Ingredients: Anchovies (Engraulis encrasicolus), extra virgin olive oil, and salt.
Explanation of the different tinned anchovy fillet products from El Capricho is reproduced below, verbatim:
Regarding your question, you can explain your customers the following:
- The quality of all our anchovies is exactly the same:
- we only buy fresh anchovies from the Cantabrian Sea during the fish season (spring months),
- all of our anchovies have the same production process: first cleaning, a long period of maturation in salt (around 18 months), cleaning of the salt, squeezed to eliminate most of the water and humidity, filleting, cleaning of bones and peels etc., and then we put them in the tins and add the oil.
- About the size of the anchovies: although there are people who thinks that bigger anchovies are better anchovies, this is totally false. As I told you, all our anchovies have the same excellent quality, so the smallest as the biggest ones. So, for our anchovies it depends more on what the customer prefers. For instance, I like more the medium and small size anchovies, because I eat them in only one bite, but my mother prefers the bigger ones, because she cuts the anchovy in several pieces to take it with red peppers, etc.
The idea of the people about that big anchovies are better, is because a lot of factories produce special “high quality” anchovies with the big anchovies in bigger tins, and do the smaller anchovies for “low level” references, with a worse cleaning, etc. in smaller tins, but as we only produce only “premium quality”, all our anchovies are equal.
- Regarding the oils, between extra virgin olive oil and olive oil, it is also a question of personal preference. Both oils are of very good quality.
Really the best oil for anchovies is the SUNFLOWER OIL, because it has neutral taste, so for good anchovies this is the best oil because you only have the real taste of the anchovy.
We do the anchovies in olive oil because customers think that this is the best oil, so we have to produce what the market demands. And both olive oils that we use (the normal and the extra virgin one) are very good oils. We select olive oils with smooth flavour so that they don’t hide much the taste of the anchovies.
- So, between the 95g Anchovies in EVOO and the 50g in Olive Oil, it is more question of the customers preferences in size and taste and money they want to spend:
- total quantity of fillets: around 18 or around 10
- size: the 95 g tin has bigger anchovies
- oil: the 50 g has smooth olive oil and the 95 g has a EVOO with a little stronger taste.
- (Dan adds: my original question didn’t address the difference between the two EVOO products, the difference there is size of (thus number of) fillets in the tin. The EVOO product which indicates L+ is the larger, with fewer.)
In Spain we normally do this:
- At home: for 2 people: tin of 50 g, for 3 or more people, 95 g tin
- At restaurants: for a little aperitive on the bar counter with a glass of wine or a beer: 50 g tin, served directly in the tin, and to serve at the table: 95 g tin.
I hope these explanations can help you.