Help. I started eating sardines last year after reading about the last sardine cannery in the US shutting down. Last week I was watching TV on hulu mindlessly munching on sardines when I felt something with an off putting sandy, crunchy texture in my mouth. I didn't think much of it at first thinking some sand had somehow gotten into the can but I got another mouthful and realized there was a lot of this off putting something in the can. I looked and saw hundreds of little white, round balls in the dish and realized it was probably roe. I looked up "canned sardines roe" using altavista and found one article at chowhound (see: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/304187) and the author posted pictures of it on flicker but only three people replied to his/her query.
I have three cans of sardines in the pantry but now I'm a little afraid to try them. The roe was very unpleasant since I wasn't expecting it. It has a sandy, crunchy texture, not something you would seek out. However, I enjoy sardines and am wondering how often do people find roe in canned fish? Have any of ya'll ever come across this? Is this a surprise I should expect once a year or so or is it rare?