The anchovies are a family (Engraulidae) of small but common fish. Their distribution is worldwide.
Anchovies are an important food fish, both popular and unpopular for their strong flavor. They are a key ingredient in Caesar salad and common as a pizza topping. Because of the strong flavour they are also an ingredient in several sauces, including Worcestershire sauce and many other fish sauces, and in some versions of Café de Paris butter. Fishermen also use anchovies as bait for larger fish such tuna and sea bass.
The family includes 16 genera and over 130 species.
The lack of an adipose fin behind the dorsal is sufficient to separate anchovy from smelt at a glance, while the silversides (Menidia) have two dorsal fins instead of one.
The anchovy has large, thin, easily detached scales and a deeply forked tail.
This is a whitish silvery, translucent little fish, its most characteristic marking being an ill-defined silvery band scarcely wider than the pupil of the eye, running from the gill opening back to the caudal fin.
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