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EUROPEAN SARDINES.

139

fresh state. In Europe and Scotland the salmon is constantly used in a fresh state during the whole of the summer and a dinner is scarcely considered complete without it. It is also very commonly used at luncheon. It is generally eaten cold and offers a food product of high palatability and great nutritive value in so far as the protein is concerned. Eaten with plenty of potato, as it usually is, it forms a reasonably well-balanced ration. The American visitor who is not used to eating salmon every day is likely to find its constant occurrence upon the English table in the summer to be a bit trying to his taste.

Sardines. The sardine belongs to the herring family.-in fact small herring along the coast of Maine are put up as sardines. The sardines are very closely related to the herrings, but there are rather important differences. The European sardine, which is known as the sardine, is the Sardinia pilcharda, and does not occur on the coast of the United States. The species existing on the Pacific coast is known as the California sardine (Sardinia cærulea). It is quite abundant on the California coast and spawns in the open sea. It resembles very strongly the European sardine, but has no teeth. The Spanish sardine (Sardinia pseudohispanica) is found rather abundantly in Cuba and is often carried northward in the Gulf Stream as far as Woods Hole or Cape Cod. It is about 8 inches in length and of high food value, resembling very closely the European sardine. There has been a good deal of discussion as to whether or not small herring which are packed as sardines in the United States should be allowed, under the food laws of the various states and of the United States, to be sold by that name. The answer to this is that any deception in the label should be avoided. The herring, however, belongs to the same genus as the true sardine, and, differing from it only in the variation of species, may have some right to the name. The true ethical principles of trade, however, would require that they should be named Maine sardines or herring sardines and not bear the name simply sardines, which is reserved exclusively for the species Sardinia pilcharda.

Composition of Canned Sardines.

Water,..

Water-free substance,.

Protein,..

Fats,..

Ash,..

Sodium chlorid,

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The above data are based upon the analysis of the sample after the oil has been separated by drainage.

European Sardines.-The sardine is eaten fresh along the Spanish and French coast, where they are taken in great abundance and form a delicious food in this condition. The number which is given to a single individual is quite generous, as the writer has had served him on the Mediterranean coast in Spain as many as twenty fresh sardines at one order. The number,

however, was not found any too large when the palatability of the product is taken into consideration. Sardines are preserved by salt and smoke and particularly by packing in oil.

Method of Packing in Oil.-The sardines after proper cleaning are heated in oil for the purpose of sterilizing them. Olive oil is usually employed for this purpose, though some packers prefer to heat the fish in peanut oil, claiming that it gives them a better color. There seems to be, however, no sufficient ground for this claim. The peanut oil is probably used simply because it is cheaper. When the fish are thus sterilized and thoroughly cooked they are placed in boxes in the well known manner in which they are found and covered with oil, sealed, and, if necessary, again sterilized in order to prevent decomposition. Olive oil is the oil usually employed for packing purposes, though cheaper grades of edible oil are very commonly found in sardines. The substitutes for olive oils which are usually employed are peanut oil, cottonseed oil, and sesame oil, either single or mixed. When the sardines have been previously boiled in a cheaper oil and then packed with olive oil the olive oil will be contaminated with the cheaper oil used in the boiling.

Adulteration of Sardines.-As indicated above, the chief adulteration of sardines is in the misbranding respecting the nature of the fish and the oil used in packing. A young herring packed in the manner of a sardine properly demands a special label instead of the word "sardine" alone. A difference respecting the misbranding in regard to the oil employed is avoided by the statement on the package of the character of the oil used. The phrase "Sardines packed in oil" should be construed always to mean in the highest grade oil, that is, olive oil. This phrase, however, is usually employed when inferior oils are used. Inasmuch as oil is not the name of any individual product but of a large class of products, including that of both animal and vegetable origin, it is generally held that the term "oil" is not a sufficient indication of the character of the oil used. In all cases the packages should designate the special kind of oil used in the preparation. The addition of chemical preservatives to sardines in so far as the author knows, is not practiced, at least not to any appreciable extent.

The French Fisheries.-The sardine fisheries in France are mostly off the coast of Brittany, and are subject to many very serious fluctuations. For instance, the present year, 1906, has been one of disaster to the French fisheries. What is the cause of the disappearance of the pilchard (the true sardine) is not known. The fishermen think that large fish have driven the small ones either into the Bay of Biscay or the Mediterranean, or even to the west shores of Africa. The fish are thought to originate in the Mediterranean, and their name is derived from the fact that they were originally found in great quantities off the coast of Sardinia. When the spring comes and the fine weather is established they migrate first along the coast of Spain, finally reaching the French

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Composition.

Water,

Protein,

SHAD.

coast some time during the month of May. By this time the young fish are nearly grown to a proper size for catching. The fishing, however, does not really begin until July and is usually finished by November. The little town of Concarneau is the seat of these fisheries. About two thousand small boats go out from this town and at or near this place are also the large canneries and packing establishments. The fishing grounds are about five miles from the coast and the small boats sail out from two to four o'clock in the morning. The fishing is by means of nets and a very important part of the work is the spreading of the bait upon the surface of the water to attract the fish. The principal bait or roque is the roe of the cod, which sometimes reaches a price of $60 per barrel. Sometimes a single boat will use from 30 to 40 barrels of bait. Only the most skilled fisherman, usually the master himself, is allowed to distribute this precious material. As many as one hundred thousand fish have been caught in the net, though this magnitude of catch is, of course, exceptional. When the fish are brought ashore they are counted into baskets, about 200 to a basket, and those unfit for use are thrown out. They are taken to the canneries as quickly as possible to be cleaned, boiled, dipped in oil, and then hermetically sealed into a tin in which they are sent into commerce.

Adulteration. The chief adulteration of sardines is found in misbranding as to country of origin. The French catch has the highest reputation of any in the world and for this reason the label is often made to represent the fish as of French origin when in reality they are caught on the shores of Spain or of other countries. Formerly the fish were brought in great numbers from the Spanish coast into France. They were naturally much deteriorated in transit. Nevertheless they were tinned and marked as of pure French origin. This practice has now been forbidden by law in France. The Norwegian fish known as Sprötten (sprats) on the German and Holland coasts are packed as sardines and sent into this country as sardines.

Scup.-The scup is a fish (family Sparida) which is taken in great abundance on our Atlantic coast in the summer and autumn and is brought in immense quantities to the market. The proper name of the fish is Stenotomus chrysops.

Fat,

Ash,

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141

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The flesh of this fish is a better balanced ration than that of the red snapper, the proportion of fat being much larger.

Shad.—One of the most important food fishes on the Atlantic coast is the shad. It is found along the whole Atlantic coast, coming into fresh water for spawning, where it is caught for food purposes. The shad begin to appear

in the streams of the south Atlantic coast early in the winter and as the spring advances they go northward. They appear in the Potomac in April and May, and later in the Delaware and Connecticut rivers and other fresh-water streams further north. The fish is, therefore, to be had fresh upon the market over a long period of time. The common shad is known scientifically as Alosa sapidissima (Wilson). As a result of the work of the U. S. Bureau of Fisheries the shad has been introduced into the waters of the Pacific coast where none was found originally. The shad fry were first introduced into the Sacramento river and afterward into the Columbia river. The environments on the Pacific coast were found congenial. The fish soon found grounds on which they could spawn, and they have spread over almost the entire length of the Pacific coast. It has, of late, become a very common and abundant food fish on the Pacific coast and has lost none of its palatability by transplanting. Science has not been able to ascertain anything of very great interest respecting the life of the shad in the sea. When they leave the rivers they practically disappear, and are not known again until the next spawning season returns. For spawning purposes the shad prefer a water temperature of from 55 to 65 degrees. Whenever the temperature goes above the latter figure they begin to disappear. The males and females go in separate schools. The males usually precede the females. It is stated by Jordan and Evermann that of 61,000 shad received at the Washington market from March 19 to 24, 99 percent were male. As the season advanced the males became very much less frequent and at the end extremely scarce. The U. S. Bureau of Fisheries has taken especial pains to increase the number of shad in all waters. During the spring of 1900 there were artificially planted in the Atlantic coast streams over 240,000,000 young shad. One fish often contains as many as 150,000 eggs. The average number, however, is about 30,000. Shad roe is the most valuable part of the fish and brings a much higher price in the market than an equal weight of fish itself. Planked shad is one of the greatest delicacies of the Washington markets. At Marshall Hall, opposite Mount Vernon, there are given a great many shad bakes during the season. Oak wood is placed in long lines and burned,-oak planks are set up on each side of the line of burning wood, inclined at an angle of about 60 or 70 degrees. On these oak planks the shad are cooked, held usually by driving a nail through the head, the cut surface being exposed to the heat of the burning fire. In addition to being cooked in this way the fish absorbs a small amount of the empyreumatic odors of the burning wood. During the baking the shad are treated from time to time with melted butter. There is no other way which a shad can be cooked which renders it so delicious as by this primitive method. The shad, from an economic point of view, is third in importance in the United States, only the salmon and the cod exceeding it in value. The annual catch of shad on the Atlantic sea coast numbers from 10 to 20

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million, weighing from 40 to 60 million pounds and worth from one and onehalf to two million dollars.

Composition of Shad.

Water,....
Protein,..
Fat,.

Ash,..

THE SHEEPSHEAD.

FRESH.

70.62 percent .18.56

66

Water,....

Protein,.
Fat,.....
Ash,.

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DRY.

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Of the whole weight of shad the average edible portion amounts to 52.35 percent, and the refuse, counting the bones, skin, and entrails is 47.65 per

cent.

Shad Roe. The eggs of shad, as has already been mentioned, are regarded as the most valuable portion of the fish. Roe shad also are more highly prized as a food fish than the male shad. As a result, roe shad sell for a much higher price on the market than the male shad. The eggs are quite small, and as has already been said, occur in immense numbers, the average number to a fish being about 30,000.

Composition of Shad Roe.

.71.2 percent
23.4

"C
"6

3.8

"C

1.6

Aside from the water of the roe, it is noticed that by far the most abundant component is the protein. This, of course, is what would be expected of an egg product. The protein is a little more than six times as great as the fat. The ash contains large quantities of phosphorus, which exists in the original egg, largely in the form of lecithin, in which state it is regarded as most valuable for nourishing the phosphatic tissues of the body. Shad roe is eaten almost entirely in the fresh state. It does not produce a pickled or cooked product of anything like the value of the sturgeon eggs. So far as the author knows no form of shad egg preparation similar to caviar is on the market.

There are three species of shad in America, but the only one of great importance is the common Atlantic shad which has been described.

The Sheepshead. This abundant and important food fish exists in large numbers along the Atlantic coast. It also belongs to the Sparida and its scientific name is Archosargus probatocephalus. This species is found from Cape Cod to Texas. It is especially found in the vicinity of oyster beds, where it is destructive to the oysters. It is quite abundant in the Indian river, being, next to the mullet, the most frequently found fish in those waters. Though strictly a salt-water fish, it often runs up into fresh waters. The fish is distinguished by the number of broad silvery colored bands extending around its entire body. The average weight of the sheepshead is three or four pounds, though occasionally a fish three or four times that size is captured.

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