I read that sardines are a great source of Omega 3 the other day. Omega 3′s are the good fats comprendo? The ones that are found in marine and plant oils. Sardines are, you know, little fish. I did not know until recently that the word “Sardine” is actually ascribed to a variety of different little fish once they are put into a can. Basically sardines are pilchards or several type of little fishys related to herrings and them become “sardines” once they are put into a can or container of some kind.
Nutritionally sardines are amazing. Relative to their size, sardines contain more protein than steak, more potassium than bananas, and more iron than spinach! Insane right?
Somewhere in the recesses of my mind I have an impression of sardines as a wonderful savory food….it’s probably because my grandfather ate a lot of sardines when I was a kid. In point of fact he still does…he is 93. No cardiovascular disease. Did you know that in the 1970′s there was a seminal study of Inuit people and they discovered that despite their diet, which was very high in fat from all the fish they consumed, they were not plagued with cardiovascular problems? Omega 3′s.
Anyhow back to sardines. I was actually looking for tuna when I saw them on the grocery store shelf. I immediately thought of Hemingway’s “the Old man and the Sea”. Little fish, packed with life-giving oil, the kind of oil that sustains a dauntless fisherman braving a hostile ocean alone…….Back to the grocery store… on the back of the tin can (with great retro packaging I might add) it suggests having your sardines on crackers as a tasty appetizer. Sounded right. Kind of like some delicious white fish on a toasty bagel at the deli? I figured the sardine/ cracker combo would be in the same ballpark.
They were inexpensive, the packaging rocked, the nutrition was solid,…Sold!
I tried the sardines as suggested, on crackers, and realized that sardines are not for me. Not even cutting the oder with lemon and adding tabasco helped. As a last ditch effort I decide to grind them up and make “sardine salad”. Yes..I took a bunch of sardines, mashed them up in a bowl with pepper, lemon, mayo, and rosemary. It was a bad idea all around. It looked bad.
It’s not the slimy texture or the appearance of the wilted tails or the apparent guts protruding from their bellies that turns me off…it’s the flavor and texture. They don’t taste like much to me and the texture takes my mind to unappetizing places.
Part of me feels like there is still a small possibility that I could get into sardines. I hear that fresh caught sardines are a real delicacy (if they are not canned are they really sardines?). In Spain, fresh caught sardines are a common offering. I’ve heard that when they are cleaned and grilled that are amazing.
Until I have the chance to enjoy fresh caught sardines prepared with care there are a hundred other ways for me to get my Omega 3s. Don’t fret if you don’t like sardines! Have a nice piece of salmon or some flax seeds!