Off the Beaten Aisle: Anchovies by J.M. Hirsch in How-to, Recipes, August 11th, 2011
If anchovies gross you out, know this: Compared to what people ate before there were anchovies, they’re practically cake and ice cream.
Because until about the 16th century there were no anchovies as we know them today. That is, small silvery fish that are boned, salt-cured and packed in oil.
Instead, there was garum — the juice of salted and fermented fish guts. Garum lost favor about 500 years ago when people learned how to make anchovies.
Can’t imagine why.
Anchovies, however, are not a singular fish. Most cuisines around the world have their own “anchovy,” most of which tend to be variants of one variety of fish, a relative of the herring.