National Sardines Day is observed annually on November 24.
Sardines are several types of small, oily fish, related to herrings. Most commonly served in cans, fresh sardines are also often grilled, pickled or smoked. When canned, they can be packed in water, olive, sunflower or soybean oil or tomato, chili or mustard sauce.
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. Since the industry’s peak, it has been on the decline. 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.
Sardine’s are one of the main ingredients in “Gentleman’s Relish” a popular sardine based spread used in England for many dishes, or just served up on buttered bread.
Sardines are the most plentiful, edible fish in the world.
The main ingredient in Worcestershire sauce is fermented sardines.
The Guinness world record for “most seafood prepared at an outdoor event” was 14,000 pounds of sardines at a 2010 festival in Setúbal, Portugal.
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History has a 14-karat gold sardine can in its collection, enhanced with 55 Russian diamonds, by gemstone artist Sidney Mobell.
In 1989, in Ipswich, Australia, about 800 sardines fell from the sky onto a couple’s lawn during a light rain.
The expression “packed like sardines” was first recorded in 1911 in the letters of English poet Wilfred Owen.
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