Sunday, April 1, 2012

Roland Fillets of Anchovies Review

Price: $2.79 for a 4.2 ounce jar (about 2.1 ounces of actual anchovies in each jar)

Serving size: 6 pieces (15 g)
Calories: 25
Fat Calories: 10
Total Fat: 1 g (0% saturated fat)
Cholesterol: 15 mg
Sodium: 900 mg
Protein: 4 g

Having been nonplussed by a can of mackerel from Roland in the past, I was more than a bit worried that these anchovies would be bad. I love anchovies and was hoping that these wouldn't be of a poor quality. These anchovies are packed tightly upright in an olive oil filled jar.

No visual surprise as I opened the lid since the anchovies are stored in a clear glass jar. I was expecting a strong fishy smell, yet there was no hint of it. The olive oil must have absorbed all the fish scent in this jar. After fishing an anchovy out of the jar I was surprised at how well they held together. I placed four on a plate and admired the tiny fillets of skinned fish with small, hair-like bones.

The fish smell is evident after the fillets are removed from the oil. These anchovies are a bit less tender than the ones usually served at restaurants. After biting into one I got the extreme saltiness I expected followed by a fishy aftertaste. Decent even if a bit chewy for an anchovy. I was surprised by the strong “umami” flavor that is usually present in fish sauce and seaweed – a taste and mouth feel usually prevalent in Asian cuisine. The aftertaste is really good if you like the taste of fish and the savory umami can really add a good dimension to a dish. The olive oil has a clean taste and in no way diminishes the taste of the fish.

I tossed some of these anchovies into a salad with some olive oil from the jar and lemon juice. The anchovies provided all the salt needed, of course. These were overall good fish, but they were a bit tough and the bones didn't go down as well as some other anchovies I have eaten. This is a good offering for the price by Roland so these get 3 anchovy fillets out of 5. These will suffice for staving off any anchovy craving.

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