Periwinkles and saffron aioli, Tim Pawsey photo

Regular visitors will know we’ve recently developed a bit of a thing for sardines. We’ve found some pretty good canned filets, that do just fine for our pissaladierre recipe. But nothing comes close to the fresh caught fish.

A heads up: this is the last week for chef Frank Pabst’s Unsung Heroes Festival, which runs at Blue Water Café until February 29th.

Many of the dishes are the same as or similar to those offered last year and covered by our post at the time, which talked also about Cornwall. However, I didn’t make the connection then between the BC West Coast Sardine and the Cornish Pilchard (closely related), which was a staple until the south-west of England fishery collapsed, with devastating consequences, in the late 19th century.

Happily, as in B.C., the Cornish fishery is now also making a come-back.

Kudos to Frank Pabst and Blue Water, as always, for keeping some of these less well known, very tasty and—most important—sustainable creatures and marine ingredients at the fore.

Mullion Harbour, near The Lizard in south Cornwall, England, was built by Lord Robartes of Lanhydrock to compensate for the collapse of the pilchard fishery, completed in 1895. The pilchard cellar survives today. Tim Pawsey photo