Whether it's anchovies on pizza or sardines in a salad, these little fish find ways to sneak into our food. While at first glance they might seem similar, there are several differences between anchovies and sardines, from how they are prepared to their flavor and use in different meals. Find out more about the two fishes:

What Are Anchovies?

anchovies with olives on a plate in oil

Anchovies are heavily flavored fish that come in cans or vacuum-sealed bags filled with oil and salt to preserve the strong taste and freshness of these little sea-dwellers. Their flavor is quite pungent, which can be a turn-off for some people, but those who enjoy the taste will relish in the variety of uses that anchovies can bring. Anchovies are a popular topping on pizza and play an important part in Caesar salad dressing, fish oil, Worcestershire sauce and anchovy paste. Fish sauce can be produced through fermented anchovies, which is commonly used in Asian dishes due to its savory flavor, known as "umami."Anchovies also come with a plethora of surprising health benefits, such as omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, iron and various vitamins and minerals. Anchovies can contribute to weight loss and improve the overall health of your digestive system.

What Are Sardines?

sardines in a bowl on a wooden table

Sardines are any number of small, shiny fish that originate from the herring family. They are most often canned and preserved in oil. They have a fairly mild fishy flavor, making them a popular snack to eat on their own, occasionally seasoned with lemon juice. Fresh sardines can be broiled, pan-seared or fried and grilled to the taste of the consumer. Sardines can also be added to salads, turned into sauces, mixed into pasta and tossed in rice.

Sardines are packed full of healthy vitamins and nutrients. Because the bones of these fish are often consumed along with the meat and skin, they serve as a great source of calcium for those who avoid dairy products. . The omega-3 fats in this fish provide a boost to heart health and protect against heart disease and complications. Sardines also have high amounts of selenium, an antioxidant that helps regulate metabolism and improve the health of your body's cells.

How Are They Different?

anchovies in a bowl

Sardines are generally a little bit bigger than anchovies in terms of length. Sardines also hold a higher omega-3 fatty acid count, whereas anchovies, although holding many health benefits of their own, contain a much higher sodium count due to being preserved in salt. Anchovies have a much stronger flavor than sardines, making them a preferable choice in the kitchen when preparing various sauces and dishes. However, if you only want a mild fish taste to add to salads, pizza or pasta, sardines are the fish for you.

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