Anchovies - Storing after opening.

jimsterOctober 9, 2013

So far as I can tell, the only anchovies available to me here are in tins (flat or rolled) or paste in a tube. None in the deli case or even in jars.

I get the tinned ones. However, I seldom use the entire tin in any recipe, which makes it wasteful unless I use them in other recipes within a short time.

Any suggestions? How long will the tinned ones keep in the fridge after opening? Would freezing be a good idea? How long can the tubes of paste be kept?


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You can buy them on line, but I buy this brand at the market, which is a bit more expensive on line, although I do not know what shipping costs are. I store the jars in the fridge after I have opened them, and I imagine that you could store tinned anchovies in olive oil in a small jar in the fridge for some time. You might want to add salt to the olive oil, unless they are already sufficiently salty. The olive oil solidifies around them, and so you would want to keep them covered in oil in the fridge. I've kept them for several weeks and they were still fine, but my fridge is very cold. Freezing would not hurt them. I buy the ones wrapped around capers because I like to have capers (and olive oil) in the recipes that I use anchovies for. Also, they are easier to handle this way.

If you cannot find the anchovies in jars in your regular market, try an Italian deli or Middle Eastern market or just a more upscale regular market. I buy them at Gelson's, which is a local upscale market, but I haven't looked for them elsewhere, and I always keep an extra jar on hand.


    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 7:43PM
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ATK tested 3 methods: packed in salt and refrigerated, covered with EVOO and refrigerated, coiled and frozen. After two weeks the first were bad - rinsing washed away the flavor, not rinsing was extremely salty. Packed in oil were good but the congealed oil was messy to deal with. So they recommended freezing, and I'd think that would offer the longest storage anyway.

The tube of paste in my fridge says use within one month of opening. I checked, and fortunately it's not open yet. Wonder what I bought it for.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 7:52PM
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Jim, transfer them to a small container with a lid and freeze them. They thaw in a few minutes and the oil will still be a bit solid so less mess. To use them up, mash one into your salad dressings.

I have found that if I put them into the fridge they get lost and I find them hiding way in the back when I do a major clean out.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 9:36PM
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I buy the tinned flat anchovies, and freeze what I don't use in packets of three or four.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 10:37PM
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Thanks everyone, for the helpful information. I think freezing may be the answer I was seeking.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 2:07PM
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The paste in my tube was opened some months ago, no issues.

There is minimal oxygen in the tube and it is cold, so I'd expect it to keep so quite a long time

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 2:35PM
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Don't use a lot of anchovies. Bought the smallest tin for a recipe that PBS chef said were essential. When I opened tin, noticed NO nasty anchovie fish smell I expected?? Didn't use whole tin so decided to freeze rest. When thawed... there was that smell I REALLY don't care for. I'm with JOHNLIU... think it's exposure to air that does it. Bought a tube of anchovie past... AGES ago, and it does NOT have that nsty aroma when used.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 5:41PM
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I bought a tube when I first started making pasta puttanesca. It keeps for months in the frig. It has no fishy smell at all, and I remember reading in Marcell Hazan's Classic Italian cookbook to never buy the tube. Only real anchovies has the real anchovy flavour.

Nothing in the pasta tastes fishy at all, and there's no smell with the tube, so I don't know what the benefit of the anchovy in the tube does, to the dish.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 2:58PM
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I like the paste, and I find it keeps a long time. I like the whole ones, too. I like them for different things. Sometimes a little bit of paste gives oomph to something dull without yelling ANCHOVY! when you taste it as the whole ones would when I don't want that. Especially salad dressings.

I transfer leftovers from the tin to a jar and cover with oil and store in the refrigerator. It is messy, true, but it does work. I've never thought of freezing. Thanks for the tip, everyone!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 3:46PM
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