"Selection" Anchovy Fillets
Nardin’s “Selection” Anchovy Fillets are manually selected based on the size and firmness of the fish: the best of the best that the Cantabrian Sea can offer! Handed down for generations by the Nardin family, the production process is in fact strictly manual, including the careful arrangement of the fillets in tins or glass jars. The Secret to such a delectable, delicate and succulent anchovy? The freshness of the raw material: only 6 km separate the port from the Nardin production plant.
The anchovies are caught in the spring, the so-called “spring anchovy” as the Basques refer to it, recognized as the best in the world: they are large in size, firm and with a significantly higher amount of fat, a factor that allows perfect salting. Once the lot has been purchased, the anchovies are gutted, the heads are removed and the fillets are carefully arranged in tins of the same diameter. A layer of anchovies followed by a layer of salt, until the rim of the tin is exceeded by 5 to 6 centimeters. At this point, a metal band called a “shirt” is placed around the excess fish. This makes it possible to press the anchovies without any fish falling out of the tin, letting out the excess water and ensuring proper seasoning.
Precisely why is the tin always the same size? Because the value of anchovies is determined by their number per layer: the fewer and the bigger they are, the more they are worth.
The tradition of salt-packed anchovies has its roots back in time: a story that smells of Sicily, but speaks Spanish. Or Basque to be exact. Well, salted anchovies were, in fact, invented by the Sicilians. However, at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, the presence of these fish in Sicily’s waters began to diminish, forcing the islanders to cross the Pillars of Hercules flanking the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar and turn their fishing boats towards the Bay of Biscay. And here, in the Cantabrian Sea, in the southern part of the Bay of Biscay, they discovered not only that there are beautiful anchovies, large and firm, but also that the Spaniards did not know what to do with this incredible “abundance”: for them, they were considered a poor product, to be consumed only fresh, not worthy of being preserved.
Aware of their potential wealth, some forward-thinking Sicilians decided to emigrate to Santoña, the capital of Cantabria on the north coast of Spain. Today, most anchovy companies in Cantabria are still of Sicilian descent, just like Nardin.
The Nardin Company has been a point of reference for the Basque fish market for more than 100 years: Mila Oliveri’s great-great-grandfather – who founded the company 25 years ago together with her husband Sebastian – left Sicily from Sciacca, on the southwestern coast, to teach locals the art of salting anchovies.
To this day Mila, who represents the family’s fourth generation, continues to carry on the legacy and mission of her grandfather Leonardo, affectionately referred to by the diminutive “Nardin”: to respect and make the most of that land that has been the family’s home since the 19th century. Local raw material caught using sustainable fishing methods, only local employees from the Cantabria region (90% of the company’s employees are still those who have been working alongside Mila for over 25 years) and an artisanal production relying exclusively of manual processes.
Anchovy fillets in olive oil
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Product name: anchovy fillets in olive oil
Ingredients: ANCHOVIES, olive oil, salt
Storage temperature: store between 5 and 8 °C
Drained net weight: 120 g
Nutrition information: Average nutritional values per 100 g: energy 809 kJ / 193 kcal, fat 9.7 g, of which saturated fatty acids 1.8 g, carbohydrates <0.5 g, of which sugars <0.5 g, proteins 26.5 g, salt 12.2 g.
Company name and address: Conservas Nardin Hego Kalea 3 E20750 Zumaia, Spain
CE mark: ES 12.01306/SS CE
Ingredients that contain allergens are highlighted in BOLD.