You are currently viewing Difference Between Anchovies And Boquerones

Difference Between Anchovies And Boquerones

Engraulis encrasicolus, popularly known as Anchovies, are small silvery fishes that are used in so many preparations. 

They are used to flavor dishes and to make different condiments. 

These fishes are commonly aged in brine which gives them an intense flavor. 

However, if you don’t like the intense umami of anchovy, then you should consider boquerones. 

Boquerones are made from anchovies but undergoes a different kind of preparation.  This gives them a milder flavor compared to anchovies as well as other properties.

In this post, we explore the differences between anchovies and boquerones.

Anchovies vs boquerones


Anchovies are typically aged in salt, however when they are pickled in vinegar they are known as boquerones.


Both preparations have distinct flavors, boquerones are more delicate, with a less fishy and salty flavor compared to anchovies which are pungent. 


Anchovies has a darker flesh compared to boquerones. The salting and aging in brine gives the fish a reddish colored flesh.

Boquerones are also known as white anchovies.

They are marinated in vinegar which gives the fish a whitish color.


Anchovies are firmer compared to boquerones. Anchovies are usually pressed, thus draining the moisture in them.

The food acids used to marinate boquerones soften these fishes giving them a silky texture.

Boquerones description

Boquerones are also known as white anchovies.

These tiny fishes are available in different forms. They could be whole or fileted.

This preparation is popular in Spain, and it consists of thin filets of white anchovies.

To make boquerones, anchovy is pickled in vinegar and salt. olive oil and lemon juice can also be added.

The flesh of this fish becomes whitish in the vinegar, and they have a less intense fishy taste than anchovy due to vinegar. 

This preparation is mildly flavored with a bit of tanginess.

The acids in the vinegar and lemon juice make the boquerones tender as it breaks down their proteins.

Boquerones are a staple in Spanish cuisine where they can be eaten uncooked or cooked.

They are common in tapas. They could also be found in sandwiches and salads where they can be used as spreads.


 In anchovies, the fish is cleaned, cut, cured and aged in salt for about 6 months.  

Anchovies have an intense flavor. They also have a fine texture, and the fish gains a reddish color.

Anchovies are salted then pressed. As a result of this the fish becomes firmer in texture. 

These fishes are often canned although they could also be kept in glass or plastic containers.

They are used in different recipes and are rich in healthy fats.

Anchovies are common in Mediterranean cuisine where they are used as a topping for different dishes.

These fishes can be used on breads, it can also be used to make spreads such as tapenades.

Anchovies can be found in different condiments including Worcestershire sauce.


The common way anchovies are prepared involves aging the fish in salt.  

In boquerones these fish are prepared differently. They are marinated in vinegar which gives these fishes distinct properties including a milder flavor and more delicate texture.