Friday, April 16, 2010

Canned Sardines In A Tight Fix

Packed like sardines! Sardines are for the poor! Tiny as sardines! All idioms that have leaked into our local jargon, all referring to the much-derided (because of its smell) but nutritious canned sardines that were quite a common fare during my youth. A youth spent in a developing archipelagic country where fish was a default part of diet. But now here in the US a canned food item typically relegated to share shelf space with other unpopular menu items in discount and warehouse stores. Or in some rarely visited sections of the many upscale urban grocery chains.

This little bit of news the other day continues to signal the continual decline of the canned sardines:

Production at Maine canneries has been sliding since peaking at 384 million cans in 1950. Faced with declining demand and a changing business climate, the plants went by the wayside one by one until, five years ago, the Stinson plant was the last one standing. Last year it produced 30 million cans.

Blame it on the changing palates of consumers bringing about declining demands for production. And in a significant way, blame it on the new kid on the block, the tuna, which has gained acceptance for most people of all economic status, shabbily pushing aside the rather very fishy smell of sardines.

A product which was so commonly part of our diet is slowly dropping by the wayside, and yet we know so little about it – like what kind of fish is typically used. Most would know that the typical fish variety used is related to the herring, but less would know that there are many species, about 21, that could be referred to as sardines. Or that among the knowledgeable sardines are called pilchards. Or that the name sardines was given because many of them could be found around the island of Sardinia. Here, learn more.

Regardless, canned sardines had and will continue to have a well-deserved place in this writer’s frugal diet. Opening our cupboards would reveal several flat tincans of different brands, all claiming to be sardines or wannabe sardines. Why just yesterday, I pulled and rolled one can, emptied all the contents to a deep saucer and added butter/margarine. Crushed and mixed all of it thoroughly and made it the filling of a sandwich in a bun. Yummy!

If so inclined, here’s a link that will provide one with ideas on what to add to the drab or unglamourous contents of your can of sardines.

Enjoy a very cheap (usually way under a dollar per 4oz can ) snack or meal that should give one some points toward a more healthful and satisfying diet.


  1. My apologies for being out-of-place. I just would like to establish awareness.

    Do consider
    5. Dr. Martin Bautista
    for the next elections obviously (a senatorial candidate of Liberal Party). He’s a 47-year-old gastroenterologist in the US who came home after 17 years. You can see from his background that he truly means service. For those who find him to be a hypocrite for working abroad, do understand he’s a family man who needs to sustain his family, that he will be able to keep his independence by not relying on public funds to support his family. He helps his countrymen in his capacity but it’s just not enough for there are millions of Filipinos. And as proof of his sincerity, he didn’t renounce his citizenship nor became a dual citizen even if he was long eligible. He’s able to work in the US by being a legalized alien instead. It’s a good start in Philippine Politics to have him around.
    He used to be with the 'Ang Kapatiran' party but because of internal conflicts, he's now with Liberal Party. But allow me to discuss this Ang Kapatiran party.
    The BIG DIFFERENCE is the ‘Ang Kapatiran’ party is God-centered. There is no lesser-evil component. Its members will be disciplined by its own party should they stray from its code of ethics. They promised to restore what a true public servant means: to serve the public and not make it as a means of livelihood.
    Below are the lists of Senatoriables of the Ang Kapatiran:

    11 Rizalito David
    21 Jo Imbong
    43 Zosimo Paredes
    45 Maria Gracia Rinoza-Plazo
    52 Adrian Sison
    55 Reginald Tamayo
    56 Hector Tarrazona
    59 Manuel Valdehuesa

    You will be able to gauge Dr. Martin Bautista's intelligence by reading the articles he posts in his website here:
    I urge you to INFORM BY E-MAIL/TEXT/INFORM all your contacts about them. I believe they only lack exposure that’s why I’m doing this. But I can’t do it alone so I’m appealing to everyone’s help. If all will inform their contacts about them and urge them as well to forward, we might hit millions.
    We cannot afford to be indifferent now if we want meaningful change. Otherwise we only have ourselves to blame. BUT TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

  2. Also, in case you don't have party list yet to vote... you may want to consider ABA.
    Spread the news and make ABA known to our extended families, relatives and friends. ABA is

    Alyansang Bayanihan ng mga Magsasaka, Manggagawang-Bukid at Mangingisda

    ABA is a pro-people, pro-life and pro-family party list. The Catholic church supports ABA.
    ABA is an alliance of groups that represent the rural poor, the urban poor, and the traditional natural family.

    The nominees of ABA are:
    1. 2009-10 party list representative Leonardo Montemayor
    2. former ABA party list representative Dioscoro Granada
    3. JOSE NEBRAO - founding member/president of Serve Life, founding member/vice-president for Task Force for Family and Life, Proponent of Organic Farming and Small Agri-based Business,
    4. Jose Morales
    5. Atty. Makilito Mahinay

    ABA has been advancing and advocating the following legislations and housing policy reforms within and outside of the halls of Philippine Congress. These are:

    • Legislation: Exemptions for cooperatives from EVAT; extension of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program; strengthening of the Crop Insurance Program; Agricultural and Fisheries Modernization Act; Party List Act; Comprehensive Integrated Shelter Financing Act; Indigenous Peoples Rights Act; Fisheries Code; and the Safeguard Measures Act.
    • Housing policy reforms: fast-tracking the identification of government lands for social housing projects thru Presidential proclamations; and the just and humane eviction of squatters through EO 152.
    • Other advocacies: the creation of a congressional commission on the strengthening of the Filipino Family; the creation of the Omnibus Human Resource Development policy; and the promotion of bio-organic farming.

    Here are some priority measures of ABA in Congress:

    • To formulate new laws for: a National Land and Water Use Policy; a Magna Carta for the Urban Poor; and the creation of a Department of Housing.
    • To properly implement Agrarian, Urban Land, and Natural Resources Reforms so as to attain the true benefits to the people.
    • To strengthen: Sustainable Agricultural Modernization; the Cooperative sector; the micro-finance system; organic agriculture and community-based watershed/forest management programs; and the Party-List system.
    • To work for the early recovery and proper use of the coconut levy funds.
    • To nurture a Culture of Life and reject the death penalty, euthanasia, abortion, and radical fertility control; to defend the natural family as society’s primary unit and oppose divorce and same-sex marriage; and to preserve the primacy of the family in the rearing and education of its own children in all matters.


Welcome. Your comments are appreciated.