we were looking for some where to eat. There are so many restaurants and bistros that have outdoor seating. That is my favorite way to dine. Al Fresco!! Although it was probably 45 years ago, I can still visualize that cheese pizza. I just wanted something familiar after all of the unfamiliar foods we had enjoyed over our two week jaunt through Europe. Here it comes, the individual size pizza of my very own. That was quite a novelty back then, though they are quite the norm now. Wow! My own little cheese pizza on a plate. I liked my pizza loaded with everything then as I do now, but I just wanted a simple, not so filling lunch. Here is my cheese pizza with what? A sardine? I liked sardines, so I wasn't thinking too much of it. I took one bite of the pizza and the entire pizza was permeated with fishy salt. It pretty much ruined the pizza for me. Ever since that day, I will get a pizza with everything in the world on it: broccoli, pepperoncini, artichokes, meats, seafood, chicken, potatoes, squash, mushrooms, olives of every color and sort, but by gosh there had better NOT be an anchovy on it!!
Those little bony fish can show up in the most unsuspecting places. If I use anchovy, I will purchase the paste. Just a little can add flavor, a lot can ruin a dish for me. Read your labels, have fun! Discover the joys of "finding anchovy" (kind of like finding the little boy in a red striped shirt when my sons were little). This photo is from a jar of peanut butter with added omega-3 for health conscious parents. Anchovy and Sardine oil kind of makes me think it wouldn't go well with strawberry jam. I didn't try it! If you try it, let me know how it tastes. Until then, I'll be reading all of my labels on the hunt for that little pesky fish.
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