The anchovy in oil making process it is not complicated but it is very labourious as it is done from the beginning to the very end by hand. Anchovy is a very delicate fish and it obliges us to manipulate it manually one by one, using traditional techniques inherited from our ancestors.
We use extremely fresh fish exclusively from spring season. This period of the year anchovy has the perfect amount of fat which influences in its flavour positively. Anchovies are beheaded and they are placed in barrels in between salt layers, putting ones above the others. Once the barrel is filled, weights are placed on top of it to press the anchovies so they can expelled slowly its water and maturate until they reach the ideal maturating point.
The maturating process is completely natural and it takes six months approximately. While the anchovies are maturating, the barrels are kept in our dock in a temperature that goes between 13 and 16 degrees. Once the anchovy takes a reddish colour and the appropriate aroma we start the final part of the process, which is done in our workshop located in Getaria’s fishing port.
When the anchovy has maturated, its salt is removed one by one and it is handled until its skin is totally eliminated. The anchovy is divided in two different parts, the dorsal spine is taken away and in the end all the little bones are removed with a knife. To end with the process, the anchovies are placed in the pots manually, oil is added for preservation and the pot is sealed.
Anchovy filets are a half-preserved product: The sterilisation process used with the common preserves cannot be used with the anchovies, as the heat will damage them. That is why it is recommended to keep the anchovies in cold and use them before six months.