Which area of Spain is it typical?



The anchovy, Engraulis encrasicolus, is one of the most popular fish in Spanish cuisine, especially in the provinces on the Cantabrian coast. Numerous fish canneries have emerged in the area, with anchovies as their star product.

This ingredient is traditionally highly prized in Cantabria, the region that introduced it to the rest of Spain, although anchovies are also caught along the Mediterranean coast and in the bay of Cadiz. In the late 19th century, numerous factories were set up in the fishing towns of the Cantabrian coast to process and conserve them. One of the most notable is Santoña. Freshly caught anchovies are up to 21 cm long, a slender fish with a dark greenish back and white underside with pearly reflections. They have an intense flavour and a smooth texture. You can find them fresh, usually called “boquerones”, or salted and canned.

More information

Product information

  • Type of product: Fish
  • Season: Fresh or fried anchovies are best eaten from early June to late September.
  • Origin: They are caught in the Cantabrian sea, the Mediterranean, and the gulf of Cadiz (Atlantic Ocean).
  • To drink with it: White wines and cava.
  • Where to buy: You can buy fresh boquerones at any fishmonger’s. All supermarkets and groceries offer salted anchovies. They are sold fresh, in oil, canned or in glass jars.
  • Recipes: Fried anchovies with garlic
  • Varieties: Fresh, they are called bocartes in Cantabria, anchoa in the Basque Country, and boquerón in the rest of Spain.

Nutritional information

  • Energy: Low
  • Cholesterol: Low
  • Comments: Rich in phosphorus.

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