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Anchovies are a family of small, common salt-water forage fish.  They are found in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. Anchovies are usually classified as oily fish. Anchovies are also known as Nethili MeenThogai meenNethallu, Pooroava, Kelba, Poravallu, Nethili, kozhuva.

As food:

A traditional method of processing and preserving anchovies is to gut and salt them in brine, allow them to mature, and then pack them in oil or salt. This results in a characteristic strong flavor and the flesh turns deep grey. Pickled in vinegar, as with Spanish boquerones, anchovies are milder and the flesh retains a white color. 

In Roman times, anchovies were the base for the fermented fish sauce garum. Garum had a sufficiently long shelf life for long-distance commerce, and was produced in industrial quantities. Anchovies were also eaten raw as an aphrodisiac. Today, they are used in small quantities to flavor many dishes. Because of the strong flavor, they are also an ingredient in several sauces and condiments, including Worcestershire sauce, Caesar salad dressing, remoulade, Gentleman's Relish, many fish sauces, and in some versions of Café de Paris butter. 

For domestic use, anchovy fillets are packed in oil or salt in small tins or jars, sometimes rolled around capers. Anchovy paste is also available. Fishermen also use anchovies as bait for larger fish, such as tuna and sea bass.

The strong taste people associate with anchovies is due to the curing process. Fresh anchovies, known in Italy as alici, have a much milder flavor. In Sweden and Finland, the name anchovies is related strongly to a traditional seasoning, hence the product "anchovies" is normally made of sprats and herring can be sold as "anchovy-spiced".

In Asia Anchovies used to make curry, kuzhambhu ( Also see ), and fry , dry poriyal, bajji with hot Spices.

Nutritional Value of Anchovies:

Anchovies are rich in protein, vitamins and minerals that help in maintaining good health. It contains calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc. Anchovies are a good source of vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin C, B-12, B-6, A, E and vitamin K. It also contains fatty acids and cholesterol.

Health Benefits of Anchovies:

1. Heart Health: Anchovies have been found to contain large amounts of polyunsaturated fats, which can reduce the presence of “bad” cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) that build up in the arteries and increase your chances of artherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. Omega-3 fatty acid, found in large quantities in anchovies, actually strips away unhealth cholesterol and inhibits it from binding to the walls of arteries, thereby helping it be eliminated from the body.

2. Skin Health: As mentioned, anchovies are great sources for essential fatty acids, like omega-3 fatty acid, which is also known as “good cholesterol”, as well as for vitamin-E and minerals like selenium. All of these nutrients have been shown to promote healthy skin, which means that adding anchovies as a regular part of your diet can help you maintain a smooth complexion, prevent breakouts, and even reduce the chances of developing the wrinkles associated with premature aging. Vitamin E can also help protect against sunburn, thereby helping to reduce chances of skin cancer.

3. Tissue and Cell Repair: Proteins can be found in great numbers in anchovies, and they have long been known to benefit the functioning and efficiency of cell metabolism and connective tissue repair and regrowth. Adding anchovies into your diet can be a major boost to your body’s ability to heal itself.

4. Bone Health: The vitamins and minerals found in anchovies provide many health benefits, including helping to build strong bones and prevent the risk of osteoporosis and other bone conditions. The calcium and vitamin-A that is found in anchovies positively effect bone growth, which make these tiny fish quite beneficial in fighting bone degradation. Calcium is also integral in the protection of teeth from weakening, keeping them strong and healthy well into old age.

5. Weight Loss: Anchovies have significant amounts of protein and a low calorie count, which makes them ideal for people trying to lose weight. Increased levels of protein can often produce satiety, which prevents overeating, and it provides you with ample nutrition and health benefits, without pouring in extra calories!

6. Prevents Toxicity: One of the major dangers of eating too much fish is the high level of mercury and other environmental toxins that can often be found in their bodies. Smaller fish have far fewer toxins, particularly due to their short life span, and therefore add far less toxins to your body than larger fish, while still providing many of the same nutritional benefits!

7. Eye Health: As stated above, anchovies are rich in vitamin-A, which has been studied intensively as it relates to eye health. High levels of vitamin-A have been linked to reduced appearance of eye degradation and macular degeneration, as well as cataracts, so eat some anchovies and protect your eyes!

Read More at Wikipedia, and Here
Recipes Using Anchovy see Here and Here

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