The breeze of that late afternoon of 14 August when it touched the fields of Murtosa marked the scene of one of the most decisive events in the history of canning in Portugal.
There, a Portuguese army of sardines united around a collective value – the Homeland – led by a constable who prepared the battle ground in advance and the placement of his forces, positioning them strategically in a tin can with lemon, olive oil and salt, the weapons necessary for a decisive victory.
Disciplined queuing in the tin can, they gained the strength of warriors when the acid of the citrus touched them and gave them a freshness and liveliness so characteristic of youth. Eager to jump to the table, this army of lemon-pickled sardines has repositioned itself on the orders of the constable. The choice of battle conditions made it difficult to manoeuvre, but one by one, the lemon-pickled sardines launched into the attack, now on the plate, in the name of land and sea!
There, the artillery was waiting for the vigorous army. In a cry to the nation, deploying his forces in three flanks with a strong reserve of Algarve carrot salad to the rear, the constable divided the front of ‘broa minhota’ croutons and sent the rear forward through the open space on the front line, supported by the left flank, the Valentine’s flank, composed of this fearless army of canned lemon-pickled sardines by Comur.
Miles down, across the Valley, Brites already had the hot wood-burning oven for bread that would accompany the glory and the oven spade ready to help in battle.
With surety, boldness, confidence, and skill, without hastiness or fears, finding new opportunities in the field of canning, and in a victory considered unlikely – sardines and lemon – Comur won the battle of the cans. No other opponent, no matter how powerful or with more troops and resources, could stand firm with such courage in this perfect combination.
The bravery and fresh taste of this combination quickly made lemon-pickled sardines one of the great heroes of Comur’s army of canned goods, by the feats that they star in every day, on the table and on the palate of those who dare to try this bold, refreshing delight. Attack, brave soldiers!