Stumbling across Sardines

September 14, 2012

Sardines. They’re terribly ugly little fellows, but boy are they scrumptious. And nutritious too, giving you a beautiful hit of valuable omega 3 fatty acids. Thanks for that, my funky little friends…too familiar? Sorry about that. It’s just that I’m relatively new to the sardine party, so I’m a little enamoured. For those of you who cannot move past their blatant, bold fishiness, trust me, I was once like you. But push through, looks aren’t everything. I dearly believe you will one day fall in love with sardines.

While in Lisbon we were treated to some truly delicious seafood, including a lovely big plate of sardines one sunny Wednesday. I’d like to share those beauties with you today…

Ben and I stumbled across a little gem of a place after our initial lunch-spot fell through. In fact many restaurants in Lisbon were randomly closed, and while initially frustrating, this allowed for spontaneous dining experiences, which happened to result in some of the best meals we ate on our entire trip. Our lunch at Churrasqueira O Cofre is an example of this.

We were greeted with the aroma of an eager grill, as rows of hungry diners satisfying their lunch-time appetites. Peering inside, we spotted a long table filled with elderly men engaged in a raucous lunch gathering. Wine glasses, broken bread and the remnants of a well-enjoyed meal were strewn across the table…we knew we had to eat here. It was fate. In my opinion, when it comes to food, you can always trust elderly european men – they sure know their sardines.

Ben and I devoured plates of fresh, grilled sardines and another fleshy fillet – simple, clean perfection, served with boiled, buttered potatoes and a basic salad. There was also bread, soft, lovely bread.




It was a completely unpretentious and completely perfect meal. Oh how I’m pleased we stumbled across these sardines. Simple seafood perfection.


We then visited Jardim da Estrela and spent some time lying on the grass. Reading in the park…one of life’s true pleasures. Along with sardines, of course.
Heidi xo

You Might Also Like

  • Blithely Unaware September 14, 2012 at 11:18 am

    I don't mind fresh Sardines….. but tinned ones… no, no, no thanks :/ :/ :/

    You guys look so happy in that last photo, I love it!


  • Lisa @ Blithe Moments September 14, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    I love a good sardine but they have to be really fresh which living in an inland city can be challenging. Those look delicious!

  • Hannah September 14, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Oooh yum 🙂 They look so fresh! I must say I've never really had sardines before… but I am curious! x

  • Not Quite Nigella September 14, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    I was never a fan of sardines until I had fresh ones in Nantes! They were such a revelation and so delicious 😀

  • Hannah September 15, 2012 at 1:59 am

    Just last night, I was grossing Amber out by describing how, as a kid, every Sunday morning my Dad would make us sardines on buttered toast, drizzled with white wine vinegar. I do love those little fellows, though I think I'm yet to have them super-fresh!

  • Heidi September 15, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Blithely Unaware – thanks, lady 🙂

    Lisa – yes, so fresh!

    Hannah – they're mighty delicious, especially when treated simply & with respect 😉

    Lorraine – I can imagine!

    Hannah – a white wine vinegar drizzle, love it. Your dad rocks!

    Heidi xo

  • The InTolerant Chef September 16, 2012 at 10:32 am

    We would sell butterflied fresh sardines at the restaurant where I used to work and I always thought that when raw, the lovely blues and greens of their skins really did make them look like butterflies 🙂

  • Alex September 16, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    There's nothing like the smell of grilled sardines. ;o) Did you go to Porto? I'd recommend something we usually eat up here: FRANCESINHA, a Portuguese version of Croque Monsieur which is de-li-cious!

  • Heidi September 17, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    InTolerant Chef – oh they sound just divine! true beauties 🙂

    Alex – no we didn't!!! we didn't get to explore beyond Lisbon. Would love to though, Francesinha sounds crazy good! Off to google it now 😉

    Heidi xo

  • Iron Chef Shellie September 18, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Don't think I've tried fresh ones…. only tinned ones. Dad and I used to crack open a can and eat them…. those were the days 😛

    Need to get my hands on fresh ones!