Tuesday, February 26, 2013

VITAL CHOICE- 100

VITAL CHOICE: IN ORGANIC OLIVE OIL



APPEARANCE:




NUTRITION:

Per serving. two to the tin.
Calories- 140
Fat Calories- 80
Total Fat- 9g
Sat Fat- 2g
Cholesterol- 45mg
Sodium- 180mg
Protein- 14g


PRODUCT OF:
Portugal


INGREDIENTS:
Sardines,Organic Extra virgin Olive Oil, Natural Sea Salt


PRICE:
Thank you Sardine eater Gina.

OVER ALL:
A very faint oil/fish aroma upon opening. Three plump fish to the tin, scales are in patches.. A roe filled fish; Roe is slightly mealy, unnoticeable with crackers.  A clean tasting fish. No fishy taste or after taste. Oil taste is very subtle and almost hidden. A meaty, tender fish. I would eat again.
4 1/2 sardines






Monday, February 25, 2013

VASCO DA GAMA-99

VASCO DA GAMA: IN VEGETABLE OIL


APPEARANCE:


NUTRITION:
Protein: 20,6g
Energy: 1260kj/304kcal



PRODUCT OF:
Portugal

INGREDIENTS:
Sardines, Vegetable Oil, Salt

PRICE:

OVER ALL:
A faint oil aroma upon opening.. Six scaled fish to the tin. Scales are noticeable  A bitter tasting fish. A slight fishy taste; Not spiny; a roe filled fish along with other innards delicacies, which adds to the bitterness. Would not eat again. No sardines.




VASCO DA GAMA: IN HOT SAUCE




APPEARANCE:


NUTRITION:
Protein: 22,7g
Energy: : 956kj/229kcal



PRODUCT OF:
Portugal

INGREDIENTS:
Sardines, Vegetable Oil, Spices,Salt

PRICE:

OVER ALL:
A very faint fish aroma upon opening. Six, scaled fish to the tin. Scales are noticeable,  the salt is prominent in this tin. A sour after taste. The heat is very weak, almost undetectable. A roe filled fish. Fish crumbles while removing from tin. Would not eat again. No sardines




VASCO DA GAMA- IN HOT TOMATO SAUCE



APPEARANCE:


NUTRITION:
Protein: 20,8g
Energetico: 838kj/201kcal


PRODUCT OF:
Portugal

INGREDIENTS:
Sardines,  Tomato,Vegetable Oil, Spices, Salt

PRICE:

OVER ALL:
Five scaled fish to the tin. Scales not noticeable  a very watery tasting sauce, heat was not noticeable  A very strong sour taste, after taste. A nice green undigested innards runs out of fish. (source of sourness) not a spiny fish. I would not eat again. No sardines.






VASCO DA GAMA: IN TOMATO SAUCE



APPEARANCE:


NUTRITION:
Protein: 20,1g
Energy: : 764kj/203kcal



PRODUCT OF:
Portugal

INGREDIENTS:
Sardines,  Tomato,Vegetable Oil, Salt

PRICE:

OVER ALL:
A sweat tomato aroma upon opening. Three scaleless fish to the tin. A meaty fish; sweat tasting fish. The fish are a little on the chewy side. Not a spiny fish;all innards still present. I would not eat again. No sardines.










Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Burial of The Sardine


Francisco Goya - The Burial of the Sardine


One of the many things I enjoy  about sardines are the traditions and customs that are held by so many different cultures. While Ambrosia may be held as the food of the Gods, sardines could be said to be the food of men. Sardines can be enjoyed by all, no matter locale, race, finance-- it's truly a food for all.

One such tradition is El  Entirrro de la Sardina (The Burial of The Sardine),  a Spanish tradition of burying or burning a fish. A sardine at that! 

The ceremony of the burial of the sardine is usually a mock burial procession through town while an effigy of a sardine or real sardine is carried for all to see and mourn, in a real or make shift coffin. People dressed in costumes and mourning attire fill the streets, with fake screams and weeping. The location of the town often times seals the fate of the Sardine. Those next to shorelines burn the sardine and then throw the ashes into the sea.  The town's people some times even carry the ashes out to be scattered into the sea symbolizing the sardine's return home. In landlocked towns, the sardine is often times buried. (Burn and bury is practiced the same despite location.) These ceremonies are often times followed by large displays of fireworks, representing the end of Carnival. In some areas the celebration is held on Ash Wednesday, yet in other towns this ceremony takes place the first Saturday after Easter.


Like most traditions, no one can truly lay claim to the origin of it. There are many explanations.




1. The event goes back to pre-Christian times. It is a pagan fertility custom symbolizing the burial of winter in early spring; spring awakes and brings a new year of life to nature. It is the symbolic burial of the past to allow society to be reborn, transformed and with new vigor. (The burning of the dead was not allowed by Christians in ancient times because it was seen as strictly a pagan practice and was even made illegal by the church. Burning the sardine would have came from pagan roots).




2. In the 18th century, Charles III (king of Spain) wanted to celebrate the end of Carnival with the commoners. He ordered sardines, but when the shipment arrived, all the sardines were spoiled. The people buried the sardines due to the odor. The commoners mourned the thought of burying free food. Another version has it that the sardines that came in for Lent were spoiled, and that King Charles III, irate that they were spoiled, had them buried/burned. This morphed into a tradition of burying of the sardine.


3. A breed of pig called "sardine" was buried, which represented Sin and symbolized the excesses during Carnival; burial of a pig in representation of the meat Catholics would have to forfeit eating during the religious observation period.



4. People could not eat meat during Lent; they ate fish during Lent. When Lent and Easter finished, they gave a big party where they burned a sardine as a sign that they didn't have to eat more fish. They were free to eat meat again.

5. The custom symbolizes the burial of worldly pleasures and serves as a reminder that people must abstain from eating meat on Fridays throughout the 40 days of Lent; it's a symbol to celebrate the end of eating so much fish; it symbolizes abstinence and fasting; it represents the Catholic repentance at the pagan excesses of the Carnival; a sardine is buried to bring luck to all the fisherman who will be catching and supplying fish to everyone during the 40 days of meatless Lent.


6. It only dates back to 1850, when a group of students decided to form an entourage presided over by a sardine, symbolizing fasting and abstinence, after Carnival.This celebration is held all over Spain, in many different styles and for many different reasons, yet the sardine remains the center of attention.



Just before Ash Wednesday I attended a community function where we built bee houses for our local native bee population. I figured this would be a good time to do a Burial of the Sardines ceremony, (since we were doing a community project and all) So, in Mouth Full of Sardines fashion, I give you the Burial of the Sardines.









 The tin of fish, resting upon its velvet,  sitting on its brass tray, waiting for the burial.




















Our procession, led by Raven, was started off in a "Wicker Man" fashion. Kathleen runs over and grabs large bamboo poles for the procession. 


Bamboo fronds and large bamboo poles are our make- shift burial flags.










To represent burying the winter for a new spring, we have winter and a little spring carrying the sardines.
















h






And the Sardine march continues....






















Eric proudly carries his pole.



















The tin made it to its destination....

















We passed the tin around, telling the fish what we would like to change, get rid of, and to start anew.

Tony gazes upon the tin of fish.
I don't think Kathleen is a sardine eater (or Tony).














As the tin went around




















Eric taking a big whiff of the badly smoked tin of fish.



































This is the tin we
buried and burned, bad smoke flavoring and all.


* Contest *  If you can identify this tin of fish from the blog, I will send you a variety trio of assorted tins.  Just place guesses in the comment section below.  (None will be this nasty tin.) 








  We buried the fish in some leaves.







Stewart was more than eager to light the ceremonial Sardine fire.





Ah, now the sardines are truly smoked. They were paraded, passed around, buried and burned.

Perhaps I need to write up a sardine song for everyone to sing as the sardines burn. Next year, next year...














 The sardine ceremony was concluded by drinking and libating wine....


A big thank you to every one who participated in the burial of the sardine ceremony. No one called me crazy.  I believe some non-sardine eaters gained some respect for the sardine. Next year, the ceremony could take place at a community project near you.

If there are any sardine eaters that are musically inclined, feel free to send in your sardine burial songs for next year's ceremony.  If we receive 50 songs, we'll sing 50 songs at next year's burial.





Saturday, February 23, 2013

Mail Bag

Hello,
I just found your sea of sardine love. The Sardine Society blog has gone dormant and may have been schooling around my area.
On the weekend my dad will eat a cheap tin of sardines and I’d watch. It was only as I got toward my Wrinkley years did an interest and obsession take hold. Cases of Saltines and the gallon version of Franks Red Hot.
The shelf usually has 50-100 cans for emergency back-up, that being every day usually, but slowing recently.
My German mother got us to Germany and I continue to go. Not sardine country in the southern part where my cousins live but close to France and the giant Carrefour HyperMarket. 
That takes us to England for John West (well known brand) , Cornish sardines, and the love of mackerel.  Google Kraster Kippers.
On the way to the coast (Astoria: Kindergarten Cop, The Goonies both filmed there)  taking the Columbia River route we stopped at a history marker about John West.
Astoria was once a huge fishing community of Scandinavians and Finns. Tuna and salmon that ran so thick it was scooped out with what looked like  water wheels. Not much left today except that sardine have been running more northerly. Caught mostly for bait and frozen but some fresh does show up. I’ve canned Albacore several times while camping.


Riga Gold has mackerel also.  Very good.
The Germans have herring in various canned forms with their Baltic Sea border.  Alstertor, Ruegenfisch, …
While at  a big Korean store here I see their canned fish is Saury. The can states Pike Mackerel but it is not a mackerel. The Russians have in also, which in Cyrilic looks like ‘Caupa.’ I like this with a little slather of Best Foods Mayo.  We’re not salad dressing people in the Northwest.   The Japanese eat it also.

Wild Planet’s sardines used to be “sustainably caught off the California coast”;  now it is ”north pacific ocean.” But packed in Vietnam. I wonder if they didn’t take large blocks of frozen bait sardines from here and can them there?

Thank you for the blog and ratings.  Would it be possible to put your sardine rating next to the tin named  being reviewed so that the reader can see the highest ratings without having to go to each review?

I’ll talk about Matjes sometime. Wow vee.

Thanks again,
Eric Goranson
Portland , Oregon






Travel Channel show inquiry

My name is Jeff Mandell and I’m a producer for the Travel Channel show Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. We are planning an upcoming episode in Lisbon and I came across your website while doing some research on sardines.

I have a few questions and am thinking you might have some insight. Do you have any time this week to chat?

Please let me know!

Thanks,

Jeff Mandell



Jeff Mandell  —  Segment Producer
BIZARRE FOODS AMERICA WITH ANDREW ZIMMERN Travel Channel






________________________________________________________________________

We can smell you from over here ..

Hello!

This is D.L. Anderson, a fellow lover of the tinned fish up the road in Durham. I've been thoroughly enjoying your compendium of all things sardine, especially the tasting notes. I'm a proud member of The Grand Order of The Sardinier, which is a men's civic league dedicated to the discrete enjoyment of tinned sea creatures and spiritous libations. We have gatherings once every quarter at various well-ventilated locations and have the following, humble requirements for entry; one or two tins of fish and a story of their source (real or imagined) or a poem or both, plus respectable attire (sport coats, blazers, clip-on) and a cordial disposition. 

"I want to go quick like a seedless olive into the mouth of a fool, 
as young girls keep arriving from Des Moines wiggling like sardines in a striped dress, 
what does it mean, listening to Beethoven now?"
- Charles Bukowski (the rest of the story)

We appreciate all the work you're doing to catalog and celebrate sardines and we would be honored to host you for one of our events if you're ever planning a trip to the area. 

We are also quite interested in attending the sardine fest in Aberdeen. 

All the best,

DLA
_______________________________________________________________________________



_________________________________________________________________________________



Thank you to sardine eater Gina for another great tin of fish. That was truly a wonderful surprise.


Some of you sardine eaters have started looking for BPA free sardines. Along with Vital Choice having BPA free cans, there are a few more out there . Wild Planet, Rain Coast , King Oscar, and certain tins of Ocean Prince are BPA free tins. Trader Joe's does have BPA free canned goods, but sardines are not one of them. From a letter they put out last year, they are attempting to move more of their canned goods to BPA free. Sardines may be on the list.
The French just put into effect a law banning BPA in any products intended for children under three. That law took effect in Dec. 26th 2012. 

If any of you sardine eaters know of any or run across other BPA free sardines, let us know.

Keep popping those tins Sardine Eaters!

BPA free Sardine tins

OCEAN PRINCE
KING OSCAR
SIMPLY BALANCED
HENRY & LISA'S




Wednesday, February 20, 2013

LES MOUETTES D'ARVOR- 98

LES MOUETTES D'ARVOR: EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

APPEARANCE:

NUTRITION:

Protein: 18,2g
Energetico:389kj/161kcal


PRODUCT OF:
France

INGREDIENTS:
Sardines, Extra virgin Olive Oil, Salt


PRICE:
8.00

OVER ALL:
A deep oil aroma upon opening. Six good looking fish to the tin. A few patches of scales through out the tin.  a good textured fish; holds its shape well. Not a spiny fish at all. Tails are still attached, scales that are present, are not noticeable  A faint flavor of the oil is present. No fishy taste or after taste. A clean tasting tin of fish. I will eat again. 5 Sardines.

LIDER-97

LIDER: IN VEGETABLE OIL 


APPEARANCE:



NUTRITION:
Protein: 21,2g
Energetico:11 71kj/282kcal


PRODUCT OF:
Portugal

INGREDIENTS:
Sardines, Water, Vegetable Oil, Salt

PRICE:

OVER ALL:
Oil aroma upon opening, two plump fish to the tin; one large and one medium sized fish. A slight bitter taste on first bite, a bit on the chewy side. Oil flavor is present; a roe filled fish;scales not noticeable  I may would eat again. 1 1/2 Sardines









LIDER: IN HOT TOMATO SAUCE


APPEARANCE:




NUTRITION:
Protein: 20,9g
Energetico: 847kj/203kcal


PRODUCT OF:
Portugal

INGREDIENTS:
Sardines, Tomato,Vegetable Oil, Chilli-Pepper, Salt

PRICE:

OVER ALL:
Three fish to the tin, a mild tomato, fish aroma upon opening. A watery tasting sauce, a tad on the runny side. A meaty fish; a bland tasting fish, alone. A little on the dry side; Fish holds its shape well; not spiny. I may would eat again. 2 Sardines.

















LIDER: IN TOMATO


APPEARANCE:



NUTRITION:
Protein: 20,1g
Energetico: 764kj/183kcal


PRODUCT OF:
Portugal

INGREDIENTS:
Sardines,  Tomato,Vegetable Oil, Salt

PRICE:

OVER ALL:
Fishy, tomato aroma upon opening. A thick sauce; three fish to the tin; scales are not noticeable  A sour tasting sauce, a meaty fish; fish crumbles when removing from tin. Fish is on the dry side, no strong taste or after taste. I would not eat again. 1 sardine







LIDER: IN SPICY VEGETABLE OIL


APPEARANCE:



NUTRITION:
Protein: 22,7g
Energetico: 956kj/229kcal


PRODUCT OF:
Portugal

INGREDIENTS:
Sardines, Vegetable Oil, Chilli-Pepper, Salt

PRICE:

OVER ALL:
A slight oil aroma upon opening, four mangy fish to the tin. A very over powering oil taste; fish is dry and chewy, with an old oil taste; scales not noticeable. I would not eat again. No Sardines