Sardine is a generic term applied broadly to any of various small, soft-boned, saltwater fish such as Sprat and young Pilchard and Herring.
These tiny fish are iridescent and silvery and swim in huge schools, usualy near the water surface.
The name is thought to have come from the young Pilchards caught off the coast of Sardinia, which were one of the first fish packed in oil.
Portuguese sardines Pilchardus Walbaum are collected from the waters just off the shore of Portugal. They are caught between May and November, when sardines are at their best. The process involves manual cleaning and very careful handling, followed by the traditional cooking in a grill oven before being canned.