Contemplating Sardines

The Curmudgeon at Large is compiling a Cookbook and one of his first selections is a menu that incorporates the nine food items that will help you to prevent a heart attack. He says that one of the foods is the Sardine.

2011-WineI can’t remember the last time I bought a tin of Sardines, but the thought of oily fish packed tightly in a tin made me curious about the current status of sardines in the world of the gourmet. Taking that one step further, what would be a sardine-wine pairing?  (Wine is also on the Curmudgeon’s list of heart healthy  foods) . The first web site that addressed this question was on a Chowhound discussion forum – What to drink with four year old sardines?  Apart from the suggestion that it might not be good to eat a tin of sardines of that age, the pairings included Maalox, Pepto-bismol, beer, sherry, and several white and red wines.

From there, I clicked on the link to The Society for the Appreciation of the Lowly Tinned Sardine.  This site artfully combines serious dedication to the fish with not so serious delivery of information.

Some of the great Chefs appear to be fond enough of the sardine to have figured out how to put it into a recipe. Jamie Oliver posts recipes for pizza, spaghetti and potato salad, while also paying tribute to the British favourite, sardines on toast.  Alton Brown kicks it up a notch (though not the way Emeril would)  in  a recipe for  Sherried Sardine Toast.

That is about all I can dredge up on the sardine. If there is anything else to be said about the sardine, I’m sure you will tell me!

It is much better to eat little fish like sardines directly from the ocean, rather than after they have been filtered through a larger predator.
- Deep Sea News -

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26 thoughts on “Contemplating Sardines

  1. Believe it or not, I just purchased two tins of sardines today. Really! Are we sending ESP via the internet? I hear they (sardines) are very high in protein and “good for you.” Besides, I like them sometimes on crackers. I have them for lunch. That’s all I can tell you about sardines, although I would like to sound more informative. :)

  2. Sardines, nice on the barbie or just plain grilled. The fresh ones though. Most of the big supermarket chains in the UK sell them at the fresh fish counter. I’m sure I heard somewhere that there had been a rebranding exercise to call sardines pilchards or was it the other way round

    • You have so many more fish choices in the UK than we have here in western Canada. I remember eating a fish called ‘John Dory’ in Scotland, and thinking it was wonderful. Same goes for the ‘Hamour’ we ate in the Middle East.

  3. Sardines on toast was one of my Dad’s favourite ‘go to’ meals when I was young; he used to let me ‘key open’ the tins. Just thinking about them has my olfactory glands working overtime (and my cats are edging closer – I think they can smell my memories). Thanks for the nudge!

  4. My Dad always liked sardines, so that made them a main entry on the list “Foods that only old men like”, which included buttermilk and bleu cheese. I took bleu cheese off the list when I grew up.

    • Translation for those who are unfamiliar with a jacket spud – a baked potato, but preferably one with a light fluffy interior and crispy skin. They are very popular in the UK.

  5. I have days when I can eat sardines happily and other days when I hate them. I always remember my mum’s sardine and vinegar sandwiches… urgh, not nice! But they’re a good snack sometimes. Given a choice, though, I prefer salmon.

    • Yes, I am a big fan of salmon too! One of my daughters lives on the West Coast and her husband loves to salmon fish. It is always a big treat when they bring a frozen salmon when they come for a visit.

  6. I ate sardines, and actually like them, as a kid, but don’t eat them anymore. My kids ate them when they were little with their grandfather. Sardines and ketchup on crackers. But they don’t eat them anymore either. The cat, on the other hand, loves them.

  7. Even before I became a vegan, I couldn’t even look at a sardine. What manner of person thought it sane and safe to pop one of those bait-looking things in one’s mouth? ;)

    • I just finished eating an interesting meal at a sushi restaurant – many types of fish I probably wouldn’t think of eating if I was left to my own devices. The Japanese certainly know what to do with fish!

  8. When we were in Japan, my wife’s cousin ate sardines whole — head, eyes, everything. Is that how everyone eats them? I can’t think about this anymore.

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