Sardines are silvery, small, oily seawater fish that are soft-boned. They are at the bottom of the aquatic food chain and survive mainly on plankton. They are sold fresh and due to their high perishability, they are also commonly sold in canned form.
They can be prepared in a variety of ways: grilled, smoked and pickled are the most famous ways. It is also consumed as a curry or combined with greens for a salad. Seared fish can be served with pasta or smoked in a platter with accompaniments. Fish soups, stews, cutlets all have recipes that use sardines and the fish can also be consumed steamed.
There are mainly 6 different species of Sardines all belonging to the Clupeidae family, but more than 20 varieties of are sold as Sardines across the world.
They have been found to reduce the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases.
They have a low calorie count and are a rich source of vitamin B12 and vitamin D.
They are one of the most concentrated sources of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.
Sardines are rich in minerals, especially Phosphorus which helps strengthening the bone matrix.
The protein content in Sardines is very high which provides amino acids to the body.
How to Buy
For fresh sardines, look for ones that smell fresh, are firm to the touch and have bright eyes and shiny skin.
How to Store
Fresh Sardines are highly perishable but Canned Sardines will have a long storage life if stored in a cool area which is not exposed to excessive heat.
Did You Know?
Sardines get their name from the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, around which sardines were once abundant.
Note: Discard smoked sardines that have a dry or brown edge or leaking moisture.