Every time I eat fish, fried or cooked with soup like sinigang and paksiw, I always take precaution not to ingest even a single fish bone. Whenever a fish bone enters my mouth it often pricks my throat or the roof of my mouth. The experience is so uncomfortable that I want to refrain from eating fish anymore.
Fish bone that pricks throat or inside of mouth can be remove by 1) swallowing a ball of rice without chewing or a bite of ripe banana without chewing and 2) forcing oneself to vomit. Choice number 1 is a little bit dangerous for a child to do.
Due to this hazard, I never feed fish to my 8-months old baby boy. Besides he is too young to eat fish.
The case is different when it comes to canned fish, the sardines. Just wash the outside of the can to remove any dirt and possible sources of contamination. Open the can. Saute with your favorite vegetables or just serve it. Every piece of sardine are ready to eat with bones intact. Their bone are so soft, it can be eaten without hurting your throat and mouth.
There should be some reasons why sardine fish bones are soft:
1) The canning temperature of at least 240ºF or 115.5ºC is enough to make the fish bone soft to eat.
2) The temperature mentioned above is the safe canning temperature can prevent the occurrence of spoilage throughout the product’s shelf life. Lower temperature will allow microbial survival and eventual spoilage.
3) Sardines fish bone should be soft. Imagine getting prick by a sardine fish bone. Will you ever eat sardines again?
Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.