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A small saltwater fish belonging to the herring family that is native to the Mediterranean Sea and the English Channel. Typically no more than 6 inches in length, the anchovy is green colored as a fresh fish, but changes to a greyish black color when cured. Similar to a sardine in size, this fish is used often in the same way as a sardine, being served in appetizers or as an ingredient to season and garnish a variety of foods, such as salads, soups, pasta, or pizza. Anchovies are processed into filets and preserved by curing them in salt and packing in olive oil, by pickling the filets in vinegar and oil (referred to as "boquerones" in Spain), or by preserving the filets as fresh fish. When cured, they become dark black in color and salty in flavor. Anchovies packed fresh in oil (olive or sunflower) and wine vinegar are referred to as white anchovies, retaining more of their white silvery color. White anchovies are fresher in age, more perishable and may not last long after being purchased. The white anchovy filets however, provide less of the salty taste present with salt cured anchovies.

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