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Sardine aficionados know that the main trick is in the freshness of the fish. 

And that the best sardines are the fattest ones, on which the skin, when sprinkled with rough salt, comes out at once after being roasted on a low flame. According to those who know, the “night sardine” is the best because it was caught the previous evening and after being fished, does not get to see the light of day until it is sold. The fish mongers of the Markets of Ericeira and Mafra are guaranteed to advise you with regard to the appearance, source and freshness of this delicacy, which is a symbol of summer, leaving one with cravings for it the rest of the year.

Going home to the sardines of Ericeira, there is nothing like eating them in August or September, but even by the end of May, it is already possible to find specimens of some quality.

There are those who prefer it on the plate, with the essential salad of peppers and cooked potato, but for many, it is enough to have it on a good slice of Mafra bread.