The time has come to talk about sardines.
As a nutritionist, I’ve been recommending sardines to just about anyone that will hear me. The thing is. I don’t like sardines.
I believe my failure to embrace them sprouted from my inability to love them. It starts with my husband. My husband has a loving relationship with that little nutritional powerhouse of a fish. He’ll happily open a can and with naught but a fork dive in eagerly, moaning in pure sardine ecstasy at every bite.
Cautiously excited, I took my first bite and it tasted nothing of that paradise my husband painted and everything of fishy, unpalatable anti-paradise.
I think at that point I just gave up. If I could not love it, it was over. So you see, while the nutritionist in me recommended them; the pessimist in me would advise to just “suffer through them.”
“So how do you eat them?” people would ask me.
“Out of the can,” I’d reply with a sigh, “as best you can. They’re so good for you my advise is to just chug them down. It’s what I do.”
For a year I’ve been eating them occasionally. Always out of the can. Always suffering through them.
Due to health concerns, my mother has been advised by several different doctors, to eat more fish. I had been pushing sardines on her for a while but obviously my pessimism had never made a compelling argument. This Saturday she finally agreed to try some for breakfast and I couldn’t afford to have this one chance she was giving me be as underwhelming as my first and only experience with sardines.
We ate them with corn crackers (tostadas), avocado, cilantro and a big pour of fresh lime juice.
And guess what? It was not bad. It was actually quite pleasant. A light meal and fresh taste, reminiscent of beaches and calm days under the sun.
Who would have thought it was that simple! My mom is ordering a big batch of sardines in marinara sauce. And I’m on board too.
If you are like Barna and genuinely like the taste of sardines straight out of the can, I envy you. For the rest of us this is a DELICIOUS compromise. (and Barna LOVED this version too!)
These are very Mexican beach flavors. I highly recommend the corn crackers instead of regular crackers, and while you’re at it make sure they’re made from nixtamalized corn and they’ll taste superb. I like to buy the Salmas from Sanissimo brand. I used to have to bring some back every time I visited Mexico – but Whole Foods at the Woodlands just started carrying them!
Pacific sardines are featured on the Super Green List of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch. This list highlights the best of the best in seafood and recognizes only the best choices for the ocean and human health. Pacific sardines are a great choice in terms of sustainability, low levels of mercury and awesome omega-3 fatty acids.
- ½ avocado
- 4-6 corn crackers or tostadas
- 1 can wild sardines (4.3 oz/ 125g)*
- chopped cilantro, for garnish
- 1 lime, cut in wedges
- Cut avocado in slices.
- With a fork, cut sardines in half, lengthwise. Do not de-bone, the bones are edible and highly nutritious! Alternatively, you can mash the sardines up.
- Top corn crackers with avocado slices, sardine slices (or sardine mash) and top with cilantro and a dash of lime juice. Or a big fat pour of lime juice, that works too,