Pronunciation: [AN-choh-vee; an-CHOH-vee]
Though there are many species of small, silvery fish that are known in their country of origin as "anchovies," the true anchovy comes only from the Mediterranean and southern European coastlines. These tiny fish are generally filleted, salt-cured and canned in oil (sold flat and rolled). Canned anchovies can be stored at room temperature for at least a year. Once opened, they can be refrigerated for at least two months if covered with oil and sealed airtight. To alleviate saltiness in anchovies, soak them in cool water for about 30 minutes, then drain and pat dry with paper towels. Because they're so salty, anchovies are used sparingly to flavor or garnish sauces and other preparations.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.