Let me start by saying that there are very few foods that I will not try at least once. I love fish. Almost any kind, with the exception of salmon which I realize I am in the minority. I keep trying to like it, but alas it’s just not meant to be. Anyway, about a month ago at work a co-worker asked if I’ve tried sardines to which I answered no. Slightly unnerved as to where this conversation was leading, she assured me that I was going to love them and that I shouldn’t doubt her. They were nothing like anchovies, which I find way too fishy and a once-a-year on Christmas Eve type fish. After a little talk with my head and my stomach, I rationalized that I had to try them at least once. If I didn’t try things, I wouldn’t be making roasted Brussels sprouts every week. Agreeing to the sardine challenge at hand, my lovely co-worker hooked me up and started me out on the “beginners” sardines- boneless and skinless.
I went home that weekend with my can of sardines and a tip that I should try them with a little blue cheese. Truth be told the whole fish and cheese thing is weird to me, but I’ve rarely needed a push to eat anything with cheese. And this particular co-worker has never steered me wrong on the culinary front.
I prepared for my evening of canned fish and cheese by stopping off at the local store and picking up a package of Danish Blue cheese. Definitely not the classiest I could find, but come on? I wasn’t going to spend $20 on a piece of Gorgonzola and then smother it in sardines. Am I right? I chose to build the canape on a base of sesame rice crackers. Sturdy, salty and crunchy they seemed a good fit for my feat.
I got home, got a plate, set out a few crackers, placed thin slices of cheese down and had a staring contest with the sardine box. We eyes each other before I opened one end and slid out a gold tin with a pull back lid. With a deep breath and a tug, I peeled back the lid and stared down at my first can o’ sardines.
Huh, not scary at all. Just dark meat fish fillets in some olive oil. I tasted a corner of one straight from the can. Not bad! I piled chunks of sardine on the blue cheese and increased the protein of my dinner by a fair amount.
Well, surprise, surprise- they were really very good! Some were fishier than others but overall it was a good experience and I managed to eat the majority of the can, even without the cheese.
Obviously I took pictures for proof (ha) and went into work the following Monday with a smile and my shots of sardines. While I probably won’t turn to a can of sardines to replace my chunk white Bumble Bee, I was proud that I gave them a chance and out of it got an idea to try smoked oysters. With Lent starting this week, this is something that is probably going to happen sooner rather than later. Will let you know how it turns out! Have a great week. Don’t be afraid to try something new!
**I just realized that this is the second fish post this week. It wasn’t planned that way, I just actually forgot to post this piece about the sardines back in January.