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Recently on the dadamo Forum, the question was posed, "Are there any Beneficials you dislike?" And I responded, "Yes: Sardines."
Well, this afternoon I gave 'em the ol' college try. I took the advice of sardine-lovers on the Forum and made Sardine Patties in the frying pan. Here's how:
First, I was using pre-skinned and -boned sardines that had been tinned in olive oil. I drained off the oil, and mashed the sardines with sautéed onion and garlic, bread crumbs, raw egg, and minced parsley. I formed them into seven little patties and fried them in just a bit of olive oil. After cooking them on both sides, I tasted them and found them pretty vile, so I decided to add some lemon juice to the pan; when that didn't help, I added white wine.
I hate to tell you, folks, but I still didn't like them. I used a lemon mayonnaise as a dipping sauce, too, which over-lemonified the flavor. I managed to force down 2-1/2 of these patties because I was ravenous, but a few cubes of ice-cold watermelon were the necessary chaser here.
I'm reminded of a magazine cartoon a friend had affixed to the organic brown rice bin in her little grocery 20+ years ago: A Japanese family of Mom, Dad, little boy and little girl is seated on pillows, around a very low table laden with dinner. The Mom is sternly telling the children, "Eat your brown rice; think of all those children in the United States having to eat junk food!"
For my younger readers, that's a parody of what the picky eaters of my generation grew up hearing at table: "There are children starving in Europe" (Indeed, the friend of whose store and rice bin I write had been one of those starving children, in Germany. Grew up on potatoes; ate her first banana at age 16..., but I digress). Maybe a starving European child would go in for the sardine cakes I made this afternoon, but, I confess, they'll only be as good as their camouflage, as far as I'm concerned.
I really enjoy fish, as a rule. But there's a certain foulness about the smell and taste, constituting the difference, for me, between the clean aroma of grilling fresh wild-caught salmon and that of the "farmed" stuff which reeks royally, to my palate. Even the house stinks when this latter type of salmon sneaks its way into my pan, as it stinks this evening. People who like sardines also tend, it seems, to like other tinned fish with bones, as well as the skin of most fishes. I decidedly do not.
I might continue to fight the "Listen To Your Body" crowd, who'd state that my aversion to these little fishies is Right For Me, until I'm convinced there's just no way to do this; I have a feeling there might be one. I never liked anchovies per se, but Caesar salad dressing just isn't as good without a hint of their splendid essence informing it..."Avoid" though it be.
Before I entirely throw in the towel on this one, I have an idea or two for additional experiments. Yours are welcome, too.
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