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What to eat with four year old sardines?

I've been aging two cans of Connetable sardines for about four years
- Filets de Sardines Bretonnes in extra virgin olive oil
- A red can that just says "sardines" also in evoo

Here's links to more info about aged sardines. One of the links says "Once they age, the flavors meld and become more complex, almost a non-fish thing, very nutty, deep, and enthralling"

I'm planning to pick up a can of non-aged sardines to compare. Since there are no Connetable sardines locally, I'm going with my favorite sardine as the can to compare ... Angelo Parodi. I want to see how the best for my tastes holds up to the aged version.

Anyway, right now i'm thinking sardines on lettuce with tomatoes and either a side of good dark bread or saltines. Any other suggestions?

I'm moving and my stuff is going in storage for a couple of months. I figure in a storage space that isn't temperature controlled, the sardines may suffer. So I'm breaking into the cans soon.

Anyone with alcoholic drink suggestions post here

What to drink with four year old sardines?

What to drink with four year old sardines?

I'll report back on how they taste.

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  1. I wouldn't eat anything with the sardines besides some toasted crusty bread, like Acme levain, or real pumpernickel vollkornbrot, or rye crackers. I might have some sour cream and raw onion handy just in case.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rworange

      If you want to round out a meal without cooking, swing by Spanish Table and get some other picnic-type goodies--olives, cheese, sausage. Maybe check out Indus Foods a block away, get some hot ajvar.

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Great suggestion. This being Lent and all, I probably wouldn't get sausage as I plan to eat these Friday. I hope they have suggestios for a good cheese. Maybe I'll drop by Cheeseboard.

        Really cool. Now I'm really up for this little eating event.

      1. Someone sent me this link to a great blog about sardines. I’ve referred to this blog many times on Chowhound but forgot the blogger pairs food and beverages with each can of sardines. Here’s some ideas from that site

        The pairing of Kalamata olive sourdough and blue cheese sounds great. Since I live in the same area as the blogger, I know where to get that bread

        Other stuff tried
        - rice, sea salad, edemame, wasabi, ginger, Sriracha, roasted green peas, the Natori dried sardines
        - Camembert de caractere from Normandy... too strong
        - Green Onion Blinis, TJ's herb salad, olives, cornichons, a horseradish creme sauce, and Perro Negro Holiday Sauce
        - dark rye, a bit of sour cream, and some roasted up olives
        - Kerrygold Pure Irish cheese
        - Straun Harvest Bread from Brother Juniper's bakery
        - Mestemacher rye bread, Hengstenberg cornichons, Hengstenberg sweet mustard, and a ramakin of horseradish cream
        - pickled peppers, some aged cheddar and salami
        - Monterey Jack Cheese and EL Pato Salsa Picante de Chile Jalapeno
        - Jarlsberg cheese and Kavli Crispybread
        - queso fresca, tortillas, Gamesa saladitas, La Costeña rajas de chiles jalapeños en escabeche, Salsa Huichol picante and Lol-Tun salsa e chile habanero.
        - Sopresetta, foccaccia, a two-year-old cheddar

        Some of these items were country themed ...Mexican sardines with tortillas and queso fresca. Norwegien sardines with Norwegien food and beer

        What I got out of all of this is a direction for my sardine dinner scavanger hunting today. Off to the market

        3 Replies
        1. re: rworange

          Camembert with sardines, that's a bad idea. Otherwise all sounds pretty good.

          1. I got carried away shopping. What started out as a one person sardine soiree has developed into a two person event.

            Most of this will be tastes of cheese, olives and bread to see how they pair with the sardines. Still, I see a lot of sardine dishes in my immediate future. I’m thinking sardine banh mi tomorrow.

            The majority of the liquor is from Trader Joe’s. The IPA’s are from Raley’s

            I’ll report back tomorrow on how this went


            THE SARDINES

            Connetable aged (4 yrs) Filets de Sardines Bretonnes in extra virgin olive oil
            Connetable aged (4 yrs) Sardines Huile d'Olive vierge extra, Douarnenez, Bretagne
            Angelo Parodi sardines in olive oil (Italy)
            Angelo Parodi sardines in olive oil with chili peppers


            Espiral vinho verde
            Trader Joe-san sparkling sake
            Tierra Brisa Malbec. 2008 Argentina (I had it in the house)


            TJ’s Simpler Times Pilsner
            Eel River organic I.P.A
            Red Hook Long Hammer I.P.A

            NON ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES (my friend is not much of a drinker)

            TJ’s lemon sparkling water (which is from Crystal Geyser)
            Crystal Geyser Juice Squeeze sparkling blackberry pomegranate


            Sourdough roll, La Farine
            Kalamata Olive Bread, La Farine
            Rustic Rye Batard, La Farine
            Trader Joe’s mini toasts

            THE CHEESES

            Fleur Verte, tarragon herbed French goat cheese
            Societe Roqueforte
            Idiazabelle, sheep, Spain
            Bruderbasil smoked German cheese
            Cotswold, English Glouster with chives
            Neil’s Yard Dairy Montgomery’s Cheddar
            Fromagier D’Affinois, French double cream

            VEGGIES, ETC

            Boiled pink, purple and yellow marble potatoes (Monterrey Market)
            Roasted beets from La Bedaine
            Assorted olives (Cheeseboard, Berkeley)
            Butter lettuce
            Romanita tomatoes


            Lemon tart from La Bedaine

            3 Replies
            1. re: rworange


              While the aged sardines didn’t have the stronger fishy taste of the Angelo Parodi sardines, having never tried the Connetable unaged, it is difficult to say how different they are.

              The Angelo Parodi sardines in olive oil with chili peppers didn’t have a lot … if any … chili flavor, so we put them in the fridge and didn’t use them for the test

              Both of the aged French sardines were stunningly beautiful.


              Lovely skinless, boneless sardines that had a pretty pinkish blush to them. I’m not a fan of skinless/boneless but these were nicer than others I’ve tried.

              The oil however was AMAZING. I was ready to call off the meal and just sit there with that can and cut up bread, dipping the bread into the oil


              Looks 10 taste 4.

              Three medium sardines had the most gorgeous silver skin that almost shimmered like glitter. However, there was an unpleasant, almost plastic taste to this can.

              The TJ’s mini toast and sparkling water served as great palate cleansers between each tasting.

              It turns out that there wasn’t much difference in the way the wine, beer, bread and other food paired. Most things were either good or bad matches across the board. I’ll put that part in the next reply

              1. re: rworange

                FOOD AND WINE PAIRINGS

                One thing that interested me most about the sardine society site was pairing the sardines of a particular country with the canned sardines from that country. Mexican tortillas, cheese and salsa with Mexican canned sardines, for example.

                Since these were French, the French cheeses or food like cornichons or a beet salad from a French bakery, did match particularily well with the French sardines.

                Beer worked best and the light the better, so beer was the drink of the night.

                The sweet sparkling sake was the best of the wines. A sweet wine actually does pair nicely with sardines.

                The malbec was fine, but didn’t add anything. The vinho verde was downright awful. The wine on its own was a good v v. However, paired with the sardines … ugh … undrinkable. That surprised me. I would have guessed that would have been the beverage of the night.

                Bread-wise, the sourdough was the best choice. The olive bread was fine but didn’t add anything.

                The rye was interesting and one of the few things that was different when paired with specific sardines. It toned down the fishiness of the Italian sardines. However, it brought out the fishiness of the French sardines.

                As far as the cheeses, the hard cheeses that I would have guessed would pair best, were only ok and didn’t have any pizzazz taste-wise.. They were the Piave, Idiazabelle and cheddar.

                The herby Fleur Verte didn’t work at all.

                Roquefort was good, but not as good as I would have imagined. Ditto on the Cotswold with chives.

                Surprisingly, the Fromagier D’Affinois, French double cream worked very well. I didn’t really buy this cheese for the meal but for eating another day because it is exquisite. Jt was also a lovely match with the sardines. However, this cheese is so good that I suspect it would make road kill tasty.

                The clear winner of the meal was the Bruderbasil, a smoked German cheese. With a soft texture like Muenster and a beautiful smokiness, it was delicious with the sardines … the French and Germans in loving harmony.

                The marble potatoes, roasted beets, cornichons, olives and romanita tomatoes were all perfect with sardines and they made the plate look pretty.

                The lemon tart was the perfect way to end the evening. It eliminated any traces of fishiness.

                1. re: rworange

                  The sparkling sake, since it was made from grain (rice), is a lot closer to beer than it would be to wine, which is made from fruit (grapes).
                  A very impressive and detailed tasting. Thanks!

            2. Plain steamed Japanese rice & Beer Singha (Thai) or Bier Lao - nothing else

              2 Replies
              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                Yeah, that's sounding pretty good for what i have left.

                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                  Mix w/' mayo and Siriacha and eat on toast, and drink with any good Japanese/American beer.

                2. I'm not sure if you will read this before you leave, but i had to add that your post about sardines helped me find the inner chowhound in my four year old daughter.

                  I had never tried a can of sardines before, but reading about your sardine adventures made me brave enough to buy a tin. I bought a can at safeway just to feel things out, I was a little nervous but opened the can along with a pack of saltines and some hot sauce. Put some on a cracker with a drop of the hot sauce and was pleasantly surprised, I really enjoyed it. My daughter walks in at this point who in general is a great eater and loves fish so I offered her a bite. She LOVED it! I barely got in a few more bites, and had to dip the crackers in the fishy oil at the end for her because she wanted more. She even ate a few bits that while I knew were edible didn't look like it to me. the chowish part came later though after we decided this would be our new snack together. She was very excited to hear that sardines were healthy enough to eat every day. I started explaining to her that there are lots of different kinds and all on her own she says, "Yeah those were good but definitely not the best" How she figured this up I chalk up to a chowhound instinct, or at least I'll tell that to myself! Thanks again RW and hope this time the trip takes off like planned

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: elliora

                    Cool ... and funny. I forget the name but the smoked sardines at Safeway are the best at that market.

                    1. re: elliora

                      I too am a recent "sardine convert"....I'm now in love....
                      I have tried several types now and the ones that stand out to me are a brand called King Oscar, 2 layer - in olive oil....I like the sardines because they are very tiny and not too fishy, and I like the simplicity of the plain olive oil so the fish flavor does stand out.
                      Yummmmm best on unsalted saltines IMO

                      1. Remember that sardines in olive oil taste VERY different from sardines packed in water or other oil (non olive). Olive oil packed sardines already have an interesting, nutty flavor to them. I'll have mine on water biscuits or even triscuits - with milk so cold it almost starts to form ice crystals in it.

                        1. Bread baked with 6-year old yeast. I have a 1-lb package of yeast that old, in a sealed container in my freezer, that still bakes wonderful bread.

                          1. Limburger cheese, pickled onions, deep dark rye or pumpernickel bread with a good crust or water crackers, hot horseradish mustard, lettuce and thinly-sliced ripe tomato.
                            Dark beer. Or good Champagne. : )
                            Hope they were great.