November 24th recognizes these silver little fishes on National Sardines Day. They may not swim right up to your plate, but they sure do pack in the flavor.
- The term sardine was first used in English during the beginning of the 15th century, possibly coming from the Mediterranean island of Sardinia where there was an abundance of sardines.
- Sardines are a great source of vitamins and minerals.
- Relative to other fish commonly eaten by humans, sardines are very low in contaminants, such as mercury.
- Sardine oil is used in the manufacturing of paint, varnish and linoleum.
- The sardine canning industry peaked in the United States in the 1950s. The Stinson Seafood plant in Prospect Harbor, Maine, which was the last large sardine cannery in the United States, closed its doors on April 15, 2010, after 135 years in operation.
- Sardines live short lives, and grow quite quickly. They can reach a length of about 23cm (9 inches) in two years.
- Sardines are the most plentiful, edible fish in the world
- The main ingredient in Worcestershire sauce is fermented sardines.
- The original ‘secret’ ingredient in Caesar Salad is crushed sardines.
- Though sardines have always existed, credit for their discovery goes to Napoleon Bonaparte, who gave it immense popularity. It was he who started the idea of producing canned sardines.
- Spain, France, Portugal and Norway are the major producers of this fish, rich in oil. However, the largest percentage of the world’s sardines come from Morocco, a leading exporter and supplier of these salt water fish.
- Sardines help Reduce the Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition that is commonly seen among people age 50 or more Macular and retinal degeneration over the years results in loss of vision.
- Sardines are wonderful source of omega-3 fatty acids which is quite helpful for preventing heart diseases.
- Sardines are an excellent source of EPA and DHA, which are two fatty acids that studies show the body, uses to reduce inflammation.
- A Herring, also known as an older and bigger Sardine, is eaten either pickled and fermented or raw. Now a Kipper, is whole herring that is lightly smoked and split into a butterfly cut. Finally, a Sprat is a Sardine that is smoked for about 3 hours.
- The manner in which sardines can be packed in a can has led to the popular English language saying “packed like sardines”, which is used metaphorically to describe situations where people or objects are crowded closely together. The phrase is recorded from 1911.