Does Anchovy Paste Go Bad? What You Should Know

Anchovy paste is a popular cooking condiment that can be used to make a variety of foods. We enjoy the taste of anchovies in the house, and we know that many other people do as well.

While many people use this beautiful paste, it is often used once in a while, and as a result, you may find that the anchovy paste spends a long time in your home.

While it’s convenient to have this on hand at all times, how long can you keep it? This and more is a common worry for a lot of people.

Does anchovy paste go bad? How long can you keep it? These and more are all the questions we will be answering, enjoy!  

Anchovy Paste Explained

Anchovy paste is a mixture of ground anchovies, salt, vinegar, spices, and other ingredients.

As you must have figured, the main ingredient in this condiment is the Anchovies. If you are wondering, anchovies are tiny oily, nutrient-dense fish, originating from freshwater. ‘

Over the years, these fish has been caught and are mostly used in Italian and Asian dishes. They are known as a powerhouse of nutrients, containing vitamins, minerals, etc. that are beneficial for one’s health. In recent times, they are mostly preserved in salt or oil and sold in glass jars or tin cans.

There are two types of anchovy paste: salty and sweet. The salty flavor is widely utilized in sauces, salads, dressings, buttercream icing, bread spreads, and other similar applications, whilst the sweet flavor is commonly used as ice cream and dessert toppings.

Anchovy paste can also be used as a basis for pizza toppings or cooked with pasta.

Does Anchovy Paste Go Bad? What You Should Know
Source: Buzzfeed

Does Anchovy Paste Go Bad?

Yes, Anchovy pastes do go bad. Anchovy paste is mainly made up of fish, salt, and water, as long as the jar is unopened, your paste should last for quite a while up to the expiration date provided by the manufacturing company i.e., 18 months.

However, if it is opened, we suggest you refrigerate it because when it is refrigerated, the anchovy paste should last for about 2 months.  

How Long Does Anchovy Paste Last?

The storage method often determines how long anchovy paste will last however if the jar isn’t opened, it should stay good for a long while. Opened anchovy paste should stay good for consumption for at least two months provided it is refrigerated while unopened ones have a shelf life of a year if stored properly.

In some cases, anchovy paste can still be safe to consume after its best before date if it has been stored properly. How long anchovy paste lasts also depends on the product and if it comes in contact with other food items which can cause cross-contamination and cause anchovy to go bad after.

Sealed anchovy paste stored in the fridge should last for about 18 months. The expiry date on unopened anchovy paste will also indicate how long it is going to last. So, a good rule of thumb is to have anchovy paste stored in the fridge as soon as it is opened.

How To Tell If Anchovy Paste Is Bad  

It is important that you properly observe your anchovy paste, especially if you have not used it in a long time. Opened can of anchovies paste can attract bacteria, which will allow it to spoil in no time; you must be observant enough to spot this growth. The following are ways to identify a bad anchovy paste.

  • Unpleasant smell/mold growth
  • Change in color
  • Changes in taste/plain taste.

How To Make Anchovy Paste At Home 

Anchovy paste isn’t as hard to make as you might have believed. All you need to do is get some oil- or salt-cured anchovies and mash them, then add a drizzle of olive oil. Do this with a fork until it is smooth.

How to store anchovy paste? 

The best way to store your anchovy paste is to keep the airs tight locked in a jar or tin, and place them in a cool place, away from direct sunlight. You can also keep them in the refrigerator once they’re opened, this will keep them preserved for a while.

Can I eat expired anchovy paste?

In some cases, you might find your anchovy paste to be good, even after the manufacturer’s estimated expiry date is written on the lid. However, we advise that you adhere strictly to the date provided by the manufacturer and consume your anchovy paste before this time.

Can anchovy paste make me sick? 

Yes, anchovy paste can make you sick, and oftentimes, the resulting illness is known as scombroid food poisoning, it is commonly associated with anchovies, sardines, tuna, bluefish, and more.

What color is anchovy paste? 

Anchovy paste comes in a reddish, brown color.

Can anchovy paste be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze your anchovy paste. They can stay frozen for up to 3 months and this is one way to preserve your anchovy paste.

Does anchovy paste taste fishy?

Anchovies don’t have a fishy flavor when cooked. Anchovies are frequently cooked until they “melt,” or vanish into the grease, according to most recipes.

Is anchovy paste fermented?

Anchovy paste is made of salt, water, and fermented fish. Hence, it

Can anchovy paste be used instead of fish sauce?

Yes, you can use these two interchangeably in various dishes. The only difference is that you might get a fishier taste in your food if you make use of fish sauce, however, if you will rather not taste the fish, then anchovy paste is your go-to.

Final Thoughts

Anchovy paste is a great substitute for you if you do not want to make use of anchovies. It is widely known, especially in Asia. You must use anchovy paste sparingly; this is because it tends to overpower other flavors in your meal.

We also recommend that it is cooked until it melts off, this way the flavor disappears and mixes with others.