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If ever you are lucky enough to be in Getaria, on the Basque coast between San Sebastian and Bilbao, be sure and call to the Salanort deli and get your hands on the local anchovies. I thought that was my only way of getting these beauties but I found out the other day, they are much closer to home and are my Taste of the Week.
All you have to do is to call to the Real Olive Stall in the English Market and get yourself a few tins of the Cantabrian anchovies caught off Getaria and other nearby towns, in particular the can marked Cantara. The little fish are caught and the treated in a traditional way and are of the very finest quality.
Anchovies with grilled onions at Nerua in Bilbao's Guggenheim
What is so different about these anchovies? Well for a start, they are cold water as distinct from the anchovies of the warmer Med. But, maybe because of that, they have a fantastic flavour, pleasant and mild (not as salty as those from the Med) and texture is almost creamy. By the way, they have some delicious sardines at the Real Olive as well - I like the ones in the spicy tomato sauce but there is quite a choice and I'm told that those in Extra Virgin Olive Oil are amazing!