These large bocarte (European anchovies) are hauled straight out of the Bay of Biscay every April and May. They are then salted and cellar-cured for at least a year, and only the best fillets are hand-packed into tins. They are intensely flavorful in the savory umami way, and each whiff takes you straight to the seaside. Once placed in tins, they are covered in extra virgin olive oil from Spanish company Águra.
Anchovies can transition from appetizers to different kinds of salads and meals—if you know how to use them. A bit of anchovy in a garlic-tomato mix atop a slice of toasted baguette swiped with Échiré Butter AOP—that’s a hearty appetizer. Whole fillets add big, bold flavor to salads—especially those with sweet, ripe tomatoes. Other briny foods like capers and olives are also wonderful companions. Caesar salads would not be complete without the salt-umami taste of anchovies and a fillet or two will boost the flavor of any vinaigrette. Anchovies also make a lovely contrast to tuna in a Niçoise salad.
Three generations of the Codesa family have worked together to help give Cantabria a reputation as the cradle of anchovy fishing. For over thirty years, they have been fishing in the Bay of Biscay and curing their catch using traditional, artisanal methods. They have been recognized as one of the best European traditional artisan producers since 2013.
Their partner, aove Águra, has been family-owned for five generations in Sevilla, Spain, each family member contributing a different brand of knowledge and expertise to the production. Their oils have been winning awards since 2013, the latest being the 2019 Great Taste award.
Store your tin in a cool, dark, and dry pantry. Unopened, it will last up to 2 years. Once opened, consume your fish within one or two days and keep leftovers—with the oil—in a sealed container in the fridge.