Book Heaven

Where the world of books and life intersect

Location: South Amboy, New Jersey

I am deeply involved in trying to solve the discrepancy between being interested in zen and trying to acquire all the things I've been accumulating

Monday, May 23, 2005

A Collectible For the Common Man

There's nothing quite as gratifying as anticipating the next hot trend and being way ahead of the curve. I was into (and unfortunately out of) both comic books and movie posters before they became hot. I'm not one to search out the latest and greatest, but if it happens to fall into my lap, well ......

Even if I had the money and wanted to spend it in a refined and socially accepted way (comics and movie posters fall short in this area), there's no way I would even dream of getting involved in collecting wine. Still, collector that I am, I love a good story and can't resist the annual issue of Wine Spectator that they devote to this most worthwhile of pursuits. Now, however, you can be one of the first to learn of something that may become far more popular than wine collecting.

Right about now, it would be appropriate to cue the music to Aaron Copland's Rodeo (that was the one that the Beef Council appropriated for its ads, wasn't it?). Copland's Fanfare For the Common Man might actually be more fitting though (if a bit over the top) considering that this is a collectible that will be well within reach of the common man.

Are you ready for this? The new hot thing to collect is going to be ..... vintage sardines! Just as I was staring at a three pack of King Oscar sardines that I had discovered in an annual cleaning of my desk at work, and wondering whether they might still be edible, I come across a life altering piece in the June Gourmet. According to the article, there are actually sardine aficionados (can you envision Sardine Aficionado on the newsstand?). Steven Jenkins, a partner in New York's Fairway markets had this to say about vintage sardines (I guess mine might qualify): "Once they age, the flavors meld and become more complex, almost a non-fish thing, very nutty, deep, and enthralling." The only real question at this early stage of the game seems to be what qualifies as vintage. The article uses two or three years as a conservative estimate but Chuck Prine, a Minnesota-based sardine salesman for more than 40 years, says many artisinally packed tins will last well into the next decade. "Realistically", he says, "after 25 years they'll be even better."

And, unlike wine which is only good for you in small doses, you can pretty much eat all the sardines you can tolerate. There's nothing quite like those omega3 oils to help reduce inflammation and help promote the regularity of your heartbeat (let's not even think about how that baby beats the first time and every time). So do something good for your ticker today and at least think about getting into sardines. Why you'll even help ward off osteoporosis by downing those teeny sardine bones that are included with the sardines at no additional charge and are actually the only fish bones that are truly good for you to eat. Really.

Guess it's time to convert that fallout shelter into a sardine cellar.


Blogger Cap'n Bob Napier said...

In a my-mother-threw-out-my-comics vein, I lost out on this trend by tossing a tin of sardines because it sat around uneaten for a couple of years. I thought they had expiration dates, like food does. How I regret not having savored that deep, nutty taste that was undoubtedly awaiting me. I like mine packed in mustard, by the way. I wnder if that adds to their collectibility.

4:37 AM  

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