All about Anchovies at Bodega La Puntual
I might just be the biggest anchovy fan Barcelona has seen. I LOVE the stuff, and was excited when I was invited to Bodega La Puntual to get to know more about the topic from a true master: Joan Carles Ninou. I had no idea how intriguing the world of anchovies is..!
Bodega La Puntual is a cozy, authentic tapas bar just next to its very popular little sister Bar El Xampanyet. They are very famous for their anchovies, and the owners Joan Carles Ninou and José Varela came over to La Puntual to tell us what the fuss is all about.
First of all, the season for anchovies is right now. Did you know that anchovies are seasonal? They can be caught any time of the year, but now is when the fat is the most integrated with the flesh of the anchovies, just like a marbled steak. The anchovies are preserved with plenty of sea salt, and packed on top of each other in large cans that weigh up to 10 kilos or more. For high-quality anchovies these cans can cost up to hundreds of euros. The cans have to be preserved about 2 years, and can then finally be opened.
When a large can is opened the anchovies need to be cleaned: both from the salt and have the guts removed. This is a process that takes a lot of time, but true experts (usually kitchen staff) can do about 60-80 per hour.
The anchovies you see and try have often quite a story behind them, so next time you taste one make it a good one, and don’t be afraid to pay for it: you will notice the quality!
Bodega La Puntual, Carrer de Montcada 22, Born