55 gr - Spain
These anchovies were taken from the dense tuna banks off the coast of Antigua. The fishing boats of Ortiz capture the fish using traditional methods and preserve them perfectly.
Suggestions for Use
These excellent large anchovies will make a rich addition to salads, and give a greater aromatic depth to stews and sauces. These are some of the biggest and best anchovy fillets we've ever tasted. They are not at all too fishy, and they will literally melt in your saute pan, and your mouth.
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.
To preserve the anchovies, they are layered in barrels separated by layers of salt, and then pressed, removing the oil and preserving the fish. After six months, they are removed and packed in one of two ways.
Either brined fillets are packed in olive oil (that is, the good ones are packed in olive oil!) either in jars or cans, or whole fish are packed in salt, usually in large cans. Of the two, salt-packed anchovies are often preferred for their meatier flavor.
About Ortiz - Growth of a Fifth-Generation Enterprise
Conservas Ortiz takes painstaking care over the origin and freshness of every fish prepared, and all Bonito del Norte are individually line-caught. Spanning more than a 100 years and five generations - still family-run - Ortiz has perfected the balance between employing modern techniques to achieve greater quality while maintaining a scrupulous respect for tradition - particularly traditional fishing techniques to ensure that the fish are properly handled, improving the flavor and texture of the final product.
Conservas Ortiz dates back to the 19th century. After the death of Lázaro Nafarrate in 1850, his daughter Higinia Nafarrate married Antonio López de Aréchaga, leading to the birth of a child called Petra López de Aréchaga Nafarrate. Years later in 1891, Bernando Ortiz de Zárate, the founder of Conservas Ortiz, married Petra López de Aréchaga Nafarrate; soon, they had a son, José.
Bernardo learned the trade from his brother-in-law and started work in the fish canning industry. He bought anchovies and white tuna - bonito del norte - on the docks from the fishermen, and taking advantage of the possibilities offered by marinating and wooden casks, sold the fish throughout the northern Castile region the following day. In order to make the company as efficient as possible, he invented and created a system of factories that only operated during the fishing season.
Bernardo died when José was still a child, and Petra ran the company for the next few years, when it became known as "Viuda de Ortiz" and then "Viuda de Ortiz e Hijo" (Widow of Ortiz and Son). Canning techniques gradually improved and Conservas Ortiz opened five fixed plants, located along the coast of the Basque Country, Cantabria, and Asturias. In 1942, José Ortiz and his son José Antonio Ortiz created the company that became Conservas Ortiz S.A. in 1956. The fifth generation of the family is currently managing the company.
Chef John Howie uses this with his Halibut with Putanesca.