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The fish that gets no respect


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Niamh,

How wonderful to be able to pop out and buy fresh sardines - and so cheap!  How did you prepare them?

With all the great tinned fish coming out of Galacia and the Basque area, I can't imagine that any any Spanish sardines wouldn't be delicious!

Yeah, you are probably right, I should start my own taste-test of the tinned ones, brand by brand! I might turn myself off them though, so I would have to be careful :blink:

I cooked them very simply. My grill is a bit dodgy, so I blistered them on a hot frying pan and served with rice and a tomato salad. It was my first time cooking them, so I was being cautious. At that price though I don't really need to be...sardine ice cream, anyone?!

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Tell your pregnant co-worker that when my husband & I were on the way to the hospital to have a baby, we dutifully stopped and picked up something for him to eat in case it was a long labor. He came out with 3 cans of sardines. Even I thought that was pretty repulsive and I love the little things.

As it turned out, I was in labor for 3 hrs, so luckily we never had to crack them open.

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  • 1 month later...

Results from a recent sardine taste test conducted by San Francissco Chronicle staff: click

Our taste test focused on eight brands of sardines canned in olive oil, not the ones packed in water or canola oil. Some were smoked; some were skinless and boneless.

They were tasted plain and on crackers.

One brand stood out above all the rest -- King Oscar Tiny Tots ($3.44 for 3 3/4 ounces, Safeway), itty-bitty sardines from Norway.

"Salty, briny, not too fishy," "pronounced olive oil flavor," "moist," and "firm, intact, full-flavored," were among the tasters' compliments. Three of the panelists would buy this brand, and two might.

Look at the rest of the article comments on the top five; the article should be available for a week or so more.

Ratings for Sardines

King Oscar Tiny Tots 72

Crown Prince 59

Skin/boneless

Crown Prince Brisling 57

Bela-Olhao 55

Reese Skin/boneless 53

King Oscar Cross Pack 49

Reese Golden Smoked 38

Brunswick 19

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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mackerel ceviche, yum.

Fluffy Mackerel Pudding, YUM!!!

Unfortunately the only sardines I have been exposed to are the tomato-sauced packed in a can ones from the Philippines. Brands would be Ligo, 555, etc. I love the plain ones, my parents love the spicy tomato sauce ones. It's perfect over garlic fried rice during rainy days or as a midnight snack. Also great as a pan de sal sandwich filler.

There are a few more varieties-- Spanish Sardines (in oil, with carrot, peppercorn, sliced chili peppers), the regular one in tomato sauce, in spicy tomato sauce, in black bean (Tausi) sauce, fried sardines in spicy tomato sauce (for pulutan, in other words to go with beer). I adore all of them except the one in Tausi sauce. Unfortunately, sardines are seen as food for the poor and don't get much respect, given that it is so cheap (15 pesos is my guess, [i'll update you on the price, Doddie]-- which is about 30 American cents). I even went to an awful prison once and you see gallons of the canned stuff cooked in giant vats. Depressing. However, it remains one of my comfort foods, especially stuffed in pan de sal. The sweetness of the bread and the salty tomato sauce really go well together.

Edited by jumanggy (log)

Mark

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