Wednesday, February 06, 2008

About Those Sardines...

Another tale of a frugal meal attempt: it actually starts out with some pork chops, but stay with me...

I've had some pork chops in the freezer for a while-- I bought a large package a month or two ago, ate some right away and froze the rest, thinking I'd pull them out later for a cheap, easy meal. Well, yesterday morning I took them out and put them in the fridge to thaw. When I got home at about 8pm and went to cook them, they were still semi-frozen. I microwaved them briefly to try to defrost them further, but this made them take on a weird greenish color, and they smelled a bit odd. Who knows, maybe they were fine, but it skeeved me out too much to actually eat them. I think I have decided that freezing meat is actually NOT a frugal choice for me!

Anyway, that left me with just a salad and a baked sweet potato, which didn't seem like quite enough dinner. "Aha!" I thought. "I'll eat those sardines so I can report back to all my curious readers!"

I opened them up, while marveling once again at the $7.99 price tag. Inside, there was a little slice of lemon atop the sardines, giving them a nice smell. But the minute I looked at the fish themselves, which were large and rather shiny, I thought "oh no." One thing I forgot when I was all like "ooh, j'aime toutes les choses françaises" was that whenever I've had sardines in Europe, they haven't been the skinless and boneless kind you can get here. And I find it a bit gross to have to consider either crunching through and swallowing a sardine spine or surgically removing it.

Anyway, I did do the surgery and eat the sardines sans spines, and they were actually quite tasty! I ate them just as they were, without any toast or anything. With my usual sardines, I find that I want the nice buttery toast to go with them, as they can seem a bit dry otherwise (avocado can be another nice addition).

Here's some photos I took, at the risk of getting sardine oil all over my Treo:


Yes, that is a dissected sardine spine at about 7 o'clock on the plate. Ugh.
And here's the tin that started it all, about to be washed:


The can is rather jolie, don't you think?

Out of curiosity, I did a little research and discovered the website of the French company that makes these sardines. (They offer a variety of other products including rillettes, Breton fish soup, and the intriguing "vegetable glass casings for toast.") They seem to sell the sardines direct to consumers online, at €14.50 for a box of 5 tins. That is a lot less per tin than I paid, but who knows how much they'd charge to ship to the US, if they even do it at all.

Final verdict: good sardines, cute can, but I don't think I'll be spending $8 on them again.

7 comments:

RacerX said...

It is OK to "Splurge" on yourself every once in awhile.

But most don't do it with Sardines!...them again most don't have a $350K net worth...hmm! I wonder if there is a connection

VixenOnABudget said...

Hm. Oddly enough. I still want to try them.

SMB said...

Thank you for reporting back! :)

SandyVoice said...

Adorable!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...I'm surprised the pork chops didn't freeze/thaw well. Did you wrap it in saran wrap and pop it in a freezer bag? I freeze meat all the time (both raw and cooked) and find its a great way to stretch your dollar by buying in bulk. I would have pulled it out the night before, so it had almost a full 24 hours to defrost in the fridge. Only other thing I can think of is maybe your freezer temperature is off?

English Major said...

For future reference, the way to speed up the thawing process is to run the frozen thing under cold water (sounds weird, but it works, and there's some thermodynamic reason for it, too).

Future Millionaire said...

For some reason the microwave always does something wrong to meat. I freeze meat all of the time because I only buy it when on sale and never have any problems unless I microwave it to de-thaw.