The name of this fish comes from Sardinia’s island, where people caught it in large numbers. There is another Latin name for this fish – pilchardus, which refers to sardines, but large in size individuals. Manufacturers use other types of fish, sometimes for canning under this name.


Compared to herring, the sardine’s size is small: the fish reaches 20-25 cm in length and has a thicker body with a silvery belly. The head is large, elongated, with a large mouth and jaws of the same size. This fish has wonderful blue-green scales with a golden tint, iridescent with all the rainbow colors. In some species, radial dark stripes-furrows diverge from the lower edge of the gills.

The sardine has a caudal fin ending in a pair of long wing scales and protruding anal fin rays. In some fish species, a series of dark specks run along the ridge.

There are 3 main kinds of sardines:


Pilchard sardine or European, common sardine (Sardina pilchardus)
an elongated body distinguishes the fish with a rounded abdomen and a well-developed abdominal keel. Scales of different sizes easily falling off. On the sides of the body, behind the sardine’s gills, there are several rows of dark spots. European sardine is common in the Mediterranean, Black, Adriatic seas, and coastal waters of the northeastern Atlantic Ocean;

  • Sardinops
    large individuals up to 30 cm long differ from the pilchard sardine in a large mouth with an upper part overlapping the middle of the eyes. The ridge consists of 47-53 vertebrae. The genus includes 5 species:
  • Far Eastern (Sardinops melanostictus) or Iwashi
    It is found off the coast of the Kuriles, Sakhalin, Kamchatka, and Japan, China, and Korea. Iwashi or Far Eastern sardine
  • Australian sardine (Sardinops neopilchardus)
    lives off the coast of Australia and New Zealand.
  • South African (Sardinops ocellatus)
    found in the waters of South Africa.
  • Peruvian sardine (Sardinops sagax)
    It Lives off the coast of Peru. Peruvian sardine
  • California (Sardinops caeruleus)
    distributed in the waters of the Pacific Ocean from the North of Canada to the South of California.
  • Sardinella
    this genus includes 21 species of fish. Sardinella differs from European sardine in the absence of spots on the gills’ back and smooth surface. The number of vertebrae is 44-49. Habitats – Indian, Pacific oceans, eastern waters of the Atlantic, Black, Mediterranean Sea, and West and North Africa’s coastal waters.
馃殌More on topic:  Tench

Sardine composition

  • Calorie content 166 kcal
  • Protein 19 g
  • Fat 10 g
  • Carbohydrates 0 g
  • Dietary fiber 0 g
  • Water 69 g

Beneficial features

The body easily absorbs sardine meat; it is rich in various useful substances and mineral elements. So, this fish is one of the record holders for phosphorus and cobalt content; it contains a lot of magnesium, iodine, calcium, zinc, and sodium. It is are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Besides, sardine meat contains vitamins D, B6, B12, and A and coenzyme Q10 (one of the most effective antioxidants).

Useful properties of sardines:

  • Strengthening the immune system;
  • Prevention of diseases of the heart and blood vessels;
  • Reducing the likelihood of thrombus formation and normalization of blood flow;
  • Improving the functioning of the brain;
  • Improvement of vision;
  • Reduction of manifestations of psoriasis (for Iwashi);
  • Reducing the risk of developing arthritis;
  • Improving the functioning of the nervous system (due to the content of niacin).

In addition, studies have shown that regular consumption of this fish reduces the likelihood of asthmatic attacks, and the fats of this type of sardine have a regenerating and anti-inflammatory effect on body tissues.


You can not eat sardines with individual intolerance. Besides, it would help if you did not consume it for gout and bone deposits. And people suffering from hypertension should remember that the meat of this fish increases blood pressure.

Sardine is not included in the diet, since it is high in calories (about 250 kcal / 100 g). This means that it should not get carried away with weight problems. And in the presence of gastrointestinal diseases, it is worth limiting the menu to sardines, stewed without oil, or cooked in tomato sauce.

馃殌More on topic:  Haddock

Sardines Benefits

Sardines are very beneficial for pregnant women and young children.
This fish contains a fairly large amount of coenzyme. Thanks to the regular consumption of sardines, you may delay skin aging. You can replenish the daily requirement of coenzyme with one portion of boiled fish.

The beneficial properties of this fish are beneficial in treating heart failure, arthrosis, asthma, and even cancer. If you eat sardines daily, you can restore vision and lower blood cholesterol.

Harm and side effects

Sardines have a very high content of purines, which converts in the human body into uric acid. It contributes to the formation of kidney stones and the development of gout. There may be an allergic reaction to the amines present in sardines, such as tyramine, serotonin, dopamine, phenylethylamine, and histamine.

Cooking applications

This fish is beneficial when boiled since, during cooking, all the nutrients it contains are retained in full ammount (especially coenzyme Q10). However, cooking sardines is not limited to boiling. It is good when fried (including grilled or deep-fried), smoked, stewed, baked, pickled, and salted. Delicious cutlets and rich broths you can make from the meat of this fish. And besides, people often add it to all kinds of snacks and salads.

A variety of canned foods (fish in oil, in their own juice, in tomato sauce, etc.) are prepared from sardines, which are in constant demand worldwide. Canned fish is often used to prepare various sandwiches and sandwiches, main courses, and even side dishes.


In Tunisia, stuffed sardine is an essential ingredient in many national dishes, and in the Apennine Peninsula, pates and pasta are made from it. Pizza with sardines is also trendy in Italy. Simultaneously, in Europe, they prefer to use canned fish, while in African countries and India, they often fry this fish.

馃殌More on topic:  Horse mackerel

Sardine goes well with all kinds of vegetables (both fresh and cooked), rice, seafood, olives and all sorts of spices.

Interesting Facts

  1. The name of the fish is closely related to the island of Sardinia, located in the Mediterranean Sea. Sausage or sausage is another old name for sardines, derived from the Italian word Sardella.
    The name “sardine” people use to name about 20 species of small fish: some call it hamsu, and the Americans call it small ocean herring.
  2. In France, the sardine fishery follows an old tradition: salted cod caviar is scattered not far from sardines’ shoal. They pounce on food and get entangled in nets placed by fishermen.
    You can find sardines’ image on French cities’ coats: Le Havre, La Turbala, Moelan-Sur-Mer.
  3. Every year, drivers and photographers gather in the area of ​​Cape Agulhas, the southeastern coast of South Africa, to enjoy and capture in pictures the unique migration of stocks of this fish that gather in one flock about 8 km long for spawning.

Spaghetti with sardines and chili


Ingredients – 4 servings

  • 400 g spaghetti
  • 1-2 chili peppers
  • 200g Canned Sardines
  • Salt pepper
  • Breadcrumbs
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp. l Olive oil
  • Greenery

How to cook

  1. Heat olive oil in a frying pan, add 2 chopped garlic cloves.
  2. Add breadcrumbs, fry until golden brown.
  3. Place the crackers on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
  4. Chop the peppers and sardines.
  5. Pour the fish oil into the pan, add pepper and garlic, lightly fry.
  6. Add chopped sardines, fry, salt, and pepper.
  7. Add cooked spaghetti, sprinkle with herbs, mix.
  8. Transfer to a plate, sprinkle with breadcrumbs, and enjoy!
Passionate About Fish - How to prepare Sardines

Leave a Reply