This “Sarde Allinguate” is another outstanding excellence of the Sicilian cuisine. The term “allinguata” comes from poor people’s attempt in the old days to imitate the dishes made for the wealthier classes. The rich lords could afford oversized banquets and luxurious food with delicious raw materials such as sole; the popular level was content with cheaper fares such as sardines. The way that the sardines are opened, like a book, gave them the feeling of eating a superior quality fish. Even the pickling in vinegar, thanks to Sicilian housewives’ inventiveness, is probably due to the need to mask the smell of the fish not exactly fresh.
Remove the scales from the sardines, detach the head and open them like a book, removing the bones but leaving the tail.
Wash them thoroughly and drain them.
Now put them on a plate, cover them with the white wine vinegar and leave them for 30 minutes.
Dry them with absorbent paper to remove the excess vinegar and dip them in the flour.
Fry them in hot oil and then put the salt – they are excellent when served hot!
Regional Recipe from Sicily