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Salt-packed anchovies: worth the time and expense?

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Salt-packed anchovies: worth the time and expense?

katzzz | Jun 13, 2012 07:49 AM

I love to cook with anchovies, the magical ingredient in many pasta sauces, salad dressings, etc. I've tried the better oil-packed anchovies in jars, but I see many chefs prefer the salt-packed variety. I found some at Formaggio's, from Sicily, loose by the pound. They were....different, but I can't say I loved them. Maybe I'm just accustomed to the oil-packed flavor. Still, I'm intrigued by the thought that there's a better anchovy out there. So here are my questions: Do you think salt-packed anchovies really are superior and worth the extra money and effort it takes to prepare them? Where are the best sources to get them? (I know they're sold in cans, but I've looked in various Italian specialty stores without any luck so far). How do the canned salt-packed compare with the loose ones sold in Formaggio's (I've also seen them loose at Sophia's Greek Pantry)? And how long do the canned and loose last? Can you store them in the fridge indefinitely? So many fishy questions!

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