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Anchovies and Sardines

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Jul 30th, 2016, 12:39 PM
  #1
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Anchovies and Sardines

We are really looking forward to our trip to Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia & Herzegovina the first half of October. I want to try a lot of different food, especially fresh anchovies and/or sardines. Since they are not brined, I understand they have a much different, better taste.

I believe they will be served whole but gutted. I guess the smaller ones could be deep fried and the larger ones pan fried or grilled? I don't think it will be difficult to cut off the head, but what about the fins and tail?

Thanks so much!
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Jul 30th, 2016, 12:45 PM
  #2
 
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You'll probably find only large sardines. They might be sold whole, it will be up to you to gut them. Leave the head on when grilling or frying or broiling them and then fillet them as you eat; with the flat part of the knife, start at the dorsal bone and slide the knife along the bones to detach the flesh.

It might be easier to find a restaurant that serves fresh sardines; I've never come across fresh anchovies.
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Jul 31st, 2016, 04:37 AM
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Anchovies in Croatia were fried exactly like whitebait in the UK if that is any help: dusted with seasoned flour and quickly deep fried until crisp.

They are gutted, but you eat the heads and tails, unless you are the compulsive German woman we watched carefully remove the ends from a heap of fish. Of course, they were all cold and probably nasty by the time she finished and actually ate them. If you are delicate, you could probably bite off everything behind the head.

I think fresh sardines are best grilled, and they are common that way on menus. They are about the size of commercial rainbow trout in the US -- maybe two or three per serving because the filet-to-bone ratio is not high. Don't eat the heads and tails.
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Aug 19th, 2016, 09:14 AM
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Thanks Ackislander

I think my confusion was caused because canned sardines are quite different than what we are talking about here.

I checked with Whole Foods and they have them as previously frozen and sold thawed. I guess they were about 6 or so inches long with the head on. I put some parsley, a bit of garlic, and finely chopped sweet onion in them and lightly pan fried them. I think I cooked them enough because the bone came out easily but I didn't over do it.

Although they were tasty, and not too expensive ($6.89/lb whole, ungutted, about $9 for a decent serving for two people), I don't think I'll do it again. It was just a bit of a pain when a few of the really small bones separated from the backbone and needed to be picked out.

They were fish supposedly from Portugal. They had a somewhat strong fishy smell but the eyes were clear. Maybe not the freshest. I think in Croatia I will first try the anchovies fried as you describe. I'm sure they are nothing like what we get in cans.
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Aug 19th, 2016, 12:35 PM
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Gambero Rosso Cinque terre
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Aug 19th, 2016, 12:36 PM
  #6
 
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Had fabulous stuffed anchovies
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Aug 19th, 2016, 12:38 PM
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Sorry ipad keeps posting before I am done...Gambero Rossa is in Vernazza
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