The sardine is the silver of the sea, mined by brave Portuguese fisherman to adorn the dinner tables of rich and poor.
Portuguese sardines have a layer of fat that melts during cooking and gives them their unique taste. The most popular way to cook sardines is to grill them on charcoal. They are usually served with grilled peppers dressed with olive oil. Another popular preparation is “sardinhas de escabeche,” fried sardines marinated in olive oil, vinegar, onion, and bay leaves.
During the June feasts of St. Antony, St. John and St. Peter restaurants set up their grills on the street and serve sardines to passersby, saints and sinners alike.