Anchovy or Clupea Encra-Sicolus, L. a small fish of the herring-kind, taken in immense quan-tities on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, whence they are imported into Britain, in a pickled state. They are in general from 3 to 4 inches in length, have a pointed head, a wide mouth destitute of teeth, and the gums are uncommonly rough. - According to Collins, these diminutive fish are, likewise, found in abundance, on the Western Coasts of England and Wales.
The fishing for anchovies is principally carried on during the night; when, a light being affixed to the stern of a small vessel, the anchovies are thus attracted, and caught in nets. It is, however, asserted that they are neither so good, firm, nor so proper for pickling, as those taken without this stratagem. After having secured these delicate fish, their heads are cut off; the intestines extracted; and the bodies salted, and deposited in barrels.
In the choice of anchovies, such as are small, round-backed, fresh pickled, white on the outside, and red within, deserve to be preferred; because those of a flat, or large form, are frequently a spurious sort, called sardinias. Independently of these qualities, the pickle should possess a fine taste and flavour.
Anchovies arc variously prepared: after honing them, and taking off the tails and fins, they may either be eaten with oil and vinegar; or, by mincing them with pepper, etc. be formed into sauce for other fish. They are likewise packed in small earthen vessels, closely covered, so as to exclude the air : by this simple precaution, their flavour may, for a long time, be preserved. But the most effectual method of keeping these fish in a concentrated state, is that of reducing the fleshy part to a soft pulp, of the consistence of butter ; and, after adding pepper or other spices, the extract of anchovies thus prepared, should be put in gallipots, first covered with a round piece of fine writing-paper, or hog's bladder; and then melted beef suet in a lukewarm state, must be poured over the whole, so as to leave about half an inch space between this air-tight covering and the top of the vessel, which is again secured with strong paper.