Learning to Eat Sardines at the Octapus Restaurant in Molyvos

A lot of British people avoid fish in restaurants because of the bones. I was one of them until I sussed that there are various techniques for eating different fish. Once someone unlocks what those are it opens up a whole new world of culinary and, on the whole, bone-free goodies.

The person who gave me my key to the fish kingdom was the waiter at the Octapus Restaurant on the harbour in Molyvos, Lesbos.

The aroma of sardines, or sardelas in Greece, lightly brushed with olive oil and being grilled is one of those wonderful Mediterranean smells that could drive a person mad with desire. When there’s a picturesque harbour accompanying, it’s impossible to resist.

I love the taste of fresh sardines, but a wayward bone embedding itself in my tonsils for a couple of days after gorging on a plate of sardelas in a restaurant in Pythagorion put me right off them.

That was until I was sitting outside the Octapus being seduced by the sounds and smells of its typically Greek picture postcard setting – twinkling harbour lights, gently bobbing boats, Zorba the Greek music…you know the scene.

The sardines looked and smelled so good that I just had to give them another try. But as I attacked them enthusiastically with my knife and fork, I was stopped in my tracks by the waiter who gave me a quick lesson in eating sardines that changed my sardine eating world forever.

Here is his easy peasy, bone-free method for eating sardines.

How to Eat Sardines
Dump the knife and fork. With one hand hold the sardine’s head and with the other its tail. On one side of the fish, gently bite into the fish just behind the head to get a firm grip of the flesh. Then, using your teeth, simply peel back the flesh in the direction of the tail. As long as the sardine is cooked perfectly, the flesh will peel off in one salty, delicious chunk leaving a cartoon fish skeleton behind.

Repeat with the other side, lick your lips, sit back and exclaim ‘wow…that was good.’

BuzzTrips Fact File

Octapus Restaurant, Molyvos harbour, open daily for lunch and dinner, Tel: +30-22530-71317




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