Cheeseburger Gothic

Sardines and salami

Posted May 25, 2013 into Food & Drink by John Birmingham

I know, right? Eeww. And yet it totally works. At least the way they're serving it up over at Sourced in New Farm. I'm pretty sure these are the guys responsible for making sardines cool again. Or maybe just cool. I don't know that there's ever been a time before now when sardines were considered anything other than poor man's sandwich filler. They were a cheap source of protein when I was a kid and I don't recall any fond memories of them.

So maybe it was just perverse nostalgia made me try the La Cuca sardines on toast the first time I saw them on the menu here.

Turned out they were awesome. Nothing like the stinky garbage fish of yore. Two lighty toasted slabs of sourdough, a green salad and a cup of coffee. Breakfast of champions.

Next time I went, however, the menu had changed and the leaf was gone, replaced by a salsa verde. Or maybe pesto. It changes all the damn time. Damn them. The latest incarnation arrived with a strangely familar paste that I thought might have been some sort of capsicum dip.


It was a skinless salami. In fact the skinless salami I'd first tried over at Enoteca and which I'd seen subsequently at half a dozen other, mostly Italian, joints around town. Think of a hot, spicey salami that hasn't 'set' hard and isn't fashioned into a sausage. It usually comes in a little bowl and you spread it on chunks of bread, maybe dabbed with a little olive oil for moisture.

I would never, ever have thought of putting it together with sardines. But these guys did. (Tossed a little pot of confit garlic and some cherry tomatoes in for good measure, too). Thinking I was smearing a sort of pepper dip on my toast, I wasn't surprised by the spike of heat, but the 'meaty' flavours and mouthfeel did provide a momentary WTF interlude.

And then I inhaled the lot.

It was such a mammoth meal I didn't need to eat again until dinner. Only one caveat. The salami paste does not play well with white coffee. I'd have water or a long black if I was doing this again. But given how often Sourced switch out the elements of their sardine toast, I probably won't get the chance.

11 Responses to ‘Sardines and salami’

kardiac is gonna tell you...

Posted May 25, 2013

I remember my Dad eating sardines right from the can. He grew up poor in Pittsburgh and they were a treat for him when he was a kid. I watched him slurp those things down using his fingers. Pretty much put me off on them.

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Monster Yuppy mumbles...

Posted May 25, 2013

Looks like I shall wander down there for breakfast this morning....

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted May 25, 2013

I'd bet the salami paste is exactly the same one they serve at Bucci.

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w from brisbane reckons...

Posted May 25, 2013

Uncooked sardines, butterflied, a few herbs thrown on top, a drizzle of olive oil, cooked for a minute or so on the barbie. Quite a feature of a backyard barbecue circuit I enjoyed back in the 90's. Delicious!

There were a few sardine providers in Brisbane. You had to be quick because their stock would disappear so quickly.

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sibeen ducks in to say...

Posted May 25, 2013

That sort of meal cries out for a large mug of decent tea to be the accompaning beverage.

w from brisbane ducks in to say...

Posted May 25, 2013

An ice cold lager for me. Breakfast of champions.

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Bunyip is gonna tell you...

Posted May 25, 2013

I must admit, I've sometimes used sardines instead of minced meat to make a Scilian instead of a Bolognese sauce with pasta.

BTW that Salami spread sounds fucking yum.

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Trowzers puts forth...

Posted May 25, 2013

I'm a thirtysomething female, and I've often had sardines on toast (with a little cheese lightly melted on the top, and basil pesto on the toast). Only when I'm in the mood for it, mind you. But yeah, I can totally see how this could be a thing. When you're up for it, it's awsm.

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted May 25, 2013

Cheese and sardines? Wow.

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Conspiracy Cat would have you know...

Posted May 26, 2013

I saw an episode of Iron Chef a few years back, where the Ingredient-Of-The-Day was sardines. Man, by the end of that episode I was drooling for little fishies!

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Lulu puts forth...

Posted May 27, 2013

Sardines + salami sounds great. My favourite tinned sardine choice is the Santamaria in hot sauce. Mmmmm ...

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