Cantabria is anchovy heaven on earth. Santoña, Laredo, Colindres and Castro Urdiales, along with a few other places along the coast, are the undisputed source of this exquisite product, lovingly and meticulously prepared by hand. The anchovies are caught in springtime when they have the right balance of flesh and fat and, from then on, all the work is done by women. They are the ones who get up to go to work and with expert hands perform the entire production process. Slowly but surely, they salt and press the fish, leaving them to cure for several months; then they are skinned, washed, trimmed, dried and filleted, and covered with olive oil. Rigorous quality control ensures firm and flexible flesh, with a colour that goes from reddish brown to a brighter, caramelized tone, and a perfect balance in taste and aroma between the fish, the salt and the oil. A joy for the palate, and don’t forget to take them out of the fridge a good few minutes before you begin the feast.
This leading restaurant offers delicious (and generously sized) anchovy fillets that they prepare themselves. Unique flavours and textures, and they don’t come cheap. But go on – spoil yourselves.
Anchovy fillets: 2.50 euros apiece
Hernán Cortés, 63942 213 001
Closes Sunday evening y Monday
Más de 40 euros
This beautifully designed place with its long bar offers up to fourteen different brands of salted Cantabrian anchovies, listed strictly in alphabetical order and served in tins de octavillo, which means that there are eight inside. A difficult choice to make…
Octavillo: between 7 and 10 euros
Gamazo, s/n942 742 668
Between 25 and 40 euros
A square bar, appropriately straightforward: they have cured meats, cheeses and a range of tinned preserves: Cantabrian anchovies, mussels in brine, tuna belly meat and more. The anchovies are of the Arlequín brand, a Santoña canning company which also sells its products online.
Octavillo (serving of 8 fillets): 5.80 euros
To take away: 6 octavillos for the price of 5
Peña Herbosa, 18942 054 474 MORE INFO…