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Sardines: the healthiest thing you can eat on the planet. With niacin, omega3 and vitaminB2, plus, as you eat the bones, calcium.

The 1920s were the peak time for sardine fishing, but because of bad transportation and too large catches, causing pressure on the fish making them break up, they were sold locally or went for fish meal or canning.

From the 70s until the 90s we got our sardines flown over from Portugal. Then the local councils and other marine organisations in southwest England changed how the sardines were treated after they were caught, by keeping them in seawater and ice (salt and ice have a reaction that dramatically lowers temperatures*). In the 90s the old Cornish pilchard trade, for thatís what sardines are, took off in a big way.

The best time to eat sardines is from August to February; before August they can be a little soft because of their high oil content. If you eat them in Spain they are cooked with the gut in, itís removed when they are served up Ė thatís how you would have had them on holiday. British people like them ready-cleaned. This is fine if you like headless sardines, when you take the head off you take the gut away at the same time, and the sardine is basically intact. Now, because of Mediterranean holidays, some people want their sardines head-on, this means you have to cut into the gut, so they start to break and go soft. So go for headless sardines! You can BBQ them, or grill or bake them. Try them fried with marjoram or thyme sprinkled on at the end of the cooking, served up with Cornish sea salt.

*The whole subject of salt, water and ice is very complicated, something to do with Le Chatelier's principle, if anybody can explain it simply, we would be grateful!

You'll find them here.

Created On  25 Jul 2016 13:24 in Did you know?  -  Permalink


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