Anchovies Aren't Yucky —They're Magical

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2009 6:14 AM CDT
Yoon prefers better quality jarred anchovies to the tinned variety.   (©plindberg)
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(Newser) – Many people quake at the mention of anchovies, but if history is any judge, those people are dead wrong, Howard Yoon writes for NPR. In the past, the fish was “so highly prized that it was used to make a condiment, garum, during the Roman Empire that cost as much as the finest perfumes.” The problem in the US is likely that “we don't achieve the right balance of anchovies in our dishes, and we don't use quality anchovies.”

Anchovies have a lot to recommend them: We wouldn’t have ketchup without them, and “these bright-eyed, oily fish have what scientists and food experts call ‘umami,’ an almost indescribable fifth taste that takes your eating experience beyond salty, sweet, sour, and bitter.” A properly prepared anchovy “lingers on your taste buds like the final chords of your favorite song.” So “listen to history,” Yoon writes, and “learn to love this remarkable little fish.”