The 8 Best Canned Anchovies in 2020

Anchovies are tiny fish that are versatile and can be used on a wide variety of dishes such as pizza, seafood pancakes, spaghetti, salads and more.

Not only do anchovies taste delicious and have a unique flavour, but they are also nutritious and healthy. They're a great source of protein as like most other oily fish, offer a great amount of omega-3 fatty acids which are great for managing heart disease and lowering the risk of high blood pressure.

Canned fish is one way to get both the nutritional values and flavours of fish without the hassle. In this article, we will be going through some great options of canned anchovies so you can find the best canned anchovies that will transform your meals with effortless ease.

Best Pick

Wild Planet Wild Anchovies in Water with Sea Salt

The best pick is the Wild Planet Wild Anchovies in Water. The anchovies come from the Pacific ocean and are sustainably sourced so you can enjoy them whilst knowing that you are not harming the planet each time you buy a can of this product. The Wild Planet Anchovies are also lightly salted and have an amazing amount 19g of protein per serving - which is great for those who are trying to build and repair any of your muscles. They are boneless and smooth, making this product easy to use and hassle-free.

Budget Pick

Crown Prince Flat Anchovies in Olive Oil

The best budget is the Crown Prince Flat Anchovies in Olive Oil. This product is filleted by hand, is verified to be non-GMO and is packed in pure cold-pressed olive oil. They use salt curing the make sure the anchovies are clean and rid of any microorganisms. Per serving, the Crown Prince Flat Anchovies have 4g of protein, 40 calories and 920mg of sodium.

Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Canned Anchovies

1. Wild Planet Wild Anchovies in Water with Sea Salt  

The first item is the Wild Planet Anchovies in Water with Sea Salt. This product averages around 19g of protein and 800mg of omega-3 per single serving.

If you're worried about the wellbeing of the anchovies, you'll be glad to know that they are sustainably caught - so you can enjoy the benefits and flavours that they offer without being worried. 

This can be proved by the fact that the natural habitat of the anchovies are not harmed when they are caught, the biomass is not overfished, and they do not catch any other species of fish during the process either.

This particular product has a mild flavour which is fantastic for those who do not like a strong fish flavour. This makes it versatile and can be enjoyed by everyone, despite preferences in taste.

The only ingredients in each can are the anchovies themselves, water and sea salt so you won't be consuming any unnecessary chemicals when eating the Wild Planet anchovies. To enjoy, simply add to any topping, salad, soup or sandwich and enjoy. No prior preparation is required.

Pros

  • A single serving has 19g of protein and 800mg of omega-3.
  • The anchovies themselves are sustainably caught so that the natural habitats are not destroyed and other species of fish aren't disturbed.
  • Is mild in flavour so it is versatile and can be enjoyed by many.
  • Does not have any added chemicals or preservatives.
  • Is boneless and hassle-free to eat.

Cons

  • The mild flavour can be disappointing to those who love anchovies.

2. Crown Prince Flat Anchovies in Olive Oil  

Next, we have the flat anchovies by Crown Prince. These anchovies are soaked in olive oil which provides more nutrients and vitamins as the oil has many great antioxidants.

Each serving has 40 calories and 970mg of sodium. Though the sodium levels are quite high and you should take care not to consume too much of it, the fact that it is preserved with salt and not with other chemicals can be beneficial. 

Cultures all across the world have been using salt to preserve their foods for centuries. They are suitable for those who eat a kosher diet and the anchovies themselves are solely obtained from the most reputable anchovy producers across the globe. They are also non-GMO, low fat and are wild-caught in the Moroccan sea.

Pros

  • Is soaked in olive oil which provides additional health benefits.
  • Does not have any additional preservatives.
  • These anchovies are kosher.
  • Are non-GMO verified and low in fat.

Cons

  • Is high in sodium.

3. Agostino Recca Fillets of Anchovies  

These anchovies come in a glass jar which is not only incredible for the environment but also can be reused. Unlike the previous products mentioned, this product includes individual fillets of anchovies rather than a big and singular dollop of the fish.

This is great for if you want to add some texture to your meals and works wonderfully for design purposes.

The anchovies used are sourced from the Meditteranean and are not preserved with added chemicals. Instead, it sits in olive oil which keeps it from going bad and adds an extra layer of flavour and nutrition to the anchovies. The only ingredients used in this product are anchovies, olive oil and salt.

Each jar comes with around 5 fillets and there are 35 calories, 490mg of sodium and 5g of protein per serving.

Pros

  • Comes in a glass jar which can be reused.
  • Is soaked in olive oil which is healthy and therefore means less salt is used to preserve the fish.
  • Is low in calories and high in protein.
  • Can eat straight from the jar or cooked.

Cons

  • The fillets may be more inconvenient to use than other types of canned anchovies which can be mixed into meals easier.

4. Ortiz Anchovy Fillets in Oil  

Another anchovy fillet product is by Ortiz. The fillets sit in oil and salt to preserve them naturally. Each serving has 25 calories, 720mg of sodium and 3.9g of protein.

Two out of three of its ingredients are incredibly healthy. Anchovies are a great source of omega-3 and olive oil can help to reduce strokes and inflammation. Be mindful that overeating this product can easily cause you to consume a lot more salt than the daily recommended amount.

This product also comes in a glass jar that is a much better option for the planet than plastic containers. The anchovies are sourced from traditional fishing methods and are then left to mature for ay least six months. This helps to ensure that the anchovies have a strong and powerful flavour which is great for those who are big fans of the small fish.

Pros

  • Comes in a glass jar which is reusable and great for the environment.
  • Only has three ingredients: anchovies, olive oil and salt.
  • Is matured for six months for a strong and unique flavour.

Cons

  • Has 760mg of sodium per serving.
  • Is low in protein compared to other similar products.
  • Has a strong flavour which many people may not enjoy.

5. Agostino Recca Salted Whole Anchovies 

Another Agostino Recca product is the Salted Whole Anchovies. This Italian brand has been around for decades - four generations in fact - and has been importing its products to America for years - as it is now a family favourite in many homes.

The whole anchovies require a little extra work as they come with the backbone and tail - so you will need to take the time to remove these beforehand.

Each serving as 35 calories, 590mg of sodium and 5g of protein. The brand uses traditional fishing methods to source the fish which helps to keep them tasting fresh. When you're ready to use the anchovies in this product, remove them from the salt and brine and give the fish a gentle rinse.

Use the leftover salt and brine to preserve the rest of the unused anchovies. Clean the anchovies and remove its bones and head - unless you enjoy the crunch of the bones - and soak the anchovies that you would like to use in olive oil for at least 24 hours.

Pros

  • This product has less salt in it than other similar products.
  • Is low in calories with only 35 calories per serving.
  • The fish are sourced through traditional methods which keep them fresh and tasty.

Cons

  • The packaging cannot be reused.
  • Includes the backbone and tail of the fish, so you will need to take them out before consuming. You can't immediately eat the contents right out of the can.
  • Must keep the can in the fridge once opened.

6. Roland Foods Anchovy Fillets in Olive Oil  

Anchovies are hard to acquire as these tiny fish only exist in very specific parts of the world. This is why Roland Foods aims to bring rare tastes to homes with ease, so you can enjoy unique flavours without having to travel to do so.

The anchovies that are used are cured for 6 months before being sold. This is used to clean the fish of any microorganisms that may be found in the anchovies, making it safe to consume.

This product is both kosher and anchovies are gluten-free making it a great option for dinner parties with friends. These anchovies have 30 calories, 950mg of sodium and 4g of protein per serving. The sodium levels are rather high because the anchovies are cured in salt, so be mindful of this when eating.

Pros

  • The anchovies are cured for 6 months.
  • Is kosher and gluten-free.
  • Easy to use.

Cons

  • Must be stored in the fridge at 60 degrees once opened.
  • There are 950mg of sodium per serving which is quite high.

7. Agostino Recca Flat Fillets of Anchovies in Olive Oil  

Though very similar to the previous Agostino Recca anchovies mentioned in this article, the flat fillets have a flatter shape that are great for layering in stacked food like sandwiches.

 Yes, they are made from only anchovies, salt and olive oil, but they have a little bit more salt with 590g of sodium per serving. They also have 35 calories and 5g of protein.

Pros

  • Low in calories and sodium.

Cons

  • Not unique, especially in comparison to similar Agostino Recca products.

8. King Oscar Anchovies  

Lastly, we have the King Oscar Anchovies. These anchovies are boneless, kosher, gluten-free and have no added preservatives in them. This makes them suitable for the KETO  Atkins and paleo diets.

The anchovies are sourced from Peru and Argentina and only contain olive oil and salt when packaged into the cans.

 Be wary as each serving has around 900mg of calories. They also have 30 calories and 4g of protein.

Pros

  • The anchovies are boneless and hassle-free.
  • They are kosher and free from gluten.
  • Is low in calories.
  • Suitable for the Atkins, paleo and KETO diets.

Cons

  • The packaging cannot be reused.
  • Is high in sodium with 900g per serving.

Things to Consider Before Buying Canned Anchovies

Anchovies are a superb way to get a large amount of protein and omega-3 fatty acids through a tasty and versatile way. Because anchovies are small and thin, they can be used on a variety of meals and dishes. Pizzas taste great with anchovies and olives, and they're great to add to pasta and spaghetti for a unique flavour. Even salads are a fantastic option for anchovies. They don’t have to be used for solely meals, however, as you can season them with fresh lemon juice and spices and serve them as a starter or a side dish at dinner parties or family functions.

Anchovies have been eaten for centuries and due to their strong flavour, they can work as toppings, snacks and even as sauces. They have many nutritional benefits too. Many fish contain omega-3 which is great for fighting depression and anxiety, promoting brain and eye health, can lower the risk of heart disease and more. Omega-3 can be found in nuts and seeds too but many other types of food do not contain Omega-3, so fish like anchovies are great to consume especially because anchovies are an oily fish - and these are the type of fish that are more densely packed with omega-3.

They are usually found in seas in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Pacific and Indian oceans depending on the type of anchovy. They can also be used as bait to catch other fish and there are 140 types of different anchovies all across the world.

We think it's important that you know as many facts and information about a product that is possible. Canned anchovies are safe to eat, but if you eat whole anchovies your body can create domoic acid which can cause shellfish poisoning in humans.

In this article, we will go through the main factors to consider before buying canned anchovies so you know exactly what to look out for on your next trip to the grocery store. It may seem a little overwhelming, so simply read on to find out all you need to know about canned anchovies.

Nutrition

The first thing to consider is nutrition. It is always a good idea to know what you are putting in your body and how much of it is natural, processed and possibly harmful to your body. Luckily, although canned anchovies are not usually packed with unnecessary ingredients and preservatives, it is always good to check the ingredients list on every packet of canned anchovies.

You should normally expect three ingredients with most canned anchovies. They are anchovies, olive oil and salt. In some cases, you may find artificial ingredients and preservatives, but we recommend that you avoid these types of products especially because there are so many other canned anchovies on the market that are much cleaner and better to consume.

Canned anchovies are typically preserved in salt for at least 6 months before you can buy them. This is because the salt is used to clean the anchovies and prevent any harmful bacteria and unwanted microorganisms that may be living in the anchovies when they are caught. Because so much salt is used, a typical can of anchovies can be quite high in sodium.

Too much salt in the body causes the body to hold onto excess water which can raise your blood pressure. This can then lead to straining your kidneys, brain and heart and also causing dementia.

The recommended daily serving of sodium in the average US diet is less than 2300mg of sodium a day. This may seem like a lot, but it is around a tablespoon of salt. You can easily consume all of your recommended daily amount of salt by eating anchovies so please be wary of this. If you are someone who watches your salt intake, try to go for canned

anchovies that are lower in salt. If you are going to use anchovies in a particular dish, we recommend that you take it easy when it comes to seasoning the rest of your meal with salt. You may find that you don't even need to add any more salt to a said meal.

Above, we have also mentioned that anchovies are great for omega-3 fatty acids and are a high source of protein. A typical serving of anchovies can have around 5g of protein which is around a tenth of the daily recommended amount.

Anchovies are also typically very low in calories, only having 20-30 calories per serving. This makes it a guilt-free option for those of you who are looking to add more flavour to your food without gaining weight. If you are watching your weight, we recommend avoiding anchovies that are soaked in olive oil - despite this being healthy. Instead, go for plain anchovy fillets.

Bones or Smooth?

Anchovies, like other fishes, have a lot of mini bones in their bodies. A lot of people do not enjoy the texture of bones in their foods and prefer it if their fish is free from any bones. However, some people enjoy the crunchy texture of the bones. Think about whether the idea of eating bones makes you feel uncomfortable or if you don’t mind it too much and then go from there if you are trying to decide which type of canned anchovy to go for.

Smooth anchovies are a little more versatile and suitable for more people. Children tend to be picky with their food and if you are serving a large group of people, smooth canned anchovies seem to be a safer option. We believe that those people who like the texture of anchovies with bones can also enjoy canned anchovies that do not have bones, whereas this is not the same when it is the other way around.

Smooth canned anchovies are also a little more convenient to use as you can use them straight from the can without any prior preparation. Some anchovies that are still on the bone can often also come with their heads and tails still attached. This means you will need to take the time to remove these parts and clean the anchovies yourself. If this is something that you don't mind doing, then canned anchovies with bones are a great option for you. However, if you want something easy to use and hassle-free, going for boneless canned anchovies is recommended.

We also want to take this opportunity to say that smooth canned anchovies are a little easier to use in a variety of meals. You can spread onto bread and sandwiches, make sauces and add toppings very easily.

Flavour

Of course, considering the flavour of any food is one of the most important aspects to consider too. It is all well and good if you have food that is healthy and good for the environment but ultimately if it doesn’t taste good, we don’t think you should get it. Food is not only fuel for the body but it should be delicious too.

With this being said, canned anchovies surprisingly may have varying flavours to one another. This depends on how much salt or oil is used and how the anchovies were sourced to begin with. Of course, there will be a similar flavour in most canned anchovies - but there are some brands that are stronger in flavour than others.

This usually depends on how long the anchovies have been sitting in the salt for before you purchase it. Many brands of canned anchovies choose to wait 6 months before beginning to sell their anchovies, however, for a stronger flavour, some brands leave it for much longer.

Some canned anchovies are more on the milder side. If this is the case, it may specify on the packaging. If you have never tried anchovies before or are worried that your children or guests won't like it, we suggest going for milder canned anchovies to start with. They are still full of flavour without being too overbearing and distracting from the other flavours.

Packaging 

Considering the packaging of a product is essential especially in this day and age. Not only does the impact the environment but it also allows for you to be able to store any leftover food conveniently or not. Some packaging - such as glass jars - can also be reused and recycled.

The majority of canned anchovies are not, in fact, available in plastic containers. Instead, they either come in glass jars or tin (which are steel coated in tin). Tin cans are usually not reusable as you tend to open the can and are unable to close it back up again. Usually, the lid can also be sharp and therefore dangerous. Be mindful not to cut yourself accidentally when using canned anchovies that come in tin cans.

Tin cans are recyclable which is great, however, aluminium also includes bauxite ore which can release toxins and harm the natural environment. If you care about the planet and want to do your bit to prevent it from being harmed further, we recommend going for glass packaging. This will also ensure that you can reuse the jar several times and can also store any leftover canned anchovies in the same container without having to use another container instead.

Shelf Life and Storage

As we mentioned before, storing any leftover anchovies is easy to do if you have a glass jar. We recommend that you save some of the salt/brine or oil that the anchovies first come in and reuse that to keep any leftover anchovies safe from going bad. If you end up throwing this away accidentally, however, we recommend placing the anchovies in a container and soaking them in extra virgin olive oil.

When you’ve opened a can of anchovies, you must keep them in the fridge. If you fail to do so, you can easily ruin a perfectly good batch of anchovies in a very short amount of time.

The typical shelf-life of anchovies can last up to a year which is great if you like to stock up on foods and keep your pantry full. This is also a fantastic option if you do not use anchovies very often in your meals but want to keep it on hand just in case.

Once open, you can store the anchovies in the fridge for several months as long as you keep them in salt or oil. If you choose to go for olive oil, make sure that you leave the anchovies to get to room temperature when you are ready to use them again.

How they are Sourced 

Knowing how the fish you consume is sourced is very important. This will give you an idea on how much of an impact your choice in canned anchovies is having on the planet and the natural habitats of the fish you are consuming. Sustainably sourced fish ensures that you are only contributing positively to the world so you can ensure a safer environment for wildlife and for future generations of people who could enjoy the same flavours that you do.

Not only does investing in fish that are sustainably sourced help the fish you are consuming as a species, but it also ensures that other creatures in the same habitat are not harmed in the process. This is done by using suitable fishing equipment and avoiding young fish. This also means that the fish in oceans will never become extinct so you can continue to purchase and enjoy them without any risks.

Illegal fishing is something that happens rather frequently, and knowing exactly how the fish you consume is sourced will help to determine if they are fished morally and legally.

We also believe that the way your fish is sourced will determine the quality of the product you consume. Many people believe that if you consume animals that are happy in their habitat and whose environments are not tampered with, the better they will taste. Learning how the fish you consume is sourced can help you to understand the impact you are having on the world and the quality of the product you are purchasing.

Conclusion 

Anchovies are delicious, unique, versatile and packed with many health benefits. They come in a variety of forms and each can or jar of anchovies has its unique qualities. There are some on the market which come with their bones and others are available without. We hope that through this article you have found the best canned anchovies for your needs and have a better understanding of the types of canned anchovies that are available, the impact that investing in sustainable fishing can have on the environment and natural habitats and the type of dishes you could use your anchovies in.

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