It is easy to differential meats of chicken and turkey or beef and pork for that matter. You can also differentiate between lamb and goat meat or that of the two and beef. Fish is harder to differentiate. Not only do people know less about the various species of fish but cured fish meat makes it more daunting. It takes astute sense and experience to tell two cured and deboned fish meat apart when they are very similar, visually and to taste. Many fishes have the same smell, texture, fat or oil, flavor and taste.
Sardines and anchovies are confusing, even to those who know a fair bit about fishes. The two are not identical and they are not the same. Sardines and anchovies are Mediterranean fishes. They are small in size, streamlined and quite silvery. They are salty, have soft bones and are rather oily or fatty if you like to call them that. Both sardines and anchovies are quite rich in fatty acids and are good for health. Sardines and anchovies mature at the end of spring or beginning of summer. Sardines and anchovies caught during this time are the largest, freshest and healthiest. That is where the similarities end.
Sardines hail from the order of Clupeiformes whereas anchovies are from the family of Engraulidae. Here is the detailed difference between sardines and anchovies.
Anchovies are widely fished in the Mediterranean.
They also thrive in Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean. There are many varieties of anchovies that thrive in rivers and freshwater lakes. Anchovies can grow up to six inches in size. Larger anchovies are not unheard of but not common.
Sardines are not one fish.
They can be herring, sprat or pilchard. Sardines are saltwater fishes and they don’t survive in freshwater lakes or rivers. Sardines are native to the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Sardinia which is where it gets its name from. The fishes grow from five to eight inches. Anchovies are not known to grow as big as eight inches.
Sardines are available as salted or in smoked form.
They are also sold as fish oil or as a sauce. Larger sardines are available as raw, either frozen or fresh. There are many recipes but common and popular ones involve grilling and roasting. Sardines are eaten as fillets as well, deep fried of batter fried. Anchovies are usually cued with salt and sold as fillets and rolled. They are also available as paste.