A generation ago, sardine sandwiches were ever present in American restaurants. Growing up, I recall their being listed on every deli, diner, sandwich shop, cafeteria, and Automat menu. Back then, the New York market consumed five million tins a year, and the sardine industry was the state of Maine's largest employer. I knew this because my father was in food sales, peddling the European gourmet specialties of that era, and we had cans of sardines around the house all the time. For an impatient teenager, it was the perfect quick meal, and as a college student, one of my favorite bargain dinners was sardines in tomato sauce packed in Fraserburgh, Scotland, also courtesy of Dad. These were tiny fish, the brisling variety; we'd eat them piled on Triscuits and wash them down with Schmidt's beer.