Insalata di Cipolle con le Sarde — Onion Salad with Salted Sardines
“A most rustic preparation that has almost vanished,” writes Ada Boni,” is onion with sardines: it’s anything but refined and requires a determined stomach. Slice abundant onions, lay them out on a plate, and add to them salted sardines that you have beheaded, split, and boned. Sardines are sold by delicatessens and come preserved in barrels, like anchovies. The only difference when anchovies are used instead is that their heads are left on, and therefore Romans call them Alici co’ lermo, helmeted anchovies. You should season this dish with olive oil, oil, vinegar, a pinch of salt and abundant pepper.”
Kyle Phillips says, “Despite Ada Boni’s assertion that the dish has vanished I have encountered it in simple fish restaurants, albeit with much less onion than she suggests. It works very well as an antipasto.”
‘Pedvey’ is the Indian name for sardines. I don’t know the Indian name for anchovies.
There is a very nice Indian site run by Varshna Shahane that carries an article on Indian fish and fish names.
The article also deals with the celebrated Bombay Duck. This ugly fish is called ‘Shootkie’ by the Fish-crazy Bongs in the Bengal-Bangladesh region. The origin of the term “Bombay duck” is uncertain. Some authors advance the theory that, during the British Raj, the fish was often transported by rail after drying. The story goes that the train compartments of the Bombay Dak (in English, the Bombay Mail) would smell of the fish, consequently leading the British to euphemistically refer to the peculiar smell as the “Bombay Dak”.
In case any of you want to repay me for writing this article and treating me to dinner with the finest fish, please accept my thanks, but I will have a headache that evening. I don’t eat fish, and hate the stink that gourmets find ‘strong and characteristically salty’. Whatever. Bleah!!
Oh, to reduce the stinky smell of this fishy article, here is a fishing joke:
Why fishing is better than making love:
* When you go fishing and you catch something, that’s good.
If you’re making love and you catch something, that’s bad.
* Fish don’t compare you to other fishermen neither.
And don’t want to know how many other fish you caught.
* In fishing you lie about the one that got away.
In loving you lie about the one you caught.
* You can catch and release a fish, you don’t have to lie, and promise to
still be friends after you let it go.
* You don’t necessarily have to change your line to keep catching fish.
* You can catch a fish on a 20-cent frozen squid.
If you want to catch a woman you’re talking dinner and a movie minimum.
* Fish don’t mind if you fall asleep in the middle of fishing.