Shall I; shan’t I, were the words going through my head as I stood in front of the tinned sardines in tomato sauce? I was doing my weekly shop at the local supermarket, and by pure accident, I was walking past the shelves stacked with tinned sardines. There were all sorts there: sardines in olive oil, sardines in brine, sardines with lemon, grilled sardines; in fact sardines in or with whatever you fancied. However, the only ones I could not take my eyes off were the sardines in tomato sauce.
Why this dilemma you may well ask. I am a vegetarian and I do not eat meat or any food derived from living creatures, I find even the smell of raw meat repulsive, yet for some reason I do like fish. I will freely admit to buying salmon and prawn pie, smoked haddock and prawns in the past, but my excuse for this is that they were impulse buys, and they were all screaming “EAT ME!” at me. I therefore did not feel too guilty when I eat and enjoyed them.
The root of this quandary was a conversation in the office when we were talking about food that we used to enjoy, but had not had for a long time. Someone mentioned sardines in tomato sauce on toast, as soon as it was mentioned it my mouth started to water, it was also something I used to love, but had totally forgotten. I even said, “I’ll get some on the way home”, and then I remembered that I am a vegetarian, “Damn!”
I have been tempted to buy some sardines ever since that conversation. The dilemma was caused because this time there was no rush of blood to my head leading to an impulse buy. This would be pre-planned purchase. Eventually, I said, “Shall” and bought the damned sardines. They were delicious, on toast with loads of butter and light sprinkling of Black Pepper. Do I feel guilty – will I buy them again? Yes to both, I think I can live with the guilt.