Sardines and anchovies: do you know the difference?
Sometimes names cause confusion. Sardines and anchovies look very similar with their silvery skin and narrow shape. In fact, both fish are herring-like and are closely related. Their names are derived from the Latin word "sarda" for herring. They roam the seas in mighty swarms; that protects them very well from natural enemies.
The sardine (Sardina pilchardus) can be over 20 cm long and is therefore slightly larger and more rounded than the anchovy. Experts call the smaller specimens sardines and the large fish pilchard. The sardine is often fried or grilled as a whole fish. On the German market, however, they are mainly available as canned goods »sardine in oil« - whole, with or without head, as fillet with or without skin and in different flavors.
The anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) is with an average length of 10 cm smaller and slimmer than the sardine. In cross section it is rather oval. The soft and juicy meat is usually preserved with salt and soaked in olive oil as a fillet. The taste is very intense and develops through an enzymatic ripening process after salting. In Germany, for example, it is available as salt anchovy, anchovy fillet, anchovy ring and anchovy paste.
Fresh anchovies are mainly found in the Mediterranean countries. They can be prepared in a variety of ways in the kitchen - as antipasti, fresh or marinated, breaded or fried. By the way, anchovies, French anchois, are European anchovies, which are usually filleted in a salty or sweet and sour lake. Heike Kreutz, bzfe.de