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  • Writer's pictureKyveli Papaioannou

Sardines and Relationships: A Narrative with Flavor and Insight

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

fried sardines in a pot

Sardines and Relationships

I've always considered sardines the perfect appetizer to welcome a friend. I would accompany them with a glass of wine or ouzo and some diced tomato with a pinch of coarse salt.I always considered "married" sardines the perfect appetizer to welcome a friend. I would accompany them with a glass of wine or ouzo and some diced tomato with a pinch of coarse salt.

Essentially, it's like a sandwich made of two cleaned sardines, devoid of scales and bones, with tiny cloves of garlic and dill in between.

Every time I clean them, I think about the beautiful lessons this sardines recipe teaches us. To marry the sardines, we remove the scales that cling and the bones that make the flesh tough, uniting them by adding flavorful herbs in a way that doesn't let them touch but allows their bodies to "breathe" together. We keep this pair for at least two hours in a well-sealed container in the refrigerator to absorb the aromas of the herbs. Then, we dip it in flour and beer, and then in hot oil to cook it all together. This is the moment when the pair "binds" together with the herbs in a "cloak" of flour and beer so that all the deliciousness is retained and doesn't escape.

What could scales, bones, garlic, dill, waiting, and the batter made from flour and beer possibly symbolize for people who decide to be together?

I think about the vulnerability we feel when we fall in love, which is also the gateway to true connection. Without it, we remain inflexible and hard. Perhaps, it's the first and most challenging step, to remove our own "scales" and "bones" in order to gain the flexibility and adaptability to get to know the other person. To expose ourselves without armor.

In this metaphor, the scales and bones represent the emotional barriers and protective layers we build around ourselves, while garlic and dill symbolize the flavorful qualities and uniqueness that we bring to both sardines and relationships. Waiting signifies the necessary patience and anticipation required in any meaningful connection. Lastly, the batter made from flour and yeast represents the process of merging two individuals, creating something new and beautiful together, just as the sardines are joined in delicious harmony.

Absolutely delicious! It's worth trying!

Below is the recipe, and don't forget to leave your thoughts!

At the bottom of the page, after the recent posts, you'll find a space to leave your comments. Your feedback may inspire others to give it a try.

"Married" Sardines Recipe:


  • 20 sardines

  • 1 big spoon of finely chopped dill

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

  • 150ml of beer

  • 50g of yellow flour (for bread)

  • All-purpose flour (as needed)

  • A pinch of salt

  • Olive oil for frying


  • Remove the scales from the sardines and the central bone, and wash them carefully.

  • Lay them out on a dish with the flesh facing up.

  • Finely chop the garlic and dill, and distribute them over the fillets.

fillet of sardines on a wooden surface

  • "Marry" the sardines by carefully sandwiching them together.

"married" sardines with garlic and dill

  • Transfer them to a container and drizzle them with the two tablespoons of olive oil. Seal the container tightly and leave it in the refrigerator for at least two hours.

"married" sardines in a taper

  • In a deep bowl, pour in the beer, yellow flour, salt, and mix. Gradually add all-purpose flour and continue to mix until it becomes a thick batter with visible lines when you stir it.

  • Cover it well with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for at least half an hour. Just before using it, mix it again thoroughly.

  • Once the required time has passed, pour olive oil into a frying pan until it covers the bottom well and reaches about an inch in height. Allow it to heat, and carefully dip each pair of sardines into the batter and then straight into the hot oil.

  • When one side is fried, using two forks, turn them carefully so that the other side is also fried. Fry for about a minute on each side.

  • You'll know they're ready when they acquire a characteristic golden color.

Enjoy your meal!

two ladies holding their glass of wine and cheers


Niki Agalioti
Niki Agalioti
Sep 08, 2023

Wonderfully said, as you do so often hit the nail on the head so to speak... I would go as far as saying that when we remove our scales and bones do we open up to the world, other people and new opportunities to Live, Love and Learn

Kyveli Papaioannou
Kyveli Papaioannou
Sep 11, 2023
Replying to

Live, Love and Learn! Thank you my dear Niki!

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