Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Barnegat Bay Sardines?

I grew up in Waretown, New Jersey which is on the shore (inland) side of Barnegat Bay, directly across from the Barnegat Lighthouse ("Old Barney.") Now I live in New York City, in midtown Manhattan. This morning I went out to get something to eat and stopped by the Duane Reade pharmacy store on the corner of 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue. I picked up a few cans of 99-cent Arizona ice tea and walked towards the cash register line. As I was walking down one of the few food aisles, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that there were stacks of sardine cans on a shelf, one of which was a dark blue box with the title "Barnegat Bay Sardines" and a red and white graphic representation of the Barnegat Lighthouse. What? I had never heard of any such thing, but there they were. I picked up a 79-cent box for my own amusement.

I was born in 1954 and never saw a sardine from Barnegat Bay. But, technically, they may have existed in the estuaries in the years before the shoreline was developed. As far as I know, they have not come back.

They are distributed by Zwanenberg Food Group (USA) of Cincinnati, Ohio. Actually, it is a Dutch company with brands such as Dutch Colony cooked ham.

The box says that they are a "PRODUCT OF THAILAND."

How do they taste? No idea. The can does not have a traditional "key" to roll back the lid and I do not have a can opener.

The box says "Lightly Smoked - in Soybean Oil."

Oh, and the box claims that "Barnegat Bay" is a registered trademark.

Hmmm... very interesting.

-- Jack Krupansky


At 10:46 AM , Anonymous Adam said...

I saw those in Duane Read, too. I had to take a photo. We have a house on LBI. I've never once seen a sardine anywhere near the bay. And I'm pretty sure New Jersey isn't in Thailand.
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At 7:29 AM , Blogger ken said...

Yep, I spent my summers at my family's L.B.I. house as a kid and was surprised to see a can of these at Ocean State, in Maine, where I live now. Thanks for the info.

At 9:57 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coincidence? I just bought a bunch last night and ate a can of the lightly smoked ones. Good Sardines, not fishy but also not much smoked flavor. Not a bad price.


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