Acciuga,the fish you have to try in Liguria!

This is one of the symbols of Liguria and of the Ligurian sea. Its fishing period starts in early spring and finishes in late autumn. However, the high season is in the summer. Let’s know better this creature πŸ˜‰

English name:


Nutritional values:

100g = 130kcal (66,6% protein, 33,4% fat)


10-17 cm

How you can recognise fresh acciuga:

  • by the smell – it should be delicate and pleasant … if you smell ammonia, the fish is not fresh,
  • by the colour – scales and eyes have to be shiny, not opaque,
  • by consistency – the fish has to be elastic and compact and the eye has to be bulging,
  • by the flavour – shouldn’t have an ammoniacal taste.

How much does it cost?:

4€-12€/kg … for 2 persons it’s enough 0,6kg

How can you prepare accuighe?

  • deep-fried
  • breaded and fired
  • marinated with lemon juice and oil extra virgin
  • salt-cured
  • baked with tomatoes
  • cooked in a pan

How can you clean acciughe?

You can ask in a fish shop to clean and to detach anchovies heads (I know it sounds horrible).Β  In the fish shop, they often do it for free. However, sometimes they don’t do it at all … and then you have to clean it by yourself.

Below I put a short movie where you can see how to clean anchovies πŸ˜‰

Too fast??? I know, the lady is an expert πŸ˜‰ Below a short photo-story that shows better how to do this.

  1. The best place to clean them is a kitchen sink (you need running water). You choose the first fish and hold it with two hands.
  2. Now the cruellest moment … you have to detach its head … so you pull it till it is separated. You don’t need much force. It is quite easy.
  3. After this macabre moment, you open its chest with a finger and clean it with running, cold water.
  4. And that’s all. Then you have to clean the rest of 30 fish you bought πŸ™‚

When I cleaned them I put them in a pan with olio extra Vergine and garlic. I added rosemary and cooked them about 15 minutes.

Β  Then they are ready to be eaten.


The anchovies are healthy, cheap and easy to be prepared … you should absolutely try them when you are in Liguria πŸ˜‰

Buon Appetito!


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