Have you ever tried anchovies and found them salty? Well, you are not alone. Many people experience the same thing. But why are they salty? Is the salt in them good for you? How to make them less salty?
What are anchovies?
Anchovy is a small fish with a long slender body of a silvery tint. They swim, as a rule, in large groups, because this is how they feel strong. Individually, they quickly become prey to larger fish and other inhabitants of the deep sea.
These small fish belong to the pelagic genus of marine fish, the anchovy family. In total, there are 8 varieties of anchovies that are found in different seas almost all over the world. So, anchovies that live in the Azov, Black Seas, and the Kerch Strait are also called hamsa in another way.
You can use anchovies in the preparation of sauces – from the most ancient garum sauce, which was the ancient Roman analog of fish sauce, to the more modern Worcester sauce. They are also added to salads, pastries, appetizers, and main courses.
Are anchovies salty?
Yes, anchovies are generally salty. They are naturally salty because they live in seawater. However, the main reason that anchovies are salty is that most preserved anchovies sold in can use salt in the preservation process. Salt is used for the prevention of bacterial buildup.
Before the curing process, 20 grams of fresh fish contains about 20 mg of sodium, then in a similar portion of salted anchovies, the sodium content can go up to 700 mg.
Their taste is intensely salty, however, when being prepared properly, they can be delicious.
Why do anchovies taste so salty?
As we have mentioned above, most preserved anchovies sold in the stores (both salt-pack or oil-pack) go through an extensive curing process. Salt is added when anchovies are preserved and packed to prevent bacterial buildup. They are cured several months in salt and this is what makes them salty.
Is the salt in anchovies good or bad?
Anchovies contain iodine, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and copper, and various types of fatty acids. Even occasional consumption of dishes from this fish has a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular, digestive, and nervous systems. Nutritionists recommend it for the prevention of atherosclerosis, diabetes, and rickets. It is served to children in preschool and school institutions, which proves its safety and benefits.
In addition, it is important to remember that salted anchovies contain elevated sodium levels, which can increase blood pressure, which can have serious consequences for people with heart disease. In other cases, anchovies product is absolutely safe if it meets quality standards and is properly stored and served in reasonable quantities.
How do you make anchovies less salty?
To remove excess sodium (which causes the saltiness of the preserved anchovies), they must be soaked in water for approximately half an hour before use. You can use water, milk, or white wine for this purpose. There will be no differences in the taste when you use water or milk, however, white wine adds a subtle wine flavor.
Advice: We recommend you not to soak anchovies in water for too long. Their texture will change and become overly mushy and soft.