Traditional Portuguese Canned Sardines
To say the Portuguese love tinned fish (especially sardines) is a massive understatement. They have shops dedicated to these oily little fellas, some of which have been in business for a 100 years. To be honest I prefer the packaging to the contents (I’ve already mentioned my lack of appreciation of fishy fish on the Whitstable Oysters page), the designs are beautiful and eclectic.
Protected Foods visited the grocery shop Loja Portugueza in Lisbon recently. It’s a feast for the eyes, tourists visit the shop just see the variety of cans and often leave with a tin or two as a souvenir rather than a snack. It’s not just Sardines either, tuna, squid, mackerel, eel, clam, fish eggs, horse mackerel, codfish, anchovy, in salty water, olive oil, tomato, lemon, hot spicy, garlic or onion sauces are also on sale.
Lisbon and Porto are now seeing a trend of Gourmet shops and restaurants opening with tinned fish as the star of menu. Food writers are saying Sardines are going to be the next trendy food in the UK.
They’re also said to be very good for you with Portuguese cardiologists recommending that people consume canned sardines at least three times a week to lower the risk of heart attack.
You can buy them here but why not go to Portugal and try them. Lisbon is a wonderful city and the people are friendly and fun. It’s relatively inexpensive too. We stayed in a wonderful old bakery “Casa Balthazar” right in the heart of Barrio Alto Lisboa. The Brits and the Potuguese have had as special relationship for centuaries, in fact it’s the longest running treaty in history going back to 1373. If you go take the train to Sintra or like us hire a scooter, not for the faint hearted.
Good recipes here.
and a little link to Protected foods article on Cornish Sardines.