What’s The Difference Between A Sardine and An Anchovy?


Sardine and Anchovy are both small fish that live in saltwater, known to have soft bones, they are not the same fish. What’s The Difference Between A Sardine and An Anchovy? There are several differences including their looks and their taste.

Both small fish were originally found in the Mediterranean, and most still reside there. You can now find other strands of Sardine and Anchovy throughout different parts of the world inhabited in salt water.

What is a Sardine?

Sardine is a general term used for several types of small saltwater fish that are a part of the herring family. There have now been eighteen species of fish classified as sardines. You can find them in different parts of the world, including off of the west coast. This specific type is known as a Pacific Sardine, and according to NOAA Fisheries, and are currently classified as overfished.
Sardine Description

Out of the two fish, sardine are the larger fish. They have been known to grow to about eight inches long. Most have some white coloring to them.

How They Are Prepared

When sardines are eaten in the United States, they are usually canned, salted or smoked. In comparison to when they are eaten in Europe, the sardines are usually larger in size and are commonly eaten fresh, grilled or oven roasted. They sometimes eat them whole or in fillets.

Sardine Health Benefits

Because the sardine is known to be high in Omega three, it is commonly thought of as brain food. They are also known to be a good source of vitamin B-12 as well as vitamin D and calcium.  

What is an Anchovy?

Anchovy is a name that refers to a variety of small fish located in the Black Sea, Mediterranean and even off of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. According to Merriam Webster they are small fish that also resemble the herring family. There are one hundred and forty different known species of anchovies. 
Anchovy Description

They are smaller fish, in comparison to the sardine. Anchovy are usually closer to six inches in length. Their color is usually darker with a reddish-gray coloring to them. According to the NOAA Fisheries, there is a specific strand known as the Northern Anchovy that currently lives off of the west coast that is still able to be harvested, under strict regulations.

How They Are Prepared

Anchovy can be sold in many different forms, from canned, to oil packed to salt cured to fillet. Europeans more commonly eat them after they have marinated.

Some common foods that are made with anchovy that you may not have known about are in Caesar salad dressing. They are also a key ingredient in the creation of Worcestershire sauce. And where would our burger creation be without anchovies as Worcestershire sauce is one of our key ingredients!

Anchovy Health Benefits

The anchovy is also known to be a good source of fish oils such as omega three. This is a natural source that can help to promote your brain and heart health.

While both sardines and anchovy are both small fish that live in salt water, there are many differences between these fish, and how they are prepared in your kitchen. Now that we have answered What’s The Difference Between A Sardine and An Anchovy, let us know what you think.

Have you ever tried an Anchovy or a Sardine? What is your favorite way to cook with them?

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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