SEPTEMBER - SEASONAL FISH OF THE MONTH - SARDINEFor a County that's fishing tradition was built on catching millions of tonnes of pilchards, or Cornish Sardines as they are now known, we eat relatively few of this abundant and healthy fish. Even stranger is the number of people who rave about eating barbequed sardines on the quayside, fresh from the boat, while on holiday in France, Spain or Portugal - but do not eat them on their doorstep when they return home!
Sardine (pilchard) fishing has been recorded in Cornish history back to 1555 and was probably going on way before that time. Back then the sardines were caught with a several boats using a seine net being directed from the cliff-top by a ‘huer'. Today, although the huers have given way to modern sonars, the methods used are much the same. Visit ports like Mevagissey and Newlyn just before dusk and you can still see small boats setting sail just before dusk to fish with ring-nets and drift-nets. The fishery is also very much in revival with landings increasing from less than 10 tonnes 7 years ago to over 600 tonnes in 2004. The stock too is in very good shape with the latest estimated stock size being over 600,000 tonnes.
In common with other pelagic fishlike herring and mackerel, sardines are brimming with Omega-3-oils which are now known to be so good for the heart and joints. Nowadays the Cornish Sardine is best known as a BBQ special for an Autumn evening, it is truly versatile and still available salted, while many older fishermen will still swear on a ‘malioes' or sardines marinated with bay leaves and vinegar - cooked until the bones are soft and enjoyed with a hunk of bread, what could be better?
As recommended by Seafood Cornwall
September - Fresh Fish & Shell Fish in SeasonMore fresh fish and shell fish in season:
|Bream|| Hake ||Mackerel |
|Megrim Sole||Monk Fish ||Plaice |