5 things you should know about tinned sardines
A delicacy that’s both simple and delicious, the sardine, together with tuna and mackerel, is part of the most popular tinned fish in France. And for good reason! As high in flavour as in nutrients and easy to store, it is an essential ingredient of our aperitifs and impromptu meals. Benefits, manufacture and recipe ideas… learn from our guide how best to consume them regularly.
Which are the main manufacturing stages for tinned sardines?
In France, sardines are generally fished between May and November, during which period they are particularly abundant. Sorted on their arrival in port according to size and quality, they are then plunged into a brine bath to both clean them and firm their flesh, before they are gutted. Dried and then grilled or fried in oil, they are finally tinned. During sterilisation of the preserve, the sardines are given a final cook.
The sauces, brine and oil in which they are conserved until they are eaten play a major role in the development of their flavours. Some manufacturers choose them with great care, for example by favouring extra virgin olive oil.
What are their main benefits?
The sardine is a particularly surprising fish, its small size not always a guide to its great benefits!
Belonging to the family of fatty fish, sardine is high in omega-3, one of the fatty acids that contributes to good vascular and nervous system function and that also helps to boost our immune system. Abounding in vitamins B & D, it is also an excellent source of iron, phosphorus and selenium with antioxidant properties. It also possesses a notable concentration of complete proteins, making our meals more satisfying.
What are the characteristics of vintage sardines?
Highly appreciated by experts, vintage sardines can be recognised by their fondant texture on the palate. Although they are excellent from the first year, the vintage conserves improve with time. “We recommend tasting them within the 10 years, while turning over the box every 6 months for a better impregnation. The optimal tasting period ranges between 6 and 18 months maturation” explains Rödel.
L’art de sublimer la sardine : notre sélection de maisons à découvrir
4) The art of sublime sardines: our selection of the best manufacturers to discover - Rödel: historic sardine cannery, since 1824 Rödel has developed undeniable expertise in the preparation of tinned fish. Its original recipes are particularly appreciated, cooked with various herbs, like sardines with green peppercorns, with spiced tomato, or aromatised with achar and truffle tuber brumale. - La Guildive: fished in the Atlantic, Guildive sardines are mainly seasoned with selected ingredients, such as its sardines with organic extra virgin olive oil. A wide, efficient range, careful to offer the best seafood produce every day. - Jose gourmet: this young Portuguese company prepares its conserves by a pre-cooking method, with fresh fish from the Atlantic coast. We appreciate its simple recipes and colourful packaging by Portuguese artists. - La Grande Épicerie de Paris: fished in the north-east Atlantic, La Grande Épicerie de Paris sardines are prepared according to traditional expertise, transmitted from generation to generation. Discover our wide range, between spicy sardines, with a touch of Espelette chilli, or boneless !
Recipe ideas: how to cook them every day?
Very flavoursome, sardines are delicious served simply on a slice of toast with a hint of lemon juice. A simple, fine delicacy with numerous possible variations. For example, try varying textures. The sardines can be worked with cream to decorate your Aperitif glasses or in slivers, to perk up a summer vegetable cake. You can also use them as a garnish, to make croquettes or fish samosas, accompanied by a lovely mixed salad. Start now with our recipe of the month, in four simple steps.
Method: 20 min. cook time: 15 to 20 min. Ingredients for 12 samosas:
- 1 tin of sardines in oil
- 1/2 lemon confit
- 1/2 bunch of chives
- 50 g pine nuts
- 12 sheets of filo pastry
- 150 g fresh cheese to spread
- juice and zest of 1/2 organic, untreated lemon
- 20 g melted butter
- salt, ground pepper
1) Preheat the oven to 200°C (th. 6-7). Drain the sardines and chop coarsely. Finely chop the chives. Cut the lemon confit into small cubes.
2) Roast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan until golden. In a bowl, mix the sardines, chives, lemon confit, pine nuts, fresh cheese, lemon juice and zest. Add salt and pepper.
3) Cut the filo pastry sheets in half and fold to make strips of approximately 5 cm of width. Deposit a large spoon of mixture at the end of a strip, then fold it on itself to make a triangle. Fold the triangle back on itself to the end of the strip, then glue the end together by brushing it with a little water. Do this with each sheet of filo pastry until there is no more sardine mixture.
4) Place the samosas on a plate covered with greaseproof paper then brush with melted butter. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, the samosas should be well browned. Serve hot or cold.