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Though famous for their olive dishes, the ancient Greeks ate a variety of squash, fruits like pomegranates, figs, and grapes, plenty of fish, and hearty grains. Sardines were the fish of the common folk. Though they kept many goats (who are versatile and good on terrains with poor vegetation) they rarely ate them as they saw it as a waste of good milk. Instead, when goats were killed, they were frequently used as sacrifices to the gods.
Before WWII the humble sardine was an American dietary staple. Canneries lined the coastal regions of the states and even served as the locale of a great American novel.
Somewhere along the way the lowly pilchard fell out of favor - replaced by the sleek tuna and a more glamorous American diet. When I was growing up densely packed canned of sardines in several flavors were still available in the grocery aisles. They were easily packed into our saddle bags or our pockets for long days at the lake.
Now as many of us are living with the effects of the high carbohydrate American diet these tiny fish are suddenly more interesting - unfortunately just a decade or so after most of our American canneries have closed.
I haven't purchased a can of sardines in years, but they are on my most current grocery list. They are high in vitamins, omega 3s, calcium and environmentally friendly. Maybe they should be on your list, too?