Whether its pan fried and served on a bed of satiny greens or boosting the flavor of braised lamb, there’s a definite shift in the culinary role of the humble anchovy. Even though this fish has long been revered as a delicacy in Spain, the versatility of anchovies has only recently become a chef’s favorite. As it finally assumes its place as an integral player in the fine dining experience, anchovies health benefits are also finding their way into the spotlight.
The Anchovy is an oily forage fish from the engraulidae family. There are at least 144 known anchovy species that play a significant ecological role as an important food source for other marine life and some birds. Although they are found in various regions of the world their preferred habitat is in temperate waters. Anchovies are particularly abundant in the Mediterranean seas and on the coast of Africa. They also thrive in the shallow, brackish waters of estuaries and bays.
As a nutritionally dense food source, anchovies health benefits are innumerable. For instance:
- The large polyunsaturated fat content in anchovies is helpful in reducing the presence of Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (LDL) often referred to as “bad” cholesterol. Studies show the high levels of Omega-3 fatty acid, found in anchovies work by stripping away LDL which prevent it from adhering to arterial walls and aid in its elimination from the body.
- The meaty flesh of anchovies is also loaded with proteins that are beneficial to the efficient functioning of cell metabolism. This is imperative to connective tissue repair and regrowth.
- Anchovies nutrition also make them a good source of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, niacin, riboflavin, selenium, thiamin, zinc and vitamins A, C D, E, K, B6, and B12.
- Anchovies health benefits has also been touted by some for aiding in weight loss. It is said to enhance ocular health by providing protection against cataracts and macular degeneration. In some studies, it is also shown to ease the pain of rheumatoid arthritis, promote cardiovascular health, build strong bones that reduce the effects of osteoporosis, prevent premature aging and lower the risk of skin cancer.
By incorporating this beneficial food into your diet through the increasing number of anchovy recipes that are available today can only help to boost your body’s healing properties.
Whether you are using marinated white anchovies on toast or as an accompaniment to herb rubbed broiled potatoes, buying a quality product can only enhance the flavor profile of your recipes. For many chefs, the salinity of the tender meat of anchovies are the reason they deliver such a flavor punch. You can enjoy them as a stand-alone dish or paired with everything from tomatoes, dips, dressings, salads, meat, sauces, stews and even sandwiches to name a few. The unexpected appearance of anchovies add dimension and another layer of flavor to so many recipes that keeping the anchovies secret is getting to be a challenge for both professional chefs and homebased cooks. Also, the introduction of Tapas cuisine has heightened attention to this formerly overlooked fare that is credited with the transition of anchovies as a popular street food.
Now that the anchovies health benefits and versatility is in the open, it may be time to consider using this valuable food to add an extra punch of flavor to more of your everyday dishes. To learn more about our exquisite marinated white anchovy fillets with garlic and parsley and other gourmet offerings visit our House of Caviar and Fine Foods online store. We invite you to try our wide selection of specialty meats, caviar and fish roe that will appease every palate and budget. We also provide an array of gourmet accessories and gift baskets. To find more decadent recipes or for gift ideas, caviar recipes and tips on how to add these delicacies into your diet, join us on the House of Caviar and Fine Foods Facebook page.