Yesterday when I was in bed feeling dire with the lurgy (I still don’t feel tip-top today but I made it to work for half a day before working from home) I watched the whole series to date of Food Unwrapped as I rested. I love finding out weird facts about food, and I believe it’s important to know where our produce comes from. Some bits made me feel queasy, whilst others were simply fascinating.
On top of finding out that beetles are behind the red colouring in chorizo, and about the dangers of cashew nut shells, the programme talked about a little unknown fact about the simple sardine – I thought I’d share this with you.
Up until a year ago I didn’t eat sardines. I’m a bit iffy when it comes to fish, however Dan introduced me to them on toast [with ketchup] and I haven’t looked back. They’re pretty cheap and ready to eat – for some reason I saw them as a convenience food, something slightly un-nutritious to set you up for the day. But I was wrong. Very wrong.
On Food Unwrapped, they found out that tinned sardines are nutritionally better for us than fresh ones. This is due to the fact that when they are steamed and treated, the bones of the fish soften enough for us to be able to eat them too. This adds calcium to the mix (something my doctor has told me I’m low on at the moment), in addition to iron and other essential vitamins and minerals.
Even better, they last and last and last. At a sardine emporium in Lisburn, Portugal (not too far from where most of the world’s sardines are farmed), they have tins dating back 12 years. Apparently the older they are, the better they taste. I’ve now put this little Portuguese shop on my foodie bucket list of places to visit before I die.
So there you have it – tinned sardines are bloody brilliant for the body. It’s safe to say that I’ll be munching my way through a few (if I can stomach them) whilst my body is fighting this virus, in the hope that they can get me better, quicker!
I’ll be blogging a quick and easy sardine recipe next week.
Hayley Jayne xx