Here's what a giant school of anchovy swarming off the California coast looks like


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Well they certainly weren’t looking for bitcoins.

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I believe at the Monterrey Bay Aquarium there was a display which said that the anchovy’s were recovering after the over fishing that crashed their population last century, and that they expected it to take another 50 years or so before they were back to something like what they were before (and a managed fishery could then be opened). Maybe this will become common going forward?

Just the thing to harvest to make more of Mom’s Old Fashioned Robot Oil.
“with 10% more love than the next leading brand”


Sailing on Monterey Bay on a dark night, it’s not uncommon to see large areas of ocean flash into phosphorescence as anchovy schools suddenly move, probably away from predators, or as your boat passes through them. It must have been incredible back when the schools were much larger.

Some years ago, during the El Nino years of the 80’s as I recall, I was scuba diving off Carmel in spectacularly clear water at maybe 80-90’ depth when a large school passed overhead. It suddenly became almost pitch dark. As I neared the surface, ascending through them, I had the strange experience of being in the center of a 10-12’ sphere of clear water, surrounded by a bubble of silvery fish.



Just how am I supposed to hold all these anchovies?


Was that a little shark swimming through there? Musta been like a kid in a candy store…

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OK. This is something that I simply cannot understand. WHO EATS THOSE THINGS? I love seafood – shrimp, lobster, most fish, scallops. But those things are horrid! I have only had them on pizza – once – and only once. To me, even catching ONE of those things for human consumption qualifies as “over fishing.”

Maybe the reason the population is bouncing back is that people finally realized that they barely qualify as “food.”


What would it be like swimming through that dark stain?

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raises pseudopod

Anchovies on pizza are the way most people come across them and are the least approachable way of eating anchovy. Intensely salty and pungent, it’s not surprising so many people hate them.
Fresh anchovies are an absolute delight, mild, delicate and totally unlike the jarred ones.

The preserved fillets are cured and slightly fermented and IMO are best in a good bagna cauda where they are tempered by butter and oil and the crisp veggies serve as a great foil to them.
I’m not going to convince you they’re not nasty, but pizza anchovies are not the best way of experiencing them. (I guess this is a #NotAllAnchovies post. :slight_smile: )


Gotta watch out for those anchovies…

I agree with @SmashMartian; if you have only ever eaten them on pizza, you haven’t really eaten anchovies. They are delicious fresh, and if you ever go to a Mediterranean restaurant and see them on the appetizer menu, you should order them. But even if you can’t find them fresh, if I recommend getting a high quality jar of filets and applying them to some recipes from Olives,Capers and Anchovies cookbook. It’s a great collection of delicious and simple recipes.


I’m a food porn person, and that cookbook clearly needs to be bought. :slight_smile: Unfortunately, our family doesn’t eat anchovies and my kids don’t like capers (I have no idea why not), so it’s probably not justified. Darn it.

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