If you told me at age ten that I would have a bad case of ‘sardine obsession’ in my twenties, I would have laughed in your face AND rolled my eyes. ‘Sardines are gross!’ I would have told you. But here I am, finding sneaky ways to bring sardines up in conversation, looking up sardine recipes at work and enjoying them for more lunches and dinners than I’d care to say. For anyone who aligns with my ten year old self, let me tell you, they really aren’t gross at all. In fact, they are quite delicious, versatile, healthy and cheap (and sustainable and low in mercury content)! Canned sardines are not overly salty or fishy, like anchovies, and actually taste more like a mild canned tuna. Grilled fresh sardines are also delicious but this post focuses on these, which I found in the grocery store:
I love smoked fish. When I was a kid, my Dad, on occasion, would bring home smoked tuna from the local seafood store. While I wouldn’t have touched sardines with ten foot pole at that time, I was totally into this smoked tuna. Now that I know I like sardines, I knew I would love these too.
I think my original obsession began with the No Reservations ‘Brittany’ episode where Tony eats sardines that are jarred standing up in oil. I never thought preserved fish could be gourmet or elegantly prepared or special in any way- until I watched this episode.
And here I am, obsessing about a can of fish. Anyway, I ate them on water crackers with fresh squeezed lemon, fresh cilantro and a squeeze of sriracha. It was great.
Tomorrow I will try them on a toasted bagel with olive oil and capers. Yum.