The old man + the snack. (SARDINES + PICKLES)

September 16, 2009


In the last several years I have found myself thoroughly enjoying sardines as a snack here and there. I believe it began back in ’04, when I first grilled fresh sardines in a restaurant. Seeing as how delicious they were just slightly charred wearing nothing but some salt and lemon, I decided that they couldn’t be so bad from a can. Then began what I refer to as my ‘old man snack’; canned sardines on a cracker, with a hard boiled egg, with hot sauce, in a pita with mustard and greens, etc. It may be reminiscent of someone’s hobo-grandad, but the truth is, there are many excellent boutique companies that are canning very good quality sardines/fish as we speak. In some supermarkets, the section of canned fish is extensive, tins hailing from all parts of the world. The brand I have been gravitating toward is Cole’s, a Portuguese sustainable foods company that catches with care and packs the firm, flaky fish in olive oil or all-natural sauce concoctions of their own.

Perhaps the age-old, almost folkloric, popularity of canned sardines stems from the fact that they are just one of those extremely convenient foods. I know that preserving fish helped people travel and conquer and stuff like that further afield than they otherwise could have. Or it could be because they complement one’s diet with omega 3’s, calcium, iron, vitamins D + B12, phosphorous, potassium and protein and the wise ones have always known this. Today, sardines are enjoying a renaissance. Since the small catch (sardines, trout and mackerel) don’t harbor toxins like bigger tuna and salmon, benefits can be had without as much worry of side effects. Peel open a can and you will see that weird old sardines play very nicely with other ingredients that might be hanging around in your fridge or pantry. My favorite way to eat this superfood snack is on a whole grain flatbread piled with a chunk of pickle or two. Bold flavors and textures get together just right. If you are close enough to heaven to be eating McClure’s Spicy Spears, chop up some of that red chili pepper and pop it on top. Old meets new.



  1. Great blog post. Im enjoying a can as I wright this!

  2. Eating this now for dinner. My first time trying Sardines and I’m quite enjoying it.

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