Anchovy Paste

Published October 1, 2007.

If you just need a touch of anchovy, can you reach for the tube and not the jar?

Overview:

When just a single anchovy fillet is all you need for most recipes, we wondered whether a tube of anchovy paste might be a more convenient option than whole anchovies. Made from pulverized anchovies, vinegar, salt, and water, anchovy paste promises all the flavor of oil-packed anchovies without the mess of draining, drying, and chopping the whole fillets. A head-to-head tasting of our Caesar Salad recipe, prepared with equal amounts of anchovy paste and anchovy fillets, found little difference, although a few astute tasters felt that the paste had a "saltier" and "slightly more fishy" flavor. In such small quantities, however, it was deemed an acceptable substitute. For dishes that use just a touch of anchovy, the squeeze-and-go convenience of the tube is hard to beat.

When just a single anchovy fillet is all you need for most recipes, we wondered whether a tube of anchovy paste might be a more convenient option than whole anchovies. Made from pulverized anchovies, vinegar, salt, and water, anchovy paste promises all the flavor of oil-packed anchovies without the mess of draining, drying, and chopping the whole fillets. A head-to-head tasting of our Caesar Salad recipe, prepared with equal amounts of anchovy paste and anchovy fillets, found little difference, although a few astute tasters felt that the paste had a "saltier" and "slightly more fishy" flavor. In such small quantities, however, it was deemed an acceptable substitute. For dishes that use just a touch of anchovy, the squeeze-and-go convenience of the tube is hard to beat.

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