Let’s discuss the little fish that’s often the subject of big disagreements for our Foodie Friday Fun. Of course I mean the anchovy.
They’ve been used in cooking for centuries despite the fact that many people wrinkle their noses are the very idea of the bony things. “Caesar salad but no anchovies” is a familiar refrain to servers everywhere. Yet every culture employs them as a part of their native cuisine so they must be doing something right!
I’m bringing them up today because there’s a business thought I have as I think about them and it’s tied to a cooking secret: you’ve probably eaten more anchovies than you realize. They aren’t always visible as they might be atop a pizza or on a salad. They’re like duck fat – an ingredient in many dishes that makes everything else more delicious. Many pasta sauces – puttanesca, Norma, and others – as well as Worcestershire sauce contain anchovies. They’re not really noticeable as a salty fish taste as we expect – they’re a subtle note we’d notice is missing if they weren’t used.
The business point is this: in every business there are anchovies – quiet, semi-hidden elements that mustn’t be left out or the overall effort suffers. The problem is that we often ignore them or choose to omit them as we become conscious of their existence. They might be best practices or they might even be people. You might not like tight financial controls, for example, but you’ll notice when they’re missing.
Personally, I’m a fan of anchovies of all sorts. They help make me better both in and out of the kitchen. How about you?