National Sardines Day 2022: History, Significance and Celebrations

National Sardines Day is annually celebrated on November 24th in the United States. This day celebrates and recognizes sardines as popular seafood and also promotes it further. 

Sardines are one of the most abundant, edible fish in the world and are employed for various purposes, including bait, human consumption, fish meal, fish oil, canning, drying, and salting. 

Sardines is already a favorite delicacy ong seafood lovers all across the country especially the ones who lives at the coast. However, sardines are amazingly delicious and that’s why it deserves to celebrated by celebrated by everyone and that’s why we have this day! 

Event National Sardines Day
Date November 24, 2022
Day Thursday
Significance The day celebrates and recognizes Sardines
Observed by United States

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National Sardines Day History: 

The origins of sardines is not clear but it is speculated that sardines have been consumed from a long time by humans in our world even before the beginning of civilizations. During the beginning of the 15th century, the term sardine was used for the first time describing this fish. It came from Sardinia, a Mediterranean Island, which was very rich in sardines. The canned sardine industry reached its peak in the USA during the 1950s. The last sardine cannery in the USA is the Stinson Seafood Plant located in Prospect Harbor in Maine. Unfortunately, it closed its doors on April 15, 2010 after 135 years of operation. 

Canning is a relatively recent innovation in the big picture of history. Up until about two hundred years ago there were no tinned sardines. This changed in the early 19th century. Nicolas Appert, a Frenchman from the Champagne region, started his career as a professional cook. At 31 he moved to Paris, where he set up a confectionery shop and started to experiment with conserving sweets in sugar. According to Sue Shephard, in her book Pickled, Potted and Canned, Appert was “determined to find a way to keep food successfully without spoiling either its flavor or texture.” 

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For decades, French sardines were shipped to North America. But the 1870 Franco-Prussian War interrupted imports and created an opportunity for American entrepreneurs. Commercial canning on the East Coast began in 1875 in Eastport, when a New York-based businessman set up the Eagle Preserved Fish Company. Volumes increased throughout the end of the 19th century, continuing to climb until the middle of the 20th. The fish was actually Atlantic herring, meatier and less tender and probably less flavorful than the pilchards coming from Europe but still good and ever more popular. 

Over the years sardines became the budget food of North America; they were the ramen of the middle of the 20th century, the cheap fare for students and people living on the poverty line. At that time the popularity of sardines were at its peak in the United States. Then in the 1960s and 1970s, the sales of sardines started to slip. Sadly for both sardine lovers and the Maine economy, the last factory in the state called Stinson Seafood in Prospect Harbor was closed down in the spring of 2010.  

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National Sardines Day Significance: 

Sardines are popular fish foods. They are consumed on a regular basis by millions, if not billions, of people all over the world. Though the term sardine may seem to point to only one type of fish, there are actually different varieties of sardines. But one thing common with them is that they all belong to the family of Clupeidae. The chief use of sardines is for human consumption, fish meal is used as animal feed, while sardine oil has many uses, including the manufacture of paint, varnish, and linoleum. 

Though sardines can be bought as is and be made into several kinds of dishes, they are most commonly sold as canned. These sardines are washed, head removed, and then cooked through steam or deep frying. The sardines are then dried and then packed with soybean, olives, sunflower oil, or water. Sometimes, chili sauce, mustard, or tomatoes are added to enhance the flavor. Sardines freshly caught are either smoked, grilled, or pickled. No matter how you consume sardines as they are all very delicious and has a perfect taste in it which is a treat for any seafood lover. 

Sardines actually offers a very diverse varieties as well. As each country has its own culture around how sardines are preserved and cooked. In Croatia, sardines are fried or roasted on a stick; in Greece, they are grilled or cured in salt and olive oil; and in India, they are eaten fresh, fried, or made into various curries. Sardines even have their festivals in Greece, and they are the main delicacy for the Portuguese St. Anthony’s Day. Along with these there are several other varieties of sardine dishes too. 

One popular thing about sardines is how healthy they are because of their vitamins and nutrients content. They are very nutritious. They are rich in vitamins B2, B3, and B12. They also have vitamin D, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, iron, and selenium. They are also known for their omega-3 fatty acid content. These fatty acids are essential to our bodies. However, our bodies cannot produce them naturally. Because they are low in the food chain, sardines are very low in contaminants, such as mercury, relative to other fish commonly eaten by humans. 

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National Sardines Day Celebrations: 

One great idea for your celebration of this day is to indulge yourself into eating delicious sardines for any meal of your day, it can be breakfast, lunch, or dinner. But do remember that since sardines dishes have a huge variety so try to taste different varieties of sardines for the day than your usual one. 

You can also cook your own sardine dish also! As sardine is a versatile fish, so you can prepare it however you want or use it in various dishes. You can decide to roast or deep-fry it, eat it fresh like sushi, or grill it. Try incorporating it into your favorite dishes, including pasta, noodles, tacos, rice, pizza, and toast. This will also serve as a nice way to test your cooking skills too. 

The Maine coastal areas were the very epicenter of the sardine golden era in the United States, between the 1940s and 1960s. While the last cannery closed its doors in 2010, it’s still possible to relive those golden years by visiting the Maine Coast Sardine History Museum. Plan your trip with a friend and take a tour of this historic site, from catch to can.  

Most Searched FAQs on National Sardines Day: 

1. When is National Sardines Day celebrated? 

National Sardines Day is annually celebrated on November 24th in US. 

2. Is it OK to eat sardines daily? 

The advice is to eat it twice a week rather than every day, because of its cholesterol, which is a risk factor for heart diseases. 

3. Why you should eat sardines? 

Sardines are a type of small, oily fish that contain a lot of important nutrients. Both fresh and canned sardines have health benefits, including helping to fight inflammation and supporting the health of your heart, bones, and immune system.

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