Bonus: Sardine and smoked fish tins have really awesome nostalgic packaging

I don't post many meat recipes here. I don't cook much meat, but I am not a vegetarian. Far from it as a devout lamb lover. I consider myself a conscientious eater in the Mark Bittman line of thinking. In fact I think eating fish and animals is great. If meat is good enough for other animals, then its good enough for me.

I've been eating low on the chain for the past 6 months with cured and smoked small fish. Why waste money on omega-3 fish oil capsules when you can make a meal out of the fish itself. Smoked fish also are high in calcium (fish bones baby!), iron, and protein There are hundreds upon hundreds of sardines available at my local grocery, Golden Farm on Church Ave. Herring is my favorite, followed by canned octopus (pulpo in garlic sauce) and sardines. Sardines go two ways, mushy with a horrible gut churning rotten fish smell to a paletteable firm and tender. I've had plenty of both. There are lots of Sprats and anchovies too, but I haven't been brave enough yet for either.

I can usually make 2 meals out of one box, which is an average of $0.90 to 1.50 a meal. Not too bad. The rest of my daily proteins come from dried beans (brown lentils, yellow lentils, red lentils, green lentils, who can get bored of lentils!?!) and eggs from my CSA.

There isn't much of a recipe here. I eat them out of the can standing up, more casually then a hobo. Kippers and eggs tend to be a special breakfast. Sardines, tomatoes, and salad greens with balsamic make a nice light dinner. Any smoked canned fish is good on a cracker with most spreads or tapenades.

So don't be shy. It can be intimidating, but just grab a pack and make an adventure out of it. Advice for the beginner sardine eater: spend some bucks on a $3-5 dollar can. Some of the cheaper varieties tend to be offensive to new palettes. You must contain your leftovers well, or fish smell will over-power your fridge. Throw the can directly into the recycling, and take the recycling out. I don't suggest bringing sardines to work, for all of these reasons. Fish smells can really get on other people's nerves. Don't you dare eat sardines before a hot date, that's nasty.


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