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King Oscar’s gourmet quality anchovies are sourced from Peru and Argentina, where they are fished responsibly from the South Pacific and South Atlantic Oceans. After arriving in port, the fish are sorted, cleaned, and filleted. Instead of being heat sterilized as with most canned seafood, anchovies are naturally cured in brine (salt water) for an average of 6 months. When the anchovies are fully “ripened,” the delicate fish are carefully removed from the brine and packed by hand into tins.


Because anchovy fillets are traditionally preserved in salt, without other additives or preservatives, they are considered semi-perishable. A naturally occurring, harmless bacterium can live through the brining process, and as a result, over time anchovies can break down and become soft and mushy. A byproduct of this process is a gas that may also cause the cans to puff or expand. Anchovies from a puffy can or that appear mushy will not meet your taste expectations and may cause abdominal discomfort if consumed. Of course, we strongly discourage consumers from eating anchovies that are mushy, have an atypical or unexpected odor, or come from bloated cans.


As King Oscar Anchovies are semi-perishable, heat can accelerate the breakdown of the fish. For optimal shelf life and quality, you should avoid the storage of anchovies in temperatures above 68˚F for any length of time. In fact, while not mandatory, King Oscar recommends that you keep your anchovies in the refrigerator after purchase, which allows for shelf life up to 12 months from the production date. While a BEST BY date appears on all cans of King Oscar anchovies, this is only one indicator of product freshness. Always take time to evaluate the condition of the container and the appearance and smell of the food product to determine whether or not it should be eaten.

See our anchovy products.