Saturday, November 10, 2012

In a hurry? Why not a tin of sardines?



A very quick post here as we're off to eat curry with the Quiet American.

Tinned sardines, a part of the cultural landscape of Brittany.  The canning plants often long established, in quite remote places on the coast, even on islands, their names punning or picturesque: Connétable, la Belle Iloise, Phare d'Eckmühl... The tins themselves I think are often minor works of art, and delightfully old fashioned. This brand, la Douarneniste I've not come across before, but I scanned it because I thought the Breton lady was lovely, not least because she's holding a tin of sardines with her very own image on them, which presumably, if one could go small enough, would be holding another tin of sardines with her picture on, and so ad infinitum, an old device which has always intrigued.

And they taste rather good too.

7 comments:

Crafty Green Poet said...

I do like that tin! A minor work of art, you're right

Sheila said...

It is a little work of art. I've always thought sardines in tins were rather artistic themselves, the way they fit them in there with a certain pattern and rhyme, so to speak.

I like them, but wish they didn't smell quite the way they did!

christopher said...

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Roderick Robinson said...

Joe né Plutarch believes that if the supply of tinned sardines were artificially restricted, and the prices raised, you'd only be able to buy them in Harrods. VR is an enthusiast, too, but merely eats them. I, an agnostic, like the tins, having often wondered where the marque was actually déposée. So now we're all satisfied.

Setu said...

What a good example of a "mise en abyme", but not as perfect as the "Vache qui rit" cheese box, on which you can see the famous laughing red cow with two earrings made of two cheese boxes, on which you can see, etc., etc. Eating a lot of "Vache qui rit" in my chilhood certainly made me love Borges' short stories, where libraries contain libraries that, etc. , I think...
Do you know what the Breton lady from Douarnenez is called? A "Penn Sardin", i.e. "Sardine Head" (in Plougastel, they are called "Penn Sivi", "Strawberry Head", in Roscoff, of course, they are "Penn Ognoun", no nead to translate).

Joe Hyam said...

A beautiful tin indeed. And Robbie is right about my view of sardines. As I understand it the French value them as a delicacy while the English take them for granted.

Lucy said...

Thanks all.

I like sardines but find them somewhat repetitive digestively speaking, and prefer them mashed up with various acidifying elements. They're good with potato salad too. I think perhaps they are better appreciated here; I suppose the British were rather exposed to pilchards, which can be a bit rough. We buy good quality Breton sardines for oursleves, Molly sometimes has to make do with cheaper Moroccan ones.

Setu, you are a wonder for filling in the many gaps in my knowledge; I didn't know that device was called 'mise en abyme', or indeed that it had a name at all. I feel inclined perhaps to make a post about it now...