Gently rinse small anchovies in a colander, drain and coat with flour. Fry in a pan with plenty of oil until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon, season with salt and arrange in layers in a glass or ceramic bowl.
Prepare the marinade: Bring vinegar, water, sliced garlic, peppermint, a pinch of chili pepper and a pinch of salt to a boil. Cool slightly. Pour the hot sauce over the fish.
Marinades prepared in this manner can be made in advance and will keep for several days. Small anchovies (usually eaten whole) are sold only in the Spring, but ""scapece"" can be made year round with anchovies or sardines.