Diputaci de Girona
 

Anchovies.

Anchovies have a long history. We can trace them back at least as far as the mythical origins of salted fish on the Costa Brava during Greek and Roman times. The first factories, precursors of the current industry, appeared in the nineteenth century. Among them, the Casa Pont in Cadaqués stands out. Although in this century La Escala is the municipality with the most producers, the Cadaqués factory was the largest ever. The Casa Pont also made its own barrels in which the anchovies were pressed so that they would be well “anchovied” in the brine and last the long journey to America, as well as to the rest of the Mediterranean.

The result was a conscientiously-made preserve with a careful aging, giving the anchovy a bright reddish-brown, mahogany colour and a perfume of fresh fish, with the seductive iodized taste of seaweed, the aroma the ancients wished for the liquamen or garum with which they perfumed and complemented so many dishes. It is product that has come back into fashion and two of its references have been chosen for this edition of Girona Excellent.

Anchovies with the 2018-2019 Girona Excel·lent seal

Anchovies in salt, from Anxoves de l’Escala M. Sureda.

The traditional way of preserving anchovy is in a glass jar that contains the fish (Engraulis encrasicolus) gutted, with the head removed, and covered with brine to cure it. Historically, the anchovies in L’Escala have been prepared in this way and, since 1940, the same method has been used by this company, which has a staff of 40 people and premises occupying 3,500 m².

Category: Anchovies in salt

Producer: Anxoves de l’Escala, SA

www.anxovesdelescala.es

Anchovies in olive oil, from Anxoves de l’Escala M. Sureda.

Anxoves de l’Escala concentrates all its experience of Mediterranean culture in this jar. The anchovies are cured for a minimum of six months and they are desalted at just the right moment to bring out their briny flavour. The backbone is removed and the fillets are packed covered with olive oil to keep their texture firm and tender.

Category: Anchovies in olive oil

Producer: Anxoves de l’Escala, SA

www.anxovesdelescala.es

Olives stuffed with anchovy fillets, from Anxoves Callol Serrats.

Dedicated to salting anchovies since 1847, Fill de J. Callol i Serrats SL is a family business that has come down to the sixth generation with the same innovative spirit and approach to doing things as that of its founders. The olives are of the Hojiblanca variety. Stuffed by hand, one by one, with traditional anchovy fillets, they are the ideal product to accompany an aperitif.

Category: Anchovies, unique specialities

Producer: Fill de J. Callol Serrats, SL

www.callolserrats.com

Anchovy without backbone in brine, from Anxoves de l’Escala M. Sureda.

These anchovies are packed in brine, but without the backbone and with the two fillets joined at the tail. It is a format designed for fine food enthusiasts and catering professionals, who have enough experience to know how salty they like their food. A few minutes before they are served, they should be soaked and then drained and dried.

Category: Anchovies, unique specialities

Producer: Anxoves de l’Escala, SA

www.anxovesdelescala.es

Anchovy fillet in vinegar, from Anxoves de Roses.

The Anxoves de Roses – Conservas Bahia salted fish company, working in the fish trade since 1960, began to make seafood preserves in 1980. The hand-picked anchovy fillets, pickled in vinegar and preserved in olive oil, are one of their star products. These pickled anchovies are ideal as a tapa with an aperitif.

Category: Anchovies, unique specialities

Producer: Peixos de Mar Pla de Hermanos Martínez, SL

www.anxovesderoses.com

The anchovy

tasting jury.

Ma. Àngels Jacas

Chef at Merylou restaurant, l’Escala

Paula Molés

Journalist specialized in gastronomy of Catalunya Ràdio

Encarni Fernández

Encarni Fernández
Chef at restaurant El Celler de la Planassa, Palamós

Yun Ju Choi

Yunju Choi
Chef at El Celler de Can Roca restaurant, Girona

Joan Carles Sánchez

Chef at restaurant Es Portal, Pals