THE SARDINE, QUEEN OF ALICANTE BEACH BARS
Kevin Reardon / 2012-08-15 15:41:10
The strong demand for sardines in beach and tapas bars and local restaurants has seen prices double during the holiday period with the fish virtually disappearing from fishmongers and supermarket shelves in many areas. At the beginning of this month a 12 kilo box of sardines cost 72 euros in the Alicante fish market, nearly double the price that fishmongers are being required to pay during the remainder of the year, as such the tiddler has been christened “The Queen of Alicante Beach bars.”
Usually cooked on the grill, the sardine is one of the most popular dishes for tourists holidaying on this area of the coastline. Although usually freely available, prices have soared in recent days and sardines are now costing as much as 9 euros per kilo in some food markets and fishmongers.
But neither the high number of sardines caught during the early days of August nor the high cost have slowed down the demand for a fish that appears to remain the star attraction with which to crown a good lunch on these local shores of the Mediterranean.
One fishmonger in Torrevieja said that it is usual for the price to rise during the holiday season but the prices that are currently being asked are unusually high. Never before has he been asked to pay between 70 and 72 euros for a 12 kilo box.
Although the price moves according to supply and demand, a larger catch would usually mean a reduction in price, but that is not currently the case during the early days of August as was seen last week in Torrevieja when over 180 tons of sardines were landed in a 3 day period. The price remained stable; indeed it actually increased by a euro a kilo during that period.
Reported catches across the province on Friday were limited to a hundred kilos of sardines each in Javea and Torrevieja and nothing whatsoever in Altea. As such, those fishmongers that had stocked up on the sardine earlier in the week were able to cash in once again.