Sardine
Overview
 
Sardines, or pilchards, are several types of small, oily fish
Oily fish
Oily fish have oil in their tissues and in the belly cavity around the gut. Their fillets contain up to 30 percent oil, although this figure varies both within and between species...

 related to herring
Herring
Herring is an oily fish of the genus Clupea, found in the shallow, temperate waters of the North Pacific and the North Atlantic oceans, including the Baltic Sea. Three species of Clupea are recognized. The main taxa, the Atlantic herring and the Pacific herring may each be divided into subspecies...

s, family Clupeidae
Clupeidae
Clupeidae is the family of the herrings, shads, sardines, hilsa and menhadens. It includes many of the most important food fishes in the world.-Description and biology:...

. Sardines are named after the Mediterranean island of Sardinia
Sardinia
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

, around which they were once abundant.

The terms sardine and pilchard are not precise, and what is meant depends on the region. The United Kingdom's Sea Fish Industry Authority
Sea Fish Industry Authority
The Sea Fish Industry Authority is a United Kingdom non-departmental public body, established in 1981, and charged with working with the UK seafood industry to promote good quality, sustainable seafood. Seafish revised its mission in 2008...

, for example, classifies sardines as young pilchards. One criterion suggests fish shorter in length than 6 inches (15.2 cm) are sardines, and larger ones pilchards.
Encyclopedia
Sardines, or pilchards, are several types of small, oily fish
Oily fish
Oily fish have oil in their tissues and in the belly cavity around the gut. Their fillets contain up to 30 percent oil, although this figure varies both within and between species...

 related to herring
Herring
Herring is an oily fish of the genus Clupea, found in the shallow, temperate waters of the North Pacific and the North Atlantic oceans, including the Baltic Sea. Three species of Clupea are recognized. The main taxa, the Atlantic herring and the Pacific herring may each be divided into subspecies...

s, family Clupeidae
Clupeidae
Clupeidae is the family of the herrings, shads, sardines, hilsa and menhadens. It includes many of the most important food fishes in the world.-Description and biology:...

. Sardines are named after the Mediterranean island of Sardinia
Sardinia
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

, around which they were once abundant.

The terms sardine and pilchard are not precise, and what is meant depends on the region. The United Kingdom's Sea Fish Industry Authority
Sea Fish Industry Authority
The Sea Fish Industry Authority is a United Kingdom non-departmental public body, established in 1981, and charged with working with the UK seafood industry to promote good quality, sustainable seafood. Seafish revised its mission in 2008...

, for example, classifies sardines as young pilchards. One criterion suggests fish shorter in length than 6 inches (15.2 cm) are sardines, and larger ones pilchards. The FAO
Fão
Fão is a town in Esposende Municipality in Portugal....

/WHO
Who
Who may refer to:* Who , an English-language pronoun* who , a Unix command* Who?, one of the Five Ws in journalism- Art and entertainment :* Who? , a 1958 novel by Algis Budrys...

 Codex standard for canned
Canning
Canning is a method of preserving food in which the food contents are processed and sealed in an airtight container. Canning provides a typical shelf life ranging from one to five years, although under specific circumstances a freeze-dried canned product, such as canned, dried lentils, can last as...

 sardines cites 21 species that may be classed as sardines; FishBase
FishBase
FishBase is a comprehensive database of information about fish species . It is the largest and most extensively accessed online database on adult finfish on the web...

, a comprehensive database of information about fish, calls at least six species "pilchard", over a dozen just "sardine", and many more with the two basic names qualified by various adjectives.

Taxonomy

  • Genus Dussumeria
    Dussumeria
    Dussumieria, the rainbow sardines, is a genus of fishes in the herring family Clupeidae.- Species :* Dussumieria acuta Valenciennes, 1847 * Dussumieria elopsoides Bleeker, 1849...

    • Rainbow sardine
      Rainbow sardine
      The Rainbow Sardine is a bony fish important to aquaculture and commercial fisheries.-Description:The color of the rainbow sardine is iridescent blue with a shiny gold or brass line below, which quickly fades after death; the hind margin of the tail is broadly dark...

       - Dussumieria acuta
    • Slender rainbow sardine
      Slender rainbow sardine
      The Slender rainbow sardine is a small, subtropical, salt water fish of the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea which was first described by Bleeker in 1849. Dussumieria hasselti and Dussumieria productissima are synonyms for this same fish...

       - Dussumieria elopsoides
  • Genus Escualosa
    Escualosa
    Escualosa is a genus of fishes in the herring family, Clupeidae. The genus currently contains two described species.- Species :* Escualosa elongata Wongratana, 1983...

    • Slender white sardine - Escualosa elongata
    • White sardine - Escualosa thoracata
  • Genus Sardina
    • European pilchard
      European pilchard
      European pilchard is a species of ray-finned fish in the monotypic genus Sardina.Littoral species. Forms schools, usually at depths of 25 to 55 or even 100 m by day, rising to 10 to 35 m at night. Feeds mainly on planktonic crustaceans, also on larger organisms...

       (true sardine) Sardina pilchardus
  • Genus Sardinella
    Sardinella
    SardinellaSardinella is a genus of fishes in the family Clupeidae. This genus currently contains 21 recognized species. These fish are generally coastal, schooling fish, and abundant in warmer waters. They can be found nearly anywhere in the tropic and subtropic oceans of the World...

    • Round sardinella
      Round Sardinella
      Round Sardinella is a species of ray-finned fish in the genus Sardinella. It is found in both sides of the Atlantic and Mediterranean....

       (gilt sardine, Spanish sardine) Sardinella aurita Sardinella longiceps, Sardinella gibbosa (Indian sardines)
  • Genus Sardinops
    • South American pilchard
      South American pilchard
      The South American pilchard, Sardinops sagax, is a sardine of the Family Clupeidae, the only member of the genus Sardinops, found in the indo-Pacific oceans. Their length is up to 40 cm...

       (Pacific sardine, California sardine, Chilean sardine, South African sardine) Sardinops sagax (Jenyns, 1842)

Sardines as food

Sardines are rich in nutrients. They are commonly sold canned, but fresh sardines are often grilled, pickled or smoked.

Nutrition

Sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acid
Omega-3 fatty acid
N−3 fatty acids are essential unsaturated fatty acids with a double bond starting after the third carbon atom from the end of the carbon chain....

s, which reduce the occurrence of cardiovascular disease. Recent studies suggest that regular consumption of omega-3 fatty acids reduces the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease. These fatty acids may also help lower blood sugar levels a small amount. They are also a good source of vitamin D
Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids. In humans, vitamin D is unique both because it functions as a prohormone and because the body can synthesize it when sun exposure is adequate ....

, calcium
Calcium
Calcium is the chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. It has an atomic mass of 40.078 amu. Calcium is a soft gray alkaline earth metal, and is the fifth-most-abundant element by mass in the Earth's crust...

, B12
Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12, vitamin B12 or vitamin B-12, also called cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin with a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and for the formation of blood. It is one of the eight B vitamins...

, and protein
Protein
Proteins are biochemical compounds consisting of one or more polypeptides typically folded into a globular or fibrous form, facilitating a biological function. A polypeptide is a single linear polymer chain of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of...

.

Because they are low in the food chain, sardines are very low in contaminants, such as mercury
Mercury (element)
Mercury is a chemical element with the symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is also known as quicksilver or hydrargyrum...

, relative to other fish commonly eaten by humans.

Commercial use of sardines

Sardines are commercially fished for a variety of uses: for bait; for immediate consumption; for drying, salting, or smoking; and for reduction into fish meal
Fish meal
Fish meal, or fishmeal, is a commercial product made from both whole fish and the bones and offal from processed fish. It is a brown powder or cake obtained by rendering pressing the cooked whole fish or fish trimmings to remove most of the fish oil and water, and then ground...

 or oil. The chief use of sardines is for human consumption, but fish meal is used as animal feed, while sardine oil has many uses, including the manufacture of paint
Paint
Paint is any liquid, liquefiable, or mastic composition which after application to a substrate in a thin layer is converted to an opaque solid film. One may also consider the digital mimicry thereof...

, varnish
Varnish
Varnish is a transparent, hard, protective finish or film primarily used in wood finishing but also for other materials. Varnish is traditionally a combination of a drying oil, a resin, and a thinner or solvent. Varnish finishes are usually glossy but may be designed to produce satin or semi-gloss...

 and linoleum
Linoleum
Linoleum is a floor covering made from renewable materials such as solidified linseed oil , pine rosin, ground cork dust, wood flour, and mineral fillers such as calcium carbonate, most commonly on a burlap or canvas backing; pigments are often added to the materials.The finest linoleum floors,...

.

Fishing of sardines

The most important gear is an encircling net, particularly the purse seine. Many modifications of encircling nets are used, including traps or weir
Weir
A weir is a small overflow dam used to alter the flow characteristics of a river or stream. In most cases weirs take the form of a barrier across the river that causes water to pool behind the structure , but allows water to flow over the top...

s. The latter are stationary enclosures composed of stakes into which schools of sardines are diverted as they swim along the coast. The fish are caught mainly at night, when they approach the surface to feed on plankton
Plankton
Plankton are any drifting organisms that inhabit the pelagic zone of oceans, seas, or bodies of fresh water. That is, plankton are defined by their ecological niche rather than phylogenetic or taxonomic classification...

. After harvesting, the fish are submerged in brine
Brine
Brine is water, saturated or nearly saturated with salt .Brine is used to preserve vegetables, fruit, fish, and meat, in a process known as brining . Brine is also commonly used to age Halloumi and Feta cheeses, or for pickling foodstuffs, as a means of preserving them...

 while they are transported to shore.

Canning of sardines

Sardines are canned in many different ways. At the cannery, the fish are washed, their heads are removed, and the fish are cooked, either by deep-frying or by steam-cooking, after which they are dried. They are then packed in either olive
Olive oil
Olive oil is an oil obtained from the olive , a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. It is commonly used in cooking, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and soaps and as a fuel for traditional oil lamps...

, sunflower
Sunflower
Sunflower is an annual plant native to the Americas. It possesses a large inflorescence . The sunflower got its name from its huge, fiery blooms, whose shape and image is often used to depict the sun. The sunflower has a rough, hairy stem, broad, coarsely toothed, rough leaves and circular heads...

 or soybean
Soybean
The soybean or soya bean is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean which has numerous uses...

 oil, water, or in a tomato
Tomato
The word "tomato" may refer to the plant or the edible, typically red, fruit which it bears. Originating in South America, the tomato was spread around the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and its many varieties are now widely grown, often in greenhouses in cooler...

, chilli or mustard
Mustard (condiment)
Mustard is a condiment made from the seeds of a mustard plant...

 sauce.

Canned sardines

Canned sardines in supermarkets may actually be sprat
Sprattus
Sprattus is a genus of small oily fish of the family Clupeidae. One can find many varieties served from the Iberian peninsula to the Caucasus. They are commonly fried and eaten in British and Bulgarian cuisine. In northern and north-eastern Europe, European sprats are commonly smoked and preserved...

 (such as the “brisling sardine”
European sprat
The European sprat, Sprattus sprattus, also known as bristling, brisling or skipper, is a small, herring-like, marine fish. Found in European waters, it has silver grey scales and white-grey flesh. Specific seas in which the species occurs include the Irish Sea, Baltic Sea and Sea of the Hebrides...

) or round herrings
Herring
Herring is an oily fish of the genus Clupea, found in the shallow, temperate waters of the North Pacific and the North Atlantic oceans, including the Baltic Sea. Three species of Clupea are recognized. The main taxa, the Atlantic herring and the Pacific herring may each be divided into subspecies...

. Fish sizes vary by species. Good quality sardines should have the head
Head
In anatomy, the head of an animal is the rostral part that usually comprises the brain, eyes, ears, nose and mouth . Some very simple animals may not have a head, but many bilaterally symmetric forms do....

 and gills removed before packing. They may also be eviscerate
Evisceration
An evisceration is the removal of the eye's contents, leaving the scleral shell and extraocular muscles intact. The procedure is usually performed to reduce pain or improve cosmesis in a blind eye, as in cases of endophthalmitis unresponsive to antibiotics...

d before packing (typically the larger varieties). If not, they should be purged of undigested or partially digested food or feces
Feces
Feces, faeces, or fæces is a waste product from an animal's digestive tract expelled through the anus or cloaca during defecation.-Etymology:...

 by holding the live fish in a tank long enough for them to empty their digestive systems.

In popular culture

Sardines are typically tightly packed in a small can which is scored for easy opening, either with a pull tab (similar to how a beverage can
Beverage can
A beverage can is a tin can designed to hold a specific portion of a beverage. Beverage cans are made of tin-plated steel or aluminium.- History :...

 is opened), or a key, attached to the side of the can. Thus, it has the virtues of being an easily portable, nonperishable, self-contained food.
The close packing of sardines in the can has led to their metaphorical use of the name in describing any situation where people or objects are crowded together, for instance, in a bus
Bus
A bus is a road vehicle designed to carry passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common type of bus is the single-decker bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker buses and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses; coaches are...

 or subway car. It has also been used as the name of a children's game
Sardines (game)
Sardines is the name of numerous children's games. All have in common an aspect where the players are required to lie side by side . The two most common versions of sardines are variations of hide-and-seek and knick-knocking....

, where one person hides and each successive person who finds the hidden one packs into the same space until there is only one left out, who becomes the next one to hide.

Sardines are a prominent prop in Michael Frayn
Michael Frayn
Michael J. Frayn is an English playwright and novelist. He is best known as the author of the farce Noises Off and the dramas Copenhagen and Democracy...

's farce
Farce
In theatre, a farce is a comedy which aims at entertaining the audience by means of unlikely, extravagant, and improbable situations, disguise and mistaken identity, verbal humour of varying degrees of sophistication, which may include word play, and a fast-paced plot whose speed usually increases,...

 Noises Off
Noises Off
Noises Off is a 1982 play by English playwright Michael Frayn. The idea for it was born in 1970, when Frayn was standing in the wings watching a performance of Chinamen, a farce that he had written for Lynn Redgrave...

.

Croatia

Fishing for sardela or sardina (Sardina pilchardus) on the coasts of Dalmatia
Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

 and Istria
Istria
Istria , formerly Histria , is the largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. The peninsula is located at the head of the Adriatic between the Gulf of Trieste and the Bay of Kvarner...

 began thousands of years ago. The region was part of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, then largely a Venetian
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

 dominion, and has always been sustained through fishing mainly sardines. All along the coast, many towns promote the age-old practice of fishing by lateen
Lateen
A lateen or latin-rig is a triangular sail set on a long yard mounted at an angle on the mast, and running in a fore-and-aft direction....

 sail boats for tourism
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 and on festival occasions. Today, industrial producers continue this tradition. Currently, there are four factories of canned sardines: in Rovinj
Rovinj
Rovinj is a city in Croatia situated on the north Adriatic Sea with a population of 13,562 . It is located on the western coast of the Istrian peninsula and is a popular tourist resort and an active fishing port...

, Zadar
Zadar
Zadar is a city in Croatia on the Adriatic Sea. It is the centre of Zadar county and the wider northern Dalmatian region. Population of the city is 75,082 citizens...

, Postira
Postira
Postira is a village and a municipality in Croatia in the Split-Dalmatia county on the island of Brač.-Geography:The village of Postira is located on the northern coast of the island of Brač....

 and in Sali (the latter founded in 1905).

France

Sardine fishing and canning is a traditional industry in Brittany
Brittany
Brittany is a cultural and administrative region in the north-west of France. Previously a kingdom and then a duchy, Brittany was united to the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province. Brittany has also been referred to as Less, Lesser or Little Britain...

, where most French canneries remain. The area is known as the place where sardine canning was invented. Douarnenez was the world's leading sardine exporter in the 19th century. The sardines are fried, dried, and then canned (this traditional process is labelled préparées à l'ancienne), whereas in most other countries, processing consists of steam cooking after canning.

India

The sardine is a favorite food of the Keralites
Malayali
Malayali is the term used to refer to the native speakers of Malayalam, originating from the Indian state of Kerala...

 and the people of Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh , is one of the 28 states of India, situated on the southeastern coast of India. It is India's fourth largest state by area and fifth largest by population. Its capital and largest city by population is Hyderabad.The total GDP of Andhra Pradesh is $100 billion and is ranked third...

, Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

 and coastal Karnataka
Karnataka
Karnataka , the land of the Kannadigas, is a state in South West India. It was created on 1 November 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act and this day is annually celebrated as Karnataka Rajyotsava...

. The fish is typically eaten fresh, and canned sardines are not popular. Fried sardines are a much sought-after delicacy. They are called mathi (Malayalam: മത്തി) or chalai (Malayalam: ചാള) in Tamil Nadu and Kerala
Kerala
or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions....

. In Andhra Pradesh they are called "Kavallu" amongst the fishing community. People from coastal Karnataka call them pedvo or bhootai. Sardines are cheaper in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 than larger fish like seer
Seer fish
Seer fish refers to a subfamily of the Scombridae or Mackerel family. Seerfishes include such species as:* Indo-Pacific king mackerel, Scomberomorus guttatus* Streaked Spanish mackerel, Scomberomorus lineolatus...

 or pomfret
Pomfret
Pomfret are perciform fishes belonging to the family Bramidae.They are found in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans, and the largest species, the Atlantic pomfret, Brama brama, grows up to long....

, making them a low cost delicacy. They are consumed in various forms, including deep-fried and pan-fried preparations, or made into curries
Curry
Curry is a generic description used throughout Western culture to describe a variety of dishes from Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Thai or other Southeast Asian cuisines...

 of various types.

Morocco

Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 is the largest canned sardine exporter in the world and the leading supplier of sardines to the European market. Sardines represent more than 62% of the Moroccan fish catch and account for 91% of raw material usage in the domestic canning industry. Some 600,000 tonnes of fresh sardines are processed each year by the industry. Famous Moroccan recipes include Moroccan fried stuffed sardines and Moroccan sardine balls in spicy tomato sauce.

Norway

Until the discovery of oil fields
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 in the fishing areas, sardine canning was the main activity of the city of Stavanger
Stavanger
Stavanger is a city and municipality in the county of Rogaland, Norway.Stavanger municipality has a population of 126,469. There are 197,852 people living in the Stavanger conurbation, making Stavanger the fourth largest city, but the third largest urban area, in Norway...

. Today, only a sardine museum remains among the refineries in Stavanger.

Peru

Peru has a long history of direct human consumption of Engraulis ringens and other sardines, reaching into ancient cultures, including Chimú culture
Chimú Culture
The Chimú were the residents of Chimor, with its capital at the city of Chan Chan, a large adobe city in the Moche Valley of present-day Trujillo, Peru. The culture arose about 900 AD. The Inca ruler Tupac Inca Yupanqui led a campaign which conquered the Chimú around 1470 AD,.This was just fifty...

, Paracas culture
Paracas culture
The Paracas culture was an important Andean society between approximately 800 BCE and 100 BCE, with an extensive knowledge of irrigation and water management. It developed in the Paracas Peninsula, located in what today is the Paracas District of the Pisco Province in the Ica Region...

, Pachacamac
Pachacamac
The temple of Pachacamac is an archaeological site 40 km southeast of Lima, Peru in the Valley of the Lurín River. Most of the common buildings and temples were built c...

, and most importantly the oldest known civilization in the Americas, the Caral-Supe civilization, which was based almost completely on E. ringens consumption. Nonetheless, since the 1950s the overwhelming destination for captured E. ringens (anchoveta or Peruvian sardine) has been as the principal input for reduction fishery in the production of fishmeal and fish oil
Fish oil
Fish oil is oil derived from the tissues of oily fish. Fish oils contain the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid , and docosahexaenoic acid , precursors of certain eicosanoids that are known to reduce inflammation throughout the body, and are thought to have many health benefits.Fish do not...

, with minuscule quantities destined for direct human consumption. Due to a combination of environmental and regulatory effects, since 2000, the Peruvian catch has ranged from 9.58 million metric tons (MT) to a low of 5.35 million MT, with the reported 2009 catch concluding at 5.35 million MT. E. ringens - Catch 2000-2009 (Spanish) In recent years, direct human consumption (local and for export) has reached approximately 110,000 MT (about 2% of catch) due to evangelical promotion of health, environmental, and economic benefits, such as Mistura 2010, coupled with government and NGO activities, e.g. www.anchoveta.info, and private sector offers from local supermarkets.

Portugal

Sardines play an important role in Portuguese culture
Culture of Portugal
The culture of Portugal is the result of a complex flow of different civilizations during the past Millennia. From prehistoric cultures, to its Pre-Roman civilizations , passing through its contacts with the Phoenician-Carthaginian world, the Roman period , the...

. Historically a people who depend heavily on the sea for food and commerce, the Portuguese have a predilection for fish in their popular festivities. The most important is Saint Anthony
Anthony of Padua
Anthony of Padua or Anthony of Lisbon, O.F.M., was a Portuguese Catholic priest and friar of the Franciscan Order. Though he died in Padua, Italy, he was born to a wealthy family in Lisbon, Portugal, which is where he was raised...

's day, June 13, when Portugal's biggest popular festival takes place in Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

, where grilled sardines are the snack of choice. Almost every place in Portugal, from Figueira da Foz
Figueira da Foz
Figueira da Foz , also known as Figueira for short, is a municipality in the Coimbra District, in Portugal. It is located at the mouth of the Mondego River, 40 km west of Coimbra, and sheltered by hills ....

 to Portalegre, from Póvoa de Varzim
Póvoa de Varzim
Póvoa de Varzim is a Portuguese city in the Norte Region and sub-region of Greater Porto, with a 2011 estimated population of 63,364. According to the 2001 census, there were 63,470 inhabitants with 42,396 living in the city proper. The urban area expanded, southwards, to Vila do Conde, and there...

 to Olhão
Olhão
Olhão , or Olhão da Restauração, is a city and a municipality in the Algarve region, in Southern Portugal. It is located near Faro, which is the district's capital and the capital of the Algarve. It is mostly a fishing port city...

, has the summertime tradition of eating grilled sardines (sardinhas grelhadas).

Spain

In the Timanfaya Volcanic National Park on Lanzarote
Lanzarote
Lanzarote , a Spanish island, is the easternmost of the autonomous Canary Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 125 km off the coast of Africa and 1,000 km from the Iberian Peninsula. Covering 845.9 km2, it stands as the fourth largest of the islands...

 in the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
The Canary Islands , also known as the Canaries , is a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. The Canaries are a Spanish autonomous community and an outermost region of the European Union...

, a popular tourist snack is freshly caught sardines grilled over the heat from a volcanic vent. On the Atlantic coast, fried sardines are commonly served as tapas
Tapas
Tapas are a wide variety of appetizers, or snacks, in Spanish cuisine. They may be cold or warm ....

 with drinks or as the first course of a meal. On the Mediterranean coast, grilling is more common.

Turkey

Sardines (sardalya in Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

), a delicacy in Turkish cuisine, are very commonly found in fish markets throughout coastal western regions of Turkey. They are generally prepared grilled or steamed in ovens, most commonly served as a main course alongside alcoholic beverages, most notably rakı
Raki
-Alcoholic beverages:*Rakı, an anise-flavored spirit popular in Turkey*Any anise-flavored drink.-Fictional characters:*Raki, a character in the manga/anime series Claymore*Raki, a character in the game Ar tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica...

, the archetypal Turkish liqueur. Particularly in the Gallipoli peninsula (Turkish: Gelibolu
Gelibolu
Gelibolu, also known as Gallipoli , is the name of a town and a district in Çanakkale Province of the Marmara region, located in Eastern Thrace in the European part of Turkey on the southern shore of the peninsula named after it on the Dardanelles strait, two miles away from Lapseki on the other...

 Yarımadası
) and in Aegean region of Turkey, sardines are oven-cooked rolled in grape leaves.

United Kingdom

See also Fishing in Cornwall
Fishing in Cornwall
Fishing in Cornwall has traditionally been one of the main elements of the economy. Pilchard fishing and processing was a thriving industry in Cornwall from around 1750 to around 1880, after which it went into an almost terminal decline. During the 20th century the varieties of fish taken became...



Pilchard fishing and processing was a thriving industry in Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

 from around 1750 to around 1880, after which it went into an almost terminal decline. However, as of 2007, stocks are improving. Since 1997, sardines from Cornwall have been sold as "Cornish sardines", and since March 2010, under EU law, Cornish sardines have Protected Geographical Status
Protected Geographical Status
Protected Geographical Status is a legal framework defined in European Union law to protect the names of regional foods. Protected Designation of Origin , Protected Geographical Indication and Traditional Speciality Guaranteed are distinct regimes of geographical indications within the framework...

.

The industry has featured in numerous works of art, particularly by Stanhope Forbes
Stanhope Forbes
Stanhope Alexander Forbes R.A., , was an artist and member of the influential Newlyn school of painters...

 and other Newlyn School
Newlyn School
The Newlyn School is a term used to describe an art colony of artists based in or near to Newlyn, a fishing village adjacent to Penzance, Cornwall, from the 1880s until the early 20th century. The establishment of the Newlyn School was reminiscent of the Barbizon School in France, where artists...

 artists. A traditional Cornish pilchard dish is stargazy pie
Stargazy pie
Stargazy pie is a Cornish dish made of baked pilchards, along with eggs and potatoes, covered with a pastry crust. Although there are a few variations with different fish being used, the unique feature of stargazy pie is fish heads protruding through the crust, so that they appear to be gazing...

.

United States

In the United States, the sardine canning industry peaked in the 1950s. Since then, the industry has been on the decline. The last large sardine cannery in the United States, the Stinson Seafood plant in Prospect Harbor
Prospect Harbor
Prospect Harbor is a bay in Gouldsboro, Maine. It is also the name of one of the villages in Gouldsboro. It is separated from Gouldsboro Bay to the northeast by Cranberry Point and from Winter Harbor to the west by the Schoodic Peninsula....

, Maine
Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

, closed its doors on April 15, 2010 after 135 years in operation.

External links

  • Sardines - Seafood Watch
    Seafood Watch
    Seafood Watch is one of the best known sustainable seafood advisory lists, and has influenced similar programs around the world. It is a program designed to raise consumer awareness about the importance of buying seafood from sustainable sources...

    , Monterey Bay Aquarium
    Monterey Bay Aquarium
    The Monterey Bay Aquarium is located on the former site of a sardine cannery on Cannery Row of the Pacific Ocean shoreline in Monterey, California. It has an annual attendance of 1.8 million visitors. It holds thousands of plants and animals, representing 623 separate named species on display...

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