HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


canned sardines for a newbie

I've recently discovered that I really love canned sardines, after being wary of them for most of my life. So far, I've only had them over rice with a little soy sauce and/or hot sauce and/or lemon juice. Yum! I'm curious how my fellow hounds like to eat them and if there are favorite brands/styles I should seek out or avoid.

I recently saw "vintage" sardines being sold for a premium at the local store (Fairway in Manhattan). Old fish in a can? Is this worth trying?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. What type of sardines did you buy that you liked?

    I asked the question for years about the best sardine and the answer was almost always ... they're all the same. I didn't buy that ... so I started buying different brands of sardines.

    I'm on my 54th can of sardines ... I'm doing Mexican sardines right now and for the most part ... ugh. The taste isn't so bad ... it's the texture ... kind of flabby.

    For my tastes Sardines from Spain & Portugual are the best. They have more of a tuna taste than the Brunswich / Bumble Bee type of sardine.

    The best mild 'classic' sardines are from Norway. Besides avoiding Mexican sardines, I wasn't too thrilled with what was packed in Thailand. Both Mexico & Thailand usually are packed in tomato sauce.

    Yeah, I'd love to get those Fairway sardines and give them a try. So far I'm aging a can of fancy French sardines. For all the rules about these sardines, I didn't like them too much in their unaged state ... they were sort of bitter ... Connetable Sardines entières à l’huile d’olive vierge extra - France

    Here's links to more info about aged sardines. One of the links says "Once they age, the flavors meld and become more complex, almost a non-fish thing, very nutty, deep, and enthralling"

    My favorite sardine to date is Angelo Parodi sardines. They are carried at most Italian markets or delis.

    I ate them plain, so can't help you there ... only hint ... if you get a can of sardines you don't like ... sriracha sauce will fix it.

    The best sardines are the sardines packed in olive oil or water. They are a better quality without sauces or spices to mask flaws. For flavored sardines CHECK THE LABEL !!!

    Especially for sardines of US origin. The US puts more junk and preservatives in sardines than any other country.

    Some sardines have a bitter taste to them. I think that happens when the tail is not cut off

    At this point, I would say that sardine quality can pretty much be determined my country of origin with the following ranking.

    The Philippines

    Here's my list ... excluding my slooooww current 'Mexican' phase.

    The Great Sardine Taste-off - wild, organic, Kosher, Polish, etc

    The Great Sardine Taste-off - best canned sardines - Next 7

    The Great Sardine Taste-off - the Sardine Saga continues (cans 31-39

    The Great Sardine Taste-off – the Spanish Saga (cans 40-49)


    1. Angelo Parodi Sardine Portoghesi all’olio di olivo – Portugal/Italy - $1.99
    2. Roland Sardines in Olive Oil - Morocco - $2.95
    3. BELA-Olhão lightly smoked sardines in olive oil. - Portugal - $1. 75
    4. Matiz Gallego sardines in olive oil - Spain - $2. 99
    5. Idamar Portuguese Sardines in olive oil - Portugal - $2. 25
    6. Gonsalves Sardines in olive oil – Portugal - $1.99
    7. Da Morgada Sardines in Pure Olive Oil - Portugal - $3. 99
    8. Albo Sardinas en aceite de oliva virgin extra – Spain
    9. Cabo de Penas Sardinillas en aceite de oliva - Spain
    10. El Corte Ingles Sardinas en aceite de oliva - Spain
    11. Palacio de`Oriente Sardinas en aceite de oliva - Spain
    12. Garavilla Sardinillas en aceite de oliva – Spain
    13. 5 Estrellas Grandes Hoteles Sardinillas en aceite de oliva - Spain
    14. Albo Sardines in Olive oil – Spain - $4.99
    15. King Oscar Sardines Mediterranean style – Norway, packed in Poland - $2.99
    16. Yankee Clipper lightly smoked sardines in soybean oil – Morocco - $2.49
    17. King Oscar Extra Small Sardines in fish oil 2 layers – Norway - $2.99
    18. Sardinas de la Costa en aceite de oliva - Spain
    19. Cuca Sardinas en aceite de oliva - Spain
    20. Connetable Sardines entières à l’huile d’olive vierge extra - France - $2. 95 (on sale, usually $4.50
    )21. BELA-Olhão lightly smoked sardines in cayenne pepper-flavored extra virgin olive oil. - Portugal - $1. 75
    22. Crown Prince One Layer Sardines in soy bean oil no Salt - Scotland - $1. 85
    23. Beach Cliff Sardines in soybean oil – USA / Canada - $.69
    24. Brunswick Sardines in Spring Water No Salt Added – Canada - $1.19
    25. Madrigal spiced sardines in vegetable oil – Morocco - $1.59
    26. Brunswick Sardines in Olive Oil – Canada - $1.19
    27. King Oscar Extra Small Brisling Sardines in purest virgin olive oil – Norway - $2.99
    28. King Oscar tiny tots Sardines in olive oil two layers – Norway - $2.99
    29. Bumble Bee sardines in tomato sauce - Mexico - $1. 29 (15 oz
    )30. Cracovia - Poland - $2. 55
    31. Palacio Real Small Sardines in Olive oil (slightly smoked) – Spain - $2.99
    32. BUMBLE BEE Sardines in Water – Poland - $.89
    33. King Oscar Sardines in pure spring water – Norway - $2.99
    34. BELA-Olhão lightly smoked sardines in lemon-flavored extra virgin olive oil. - Portugal - $1. 75
    35. Bumble Bee Sardines in Oil – Poland - $.99
    36. Paco Lafuente en aceite de oliva - Spain
    37. Mega Sardines in tomato sauce with chili – The Philippines - $.79
    38. Brunswick Sardines in Mustard Sauce – Canada - $1.19
    39. Bumble Bee Sardines in Mustard – Poland - $.89
    40. Yankee Clipper lightly smoked sardines in tomato sauce – Morocco - $2.49
    41. Yankee Clipper lightly smoked sardines in mustard sauce – Morocco - $2.49
    42. King Oscar Sardines in tomato – Norway - $2.99
    43. Brunswick Sardines in Mustard and Dill Sauce – Canada - $1.19
    44. King Oscar Skinless & boneless Sardines in olive oil – Morocco - $2.99
    45. Gourmet Award lightly smoked sardines in tomato sauce – Morocco - $1.89
    46. Pacific Star Lightly smoked sardines in vegetable oil - Thailand - $. 99
    47. Calmex sardines in tomato sauce - Mexico - $1. 19 (15 oz)
    48. Brunswick Sardines in tomato & basil Sauce – Canada - $1.19
    49. El Mexicano Sardinas en salsa de tomate con chile - Mexico - $1. 09 (15 oz)

    8 Replies
    1. re: rworange

      That is a terribly impressive post!

      Makes me want to run home to my sardines and compare the (sadly only) two types in my pantry.


      1. re: rworange

        Do you know where I can buy Angelo Parodi Sardine Portoghesi all’olio di olivo ?

        Thanks in advance,


        1. re: rworange

          Wow!! Thank you so much for sharing that!! I'll be printing this!

          1. re: rworange

            Great post. I will have to give sardines another try, since the last ones I tried were at best bland and almost mealy compared to , say, kippers.

            1. re: rworange

              Am I the only one terrified by this?
              Rworange is somewhere right now eating sardines and carefully recording data and observations.

              1. re: rworange

                My God- such devotion surely qualifies her for culinary sainthood no matter what faith she subscribes to!

                1. re: rworange

                  I live in the midwest and recently found that WalMart (sorry) carries the Poland brand of sardines. I bought a couple of cans and am happy to report that they're pretty darn good! They were large, boneless and (I think) lightly smoked, packed in olive oil and I couldn't eat them fast enough.

                  1. re: rworange

                    Holy cow! I mean fish! My dad ate them mashed on saltines, and it looked disgusting, but I am re-evaluating my position. I have certainly been impressed with some tuna and anchovies! And son in college with no kitchen is looking for protein. Hmmmmm.

                  2. I get 15oz cans of Calgirl with tomato and chilli,eat with bread and butter.Cheap too only around a dollar.I like the ones packed in cottenseed oil too,have a hard time finding them for some reason.Another thing i've found recentlly are Sprats you can get them at alot of Russian or Asian stores there like a sardine but smaller and if you get them smoked in cottenseed oil there gooood.

                    1. Italian, Spanish, Portuguese or Moroccan sardines in olive oil are all just fine to me. I like to mash a can of them onto a slice of rather dry sourdough bread smeared with a little butter, top with another slice spread with some mayonnaise and maybe mustard, and if you're feeling really antisocial put some slivers of onion in there too. I also like to break up a can of them into a container of cottage cheese, stir in a little mayo and some chopped green onion and scoop it out with some kind of indulgent cracker, like Ritz. Oh, man - that's lunch.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Will Owen

                        My Moroccan friends dump the good olive oil ones on a little plate and cover them in (mild) onion - such as red onion. They eat this with bread, like a tagine.

                      2. Avocado and sardines are a great combo. Put 'em on sliced sourdough or whole wheat with a little mayo and lettuce and savor away.

                        I prefer sardines in a can bearing the name and/or likeness of some member of Scandinavian royalty.

                        1. F.S., There is a specialty shop in Paris that specializes in aged, canned sardines. Recently I've discovered some sardines from Spain that are remarkable.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Walters

                            Hi Walters,

                            Do you have the address of the Parisian shop that specializes in aged, canned sardines? Thanks!

                          2. i like them sauteed with some garlic and chili and mixed into scrambled eggs. also love them with mustard and watercress on crusty bread.

                            1. My wife, whom detests sardines, just left for a business trip and I'm on my own this evening. Guess what's going on rye bread with lettuce and mustard in just a few minutes?

                              1. One of my favorite sandwiches. Rye bread, mayo, sardines, sliced hardcooked eggs, thinly sliced onion, thin slices of tomato, salt and pepper. Heaven.

                                1. have to replay to this one,I love em but try to get 2 layer sardines,they are smaller and mild.
                                  my personal favorite way to eat them is dump out oil,add small amount hot sauce,then place on no salt added crackers.(the fish already has a ton of salt in it ).I eat 2-3 cans a wk.

                                  1. Here's my favorite brand. I've tried only four different ones - big difference between the boned and skinless and that which is not - the cheaper brands tasted like what I paid for them. My favorite (and the one other brand, whose name escapes me - the product was being discontinued, the sardines came from Portugal, were boned and skinless, and were quite good, the other was packed in some sauce and dimished the enjoyment of the pure taste of the sardines so badly that I couldn't finish the contents, and had the foul aftertaste of the sauce rather than that of the sardines) is "Season." "Season" brand sardines come from Morocco. I have seen their boneless and skinless sardines packed in water, olive oil, soy oil, and soya oil. Needless to say, the ones packed in olive oil, were mouth wateringly delicious. The ones packed in soy and soya oil are still very good, but you can taste the difference in the oil.

                                    So, if such sardines at $2+ per 4 3/8 oz tin (and sometimes when on sale, they can be purchased at a much lower cost, combined with coupons) are delicious, why not spend under 75 cents for the other sardines with bones and skin at drug stores that sell them this cheaply? Why spend more just because you have to remove the bones and skin yourself? For some reason, the sardines themself just don't taste as good. I'd compare the difference in sardine quality I had between the 75 cent brand and the Season boned and skinless sardine in olive oil to the difference between select grade beef and filet mignon.

                                    I just started eating sardines a few years ago, and I consider the higher quality sardines, packed in olive oil, boned and skinless, one of the most delicious foods one can eat out of a tin! (Can't do that with tuna, and I love canned tuna fish!) And they are also healthy!! I have found these sardines not fishy tasting, as some people have told me why they would never try them. I don't know why sardines have a reputation for bad taste and smell. These are quite mild, and have the texture of solid tuna but more tender, as well as having a taste resembling that of albacore tuna.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: FelafelBoy

                                      I like tiny, more expensive ones (I use more ordinary, but not supercheap, ones if I want to mash them into a pâté) but never boneless. I need calcium, as I had a severe cow's milk allergy as a child and there weren't the scientific subtitution formulations there are now, and the little bones of tinned fish are one of the best non-dairy dietary sources of calcium.

                                      1. re: FelafelBoy

                                        wow, thanks for letting people know about the skinless/boneless kind!

                                      2. Wild raised, boneless skinless sardines in oil. Toast a GOOD bagel. Top with a layer of sardines, garnish (with a heavy hand) with capers - heaven.

                                        1. Put the sardines with tomato on Spaghetti noodles too,warm them seperatly with a little garlic and olive oil,squirt with lemon or lime.

                                          1. Oh my, I thought was the only person who loved canned sardines. I buy skinless and boneless sardines packed in water. I dump the whole can (water included) into soups, salads, a vat of olive oil, mayonaise; whatever I am eating that day. I also love anchovies. Try anchovies with canned pineapple. I swear it's good.

                                            1. I actually have always eaten the skin and bones of canned sardines, just like canned salmon. I started eating them while backpacking around Africa. I would get the ones packed in tomato sauce or chili sauce, put on thick sliced bread with Coleman's English Mustard (the real stuff), gouda and cucumbers. Sometimes I would do the same with hardboiled eggs.

                                              1. I'm stuck with what I can get at the supermarket. Fortunately, my local store carries Vigo Skinless Boneless Spanish sardines that I really like.

                                                They taste like fish and I like them right out of the can, but they do make a great sauce for pasta when sauteed with some garlic and tomato.

                                                1. The only way I've ever eaten them is atop a saltine (like Dad used to serve them to me!). But boy am I inspired now!

                                                  1. I grill (not sure if that means the same thing in the US - I mean I cook them under a gas flame) drained sardines in olive oil, bones and skins ON. I cook them till the skin is crunchy and serve them with a squeeze of lemon juice.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: Peg

                                                      Over here we call that broiling.....

                                                      1. re: Peg

                                                        That grilling/broiling idea sounds great. Never thought to do that with canned sardines. Liked your other invention too ... time for you to think of doing a sardine cookbook.

                                                        1. re: Peg

                                                          Where are you from, Peg? I'm curious. :) I always thought that such a method was called broiling, pretty much universally, in addition to grilling requiring well... a grilled surface. Hence the name.


                                                          1. re: Peg

                                                            Thank you for the tip. I've lamented the fact that I can't get fresh sardines, but it never occurred to me to broil the tinned sardines. I'm going to try it this weekend.

                                                          2. AND ... invented this very night - drain 1 can sardines in olive oil (inc skin&bone), mix with chilli sauce of choice to taste, 1 mashed ripe hass avocado, grated cheese (I use mature low fat cheddar) - grill, er, broil between 2 wholemeal flour tortillas.
                                                            Quesadillas a la sardines.
                                                            Lordy that was good (pats stomach).

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Peg

                                                              My mother used to make a dip of sardines and cream cheese. Room temp cream cheese (from Daitch of course) and a can of boneless/skinless saridines in olive oil. Delicious. My father would have his Jewish corn bread (see my post on that) with a thick layer of sweet butter and sardines packed in tomato sauce.

                                                            2. The pricey sardines at Fairway were quite good, but probably not worth the $$, IMO.

                                                              I prefer Portuguese sardines on crusty french bread.

                                                              1. i like to sautee some minced shallots in olive oil, then add a tin of sardines packed in tomato sauce. break up sardines a bit, add capers, dried pepper flakes, dijon mustard, chopped parsley, chopped black olives (if i have them). i usually spread this on a slice of toasted fresh baguette. i have tried serving it over pasta also with very good results.

                                                                7 Replies
                                                                1. re: rebs

                                                                  I like to take a good bagel, smear on some cream cheese, sprinkle a generous amount of freshly ground pepper and top with some thinly sliced onion. YUM.

                                                                  They are also good in salads.

                                                                  1. re: rebs

                                                                    This sound "deadly" in a good way...I have to try this....do you serve it warm or cold?

                                                                    1. re: Pollo

                                                                      serve it warm.

                                                                      i first served it on a cold snowy night for dinner. we started with a cheese plate and a bottle of red wine. then the sardines w/ baguette. my kind of dinner!

                                                                      1. re: rebs

                                                                        Couldn't, couldn't, couldn't help myself - just riffed on Rebs' version above: sliced shallots, salted and sauteed in olive oil. Very small dollop of tomato paste, splash red wine, & worchester, added a tin of sardines and broke up a bit. Would've added capers but was out...continued with dried pepper flakes, grainy antico mustard, chopped parsley and chopped black olives. Redrizzled with olive oil. No baguette, but slathered on a whole wheat saltine. Guiltlessly poured, at 2:00 in the afternoon, the last lonely glass of Nero d'Avola leftover from last night.

                                                                        Used Brunswick sardines packed in springwater. Not nearly as salty as expected - hence the salt added above. Coulda gone lemon, parm, poppyseed but held back. Thanks Rebs!

                                                                      2. re: Pollo

                                                                        I made something similar today - cream cheese, sardines, scallions, capers, pickled onions, and tomato on an everything bagel. YUM.

                                                                    2. In my house we grew up mixing sardines with onions, pepper and hot sauce. You mash them lightly so there are still chunks and then you put them on saltines.

                                                                      All this sardine talk makes me want more.

                                                                      In my house we buy the ones packed in oil. The ones packed in hot sauce are OK too.

                                                                      1. You almost sound ashamed! Canned sardines are a canned piece of heaven, or "cielo", if they're from Spain. Have you tried "sardinillas" or baby sardines in olive oil? How about Spanish sardines in Hot tomato sauce, on a toasted slice of baguette?!!!???

                                                                        1. Glad someone bumped this thread or I would have missed it. Or...maybe I'm upset because I'm so ravenous for sardines and nary a tin in the house?

                                                                          One indulgence I like is a slice of good sturdy (!) Danish rye, buttered; egg fried sunny side up, mess up the yolk a little and flip, but take out while still a wee bit "sloppy;" thin slices of English cucumber and a couple of sardines to top it. Sprinkle with a little fresh dill and eat with fork and knife. Heavenly.

                                                                          1. Does anyone know where I can order Palacio de Oriente sardines in olive oil in the United States? Thanks so much! ~gumby141

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. What a great post! Our fave. is canned right here in Maine. Port Clyde fish steaks; larger sardines, caught in the Gulf of Maine and sliced into nice thick steaks and canned. The Stinson cannery was just bought out by Bumble Bee, so I don't know how longer the label will continue. Maine used to have 43 canneries and now is down to two. It is an interesting part of the local history. An old sardine carrier is now used as a tourist boat. Some old canneries are being converted into condos!
                                                                              If ever in Stavanger, Norway, visit the Sardine Museum. Very interesting.
                                                                              Sardine omlettes, besides sardines on toast are our faves. Make a great healthy lunch too. Either as a sandwich or in a Greek salad.
                                                                              I used to go to the cannery in Tennant's Harbor, in the 80's, and get a case of 48 cans w/ no labels painted on, for 2 bucks! Those were the days......

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                Dittos on Port Clyde fish steaks.

                                                                                "Higher Class" sardines are a joy, but for some simple cheap "get-down-eatin'-those-Omega3's", fish steaks are great. They've been a staple in the backpack during the camping days, morphing to a great go-to in the workplace desk drawer, no draining of oil required.

                                                                                When you open the lid, about a dozen steaks (1/2" cross sections of the large sardine) are arrayed in two lines: dorsal edge toward toward the can edge, with ventral flaps alternating along the interior. It's really some very pretty stuff.

                                                                                Often dismissed as a plebian food (to be consumed by those who also reach for vienna sausages and potted meat food product and moonpies), they are cheap (.89 retail). I buy the ones canned in "mustard sauce" for the workplace.

                                                                                For a fine high class presentation, try a salad nicoise, with rinsed and blotted mustard sauce fish steaks spread out in a radial line, with a bit of aoili/wasabi mayo, draped by 1/2 of an anchovy. It's a few steps up from the vi-eenie guys.

                                                                                Here's the brand:

                                                                              2. I grew up with this sardine paste we spread on a piece of (rye, of course) bread- my mom would mash a can of sardines (with oil! Don't drain them) with some farmers cheese (I guess in the US you can use cream cheese) , and added a bit of sweet hungarian paprika. It was sooooo good!

                                                                                1. These are my favorites
                                                                                  1.King Oscar Sardines in olive oil/cross packed /Poland
                                                                                  2.Bruswick sardines in Soybean oil/ Canada
                                                                                  3.Brunswick sardines in Olive oil/ Canada
                                                                                  4.Season Sardines in Olive oil/ Morocco

                                                                                  Also: You might want to try Mackerel fillets in oil. They can be hard to find but they are tasty.

                                                                                  A great sanwich can be made with a nice thick slice of liverwurst, raw onion and half a can of sardines. Fresh pumpernickel and a dab of Plochmanns stone ground mustard will finish the deal. Now, thats a real man's sangwich

                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: irish65

                                                                                    I can't believe this post exists, fantastic!

                                                                                    The best canned sardines I have had are from a French brand called La Perle des Dieux. I first had them in a French restaurant in Paris (who would have imagined tinned sardines on a restaurant menu??) but they were divine. The cans they come in are also beautiful.

                                                                                    I tried ordering some online through their website but to have them ship outside of France was too expensive. They quoted me €25 to ship to England! Alas, I'llk have to wait to my next trip to Paris to seek them out.

                                                                                    1. re: irish65

                                                                                      I have never seen Brunswick Sardines in olive oil in Canada - bizarre. Hope some sardine aficionado can tell me where i can buy them.

                                                                                      1. re: lagatta

                                                                                        I'm in Montreal and see the Brunswick brand at Metro all the time. I'm sure you could find some at IGA, Loblaw's or Sobeys. Not sure about the ones packed in olive oil, though.
                                                                                        I'm going to look for the skinless/boneless kind from Europe. I've only ever had the cheap, packed in tomato sauce kind. Not impressed. But they're super healthy so worth another try, I figure. Looks like mayo or hot sauce us important.

                                                                                        1. re: bakersdelight

                                                                                          bakersdelight, I'm in Montréal too - you haven't seen me on the Quebec board? I'm a regular contributor. Sure, I've seen Brunswick sardines and other fishy things at Metro, IGA, Loblaws and other chain or independent grocery stores. What I was searching for was the olive-oil packed kind, which I have never seen.

                                                                                          Actually, sardines are healthier with the bones (calcium). I can see that people might not want the skins to save on fat, though they are "good" fat.

                                                                                          They are great in salads and pasta too, and on rice.

                                                                                          1. re: lagatta

                                                                                            hi again, no olive oil-packed at the IGA! There's this shop I suspect will have good ones--an Italian bakery and fine foods shop on Sherbrooke near Victoria in Westmount. Or any good Italian shop, right?
                                                                                            I should check out the Quebec board more often!
                                                                                            Sardines may be more calcium-rich with the bones, but I'm afraid I just can't abide that in terms of mouth-feel. Same goes for canned salmon. I can have dairy so I don't need it for the calcium.
                                                                                            FelafelBoy said they taste more like tuna when skinless and boned! That is what I need them to do. Because the thing is, legatta, at this point in time, I really hate sardines.

                                                                                        2. re: lagatta

                                                                                          i get them in strathmore sobyes and in calgary

                                                                                      2. I'm partial to Portuguese/Spanish sardines in soybean oil or olive oil. The former make great sandwiches. The latter I cook by first caramelizing onions and garlic. Then chopped, seeded tomatoes. I add the sardines, season with soy sauce, oregano and sliced chilies, heat through and serve with rice.

                                                                                        1. I like Cento sardines in olive oil.

                                                                                          1. I've tried a bunch and like As Do Mar best. Unfortunately, the US sources have been out of stock for several months. Watch http://www.cortibros.biz/tek9.asp?pg=... and grab them when they arrive.

                                                                                            1. Glad to see this post resurrected! I discovered sardines and some uses for them not too long ago myself (thanks, hounds). At the moment, my favorite ones are the Waitrose ones packed in oil with chili peppers (not sauce). They also make good ones with lemon slices. But now I'm inspired to try a few more.

                                                                                              Usually I'm too eager to eat them to do much except open the can and cut a slice of bread. But one suggestion I got from a fellow hound was to put them on just-cooked spaghetti. Very delicious and a very quick dinner, too.

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Kagey

                                                                                                That does remind me...they are certainly very good tossed with spaghetti, olive oil, browned garlic and parsley. Your lemon-flavored sardines sound like they would add a bit something more, too!

                                                                                                1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                  You may be onto something. I think I know what dinner tonight is going to be.

                                                                                              2. made the same way one amkes tuna salad w/ or w/out mayo

                                                                                                sauteed w/ garlic and dried hot peppers in olive on pasta

                                                                                                straight out of the can

                                                                                                1. I love canned sardines, and seek out only Spanish or Portuguese in either olive oil or spring water. My favourite dish is linguini with sardines. I sautee onions in the olive oil from the can and "disolve" an anchovy or two at the same time. I add a lot of chopped garlic, chopped flat leaf parsley, a handful of capers, dried chilies, lemon zest & a squirt of the juice, a dash of pasta water, and then gently fold in the canned sardines. It is simple, fast & to die for. I also came across an awesome recipe by Mario Batali for sardine fritters. Check it out. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ma...

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: ljwtoronto

                                                                                                    Great recipe - I am going to try this.

                                                                                                    When I can find Monterey Bay sardines in tomato sauce, I make a tomato based pasta sauce (often with fennel) using them. But canned Monterey Bay sardines are rare these days, and other sardines in tomato sauce are not nearly the same quality.

                                                                                                    But if anyone knows good sardines in tomato sauce, please provide details.

                                                                                                    1. re: ljwtoronto

                                                                                                      I have experimented with your idea. I actually wrote up the recipe and posted about it on KirkK's blog:


                                                                                                      Though I like the recipe with Angelo Parodi's better, it really is good with the cheaper sardines.

                                                                                                      Thanks again for the idea.

                                                                                                    2. BELA-Olhão!!!!!
                                                                                                      delicious AND sustainable!

                                                                                                      i tried Brunswick (Canada) after that, and it tasted... cheap.

                                                                                                      usually i just slap it onto ryvita or a rice cake.
                                                                                                      these are my studio eats.
                                                                                                      (as in, i've been in studio for 2334 hours, it's 4AM, and stomach's grumbling)

                                                                                                      1. Thank you to everybody who posted these wonderful ideas! I stumbled onto this thread while searching for something to do with a can of Goya Sardines (something i've never really had the courage to try) I accidentally bought months ago, and after giving them a quick saute in garlic, olive oil, and pepper flakes and eating with some buttered toast, they're now high on my list of canned guilty pleasures (along with spam, baby clams, and smoked oysters ^-^).

                                                                                                        Thanks so much for the great ideas!

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: DreamCyn

                                                                                                          I tried this recipe the other day and it went very well (I make up a lot of my own stuff).

                                                                                                          Per 1 can sardines:

                                                                                                          1/3 of an onion (of your preference)
                                                                                                          2 teaspoons apple butter
                                                                                                          2 tablespoons apple cider
                                                                                                          1 dash paprika
                                                                                                          1 dash cinnamon
                                                                                                          2 cloves of garlic, minced
                                                                                                          2 tablespoons olive oil (or oil of your choice)

                                                                                                          Put apple butter, cider, minced garlic, paprika and cinnamon in a bowl and wisk/beat until consistent. Slice onion to personal taste and saute in oil. Once the onions are glowing but not yet browned, add contents of bowl. Then add sardines, which can be separated beforehand into half-inch pieces, or simply added whole. Sautee the whole thing for two minutes. This can be garnished with thin cucmber slices and soy sauce, and melting a little of your favorite cheese on top can also be a nice compliment.

                                                                                                        2. I usually make them sort of Spanish style Escebeche but what's also good is Mexican ceviche style with lemon juice, a diced jalapeno or serrano pepper, some chopped cilantro, green onion, red onion, a tomato, and some diced cucumber if you want, some salt and pepper. Use sardines in water. mix it up a little. Fry a few corn tortillas in canola oil until they're tostadas, drain them. Serve it on tostadas with some Tapatio or other Mexican hot sauce if you need more ka-bang. Pop a few Cerveza. Mui Deliciosa.

                                                                                                          1. I've only been eating them for a few months, and I love em. I don't buy any expensive kinds, but my favorite brand right now is Goya because it seems to have the richest flavor.
                                                                                                            I'm currently trying different kinds, like right now I've got a can of Ligo in the pantry, canned in Tomato Sauce with Chili, and I'm a little wary of it, but I figure it'll be good sauteed with garlic and served on rice.
                                                                                                            My usual eating method is to saute with olive oil, garlic, shallots, and chili flakes, spread on toasted bread. I've done it in pasta too, which was pretty good.

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: DreamCyn

                                                                                                              I grew up on Ligo. They have good flavor from what I remember, and were best sauteed as your described.

                                                                                                            2. Great collection of information here. I just wanted to add that, for those of you in the US, Costco sells a 5-pack of Season skinless/boneless sardines in olive oil (3.75 oz/105 g) for $7.39. That works out to $1.48 per tin, almost half the price of the grocery store. Happy eating!

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: CC_3

                                                                                                                Ohhhhhh I second the sardines from Costco!! They're the best I've ever had...granted, the only ones I've had experience with are regular supermarket brands. That said, these skinless/boneless sardines are amazing!

                                                                                                                1. re: librarianjen

                                                                                                                  AND---Costco brand sardines are packed in OLIVE OIL. Great price and quality. I eat sardines for their omega 3 value- for the same reason I eat herring ( bought at Costco). Now for fresh sardines, which I buy to grill, and used as a main meal dish, I call several local fish mongers ,and they sometimes have them ---$10 per pound.

                                                                                                              2. I just had the La Quiberonnaise vintage 2007 sardines in olive oil. Amazing! The best sardines I have ever had.

                                                                                                                1. Me too! I've recently tried sardines for the first time after being a long-time-lover of anchovies. A favorite of mine at the moment is canned sardines on grainy rye crackers with sliced baby yellow roma tomatoes, roasted red capsicum with fresh parsley & cracked pepper. yum. might try with avocado next

                                                                                                                  1. I just made some for a snack, and just wanted to share my discovery, a quick sardine curry!

                                                                                                                    Mince up some garlic and shallots (or onion), and set up a skillet to heat with about a tablespoon of oil (I used canola). When ready, stir in a tablespoon of Red Curry Paste, toss for a few seconds then add the garlic and shallots. After a few moments (I don't like browned garlic, but if you do, wait for it) tip a (drained) can of sardines (I love plain Goya) straight into the pan. If you don't like them whole like I do, separate/skin/de-bone them ahead of time. Toss around to brown the skin a little bit and cover it well with the paste. Then add a tablespoon or two of coconut cream and toss to coat. Let sit and boil for a while. Serve and eat by itself or with rice or toast. Yummy!

                                                                                                                    It came out so much better than i thought it would!

                                                                                                                    1. in India we only get John West or Brunswick. Happy to know your comments on their quality.

                                                                                                                      In London stores like Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury have their store brands. Is their quality good

                                                                                                                      1. I'm also a newcomer to the wonderful world of sardines and my experience is very circumscribed. The only kind I've tried are the boneless, skinless Season sardines in olive oil. I eat them on saltines with spicy mustard or pepper sauce. In fact, had a tin last night. Scrumptious!

                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                          PK, find some Kippered (smoked) sardines, a natural for a Texan, but stay way from smoked catfish, soggy and hard to light.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                            If it's smoked, I'm there. Unless we're talkin' smoked oysters, of course. ;)

                                                                                                                            1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                              Smoked ocean or Rocky Mountain oysters? I like them both. If it is possible in Lubbock, buy fresh oysters in the shell (Maybe the jarred ones work too, but I haven't tried.) and put them on your smoker until they open and then another 15-30 minutes. We also had fresh sardines on the grill over xmas. Yum.
                                                                                                                              ps there's an outside chance I might be driving to Deming next week.

                                                                                                                        2. From "The 11 Best Foods You Aren’t Eating"
                                                                                                                          Sardines: Dr. Bowden calls them “health food in a can.” They are high in omega-3’s, contain virtually no mercury and are loaded with calcium. They also contain iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese as well as a full complement of B vitamins.
                                                                                                                          How to eat: Choose sardines packed in olive or sardine oil. Eat plain, mixed with salad, on toast, or mashed with dijon mustard and onions as a spread.

                                                                                                                          1. Bumble Bee has reduced their can size from 4.2 oz to 3 oz! That's more than 25%!!!

                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                              yea, soon they'll be selling it in nickel bags.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Rmis32

                                                                                                                                No that's "smoked" herring. A little soggy and hard to light.

                                                                                                                            2. success! skinless/boneless millionaires in water, from morocco. ate them with lots of parsley, lemon, and a few capers and it was a lovely little snack. healthy and cheap! hooray!

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: bakersdelight

                                                                                                                                That sounds even better than the rest of the fixings I've read! Who knew there were so many sardine fanatics? Not me for sure, my mother always said "I don't like fishy-tasting fish", and I had to taste some kipper snacks from a friend at a party to realize what I'd been missing out on all those years. It was kind of one of those "Oh no, if I don't I'll lose face" things, and I'm so glad I tried it! I still don't care much for the skins and bones, to my detriment, because the calcium levels would be enormous. but I do like crispy salmon skin in sushi. Anyway, I have since discovered a whole new world of savory seafood out there and intend to continue it.

                                                                                                                                1. re: bakersdelight

                                                                                                                                  A friend from Morocco does pretty much this, but also includes finely sliced mild onion (red onion or any other mild type). Parsley or coriander/cilantro, capers or whatever you like with fish.

                                                                                                                                  She tends to eat this with a bit of bread, but that is an eating custom in her culture.

                                                                                                                                2. I am a newbie to the sardine world and I have to admit they can really hit the spot sometimes.

                                                                                                                                  Amazon.com has some pretty good deals on canned sardines, especially if you can get the free shipping.

                                                                                                                                  Matiz Gallego in Olive Oil, 5 tins for $12.
                                                                                                                                  Crown Prince in EVOO, 12 tins for about $30.
                                                                                                                                  On the cheap end, Roland in Olive Oil, 10 tins for $16.

                                                                                                                                  I like to dump a whole tin, with oil, into a bowl with some soft cream cheese and thin sliced onion and mash it all up. Eat with crackers and hot sauce. Cold beer is recommended.

                                                                                                                                  Thanks to rworange for the inspiring survey.

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: scoob

                                                                                                                                    Throw a can of sardines into the blender w/ calmeta olives (pitted), garlic and more olive oil and blend; toss w/ hot pasta for a quick, delicious, healthy meal.
                                                                                                                                    Sardine eaters make better lovers.

                                                                                                                                  2. I prefer sardines packed with green chilies. Eat them on saltine crackers. My parents ate them that way and so do I. My grandparents had sardines every Thursday night. Thursday supper was sardines, saltine crackers and a bowl of tomatoes with chopped onions. If tomatoes were not in season, they ate home canned ones with the chopped onions. Very simple and gazpacho like. But they always had sardines.

                                                                                                                                    I'm going to try them some of the ways mentioned here. Thanks for all the ideas. Reading this topic made me hungry for sardines, so I had them with crackers for my supper tonight.

                                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: decolady

                                                                                                                                      Just out of curiosity, what nationality are your grandparents? What you describe sounds very Mediterranean. Perhaps eastern Med.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                        My grandfather's family was of British, Swiss & black Irish extraction, but my grandmother was Spanish, Creole French, and black Irish. He was born in Texas and reared in Louisiana, while my grandmother lived all her life in Louisiana. When my grandfather was growing up their next door neighbors were Lebanese. My Mom says this was Thursday supper as long as she can remember, so I suspect this recipe may have come from the neighbors. After my Mom and uncle graduated college my grandparents travelled a lot. While most of my grandmother's cooking was traditional Louisiana food, their travels enriched her repertoire. She was a wonderful cook and taught me from when I was a small child and had to stand on a stool to reach the counter.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: decolady

                                                                                                                                          Quite an interesting mix of nationalities!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                            Mmmmmm Sardines... I've eaten them straight out of the can since as far back into my chidhood that I can remember ;)

                                                                                                                                            My favorite quick recipe for a left over french bread is to make little grilled slices and top with:

                                                                                                                                            small palm of chopped capers, finely diced onions, a quick squeeze of dijon mustard and pepper... dump in olive oil King Oscar sardines and coarsely mix... spread on little toasts and top with rounds of cherry tomato slices. YUM.

                                                                                                                                            A favorite snack as a child was eating them on saltine w/ hot sauce or simply placed in bread w/ diced onions and mustard.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: tiffeecanoe

                                                                                                                                              That quick recipe sounds like it could be lunch! I've got some leftover baguette in the kitchen that needs to be used.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: decolady

                                                                                                                                                It was MY lunch...which led me to google sardine recipes and led me to this thread! HA! :)

                                                                                                                                                1. re: decolady

                                                                                                                                                  Just as quick and easy - sardines + capers + onions + cream cheese on bread/crackers of choice. Yum!

                                                                                                                                        2. After watching Alton Brown's episode of Good Eats about his diet plan, I've followed his lead and have been enjoying sardines with mashed avocado on whole wheat for lunch. A+ to this recipe. Take a piece of bread an smear on some mashed avocado then top with a can of mashed sardines. Very satisfying. I even got my wife to try it and she's not big on sardines. The avocado mutes the fishiness of the sardines.

                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                            and the avocado has s-u-u-u-u-ch a creamy mouthfeel, doesn't it? It's just so incredible...I have yet to try this combination (and Iove sardines!) but even a sliced up avocado on my green salad at lunch makes me feel like royalty!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Val

                                                                                                                                              Give it a try. It has become my lunch time favorite. Even got my wife to try it last night and she hates sardines. She didn't love it but gave it an okay. And that's from someone who really hates sardines and labels it as cat food.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                That's neat, Scuba. I saw Alton's show about a year ago where he had really thinned down due to, in his words, a heavy incorporation of sardines. And the avocados are a beautiful addition of unsaturates.

                                                                                                                                                Kudos too, to the SO who palated at least a bite. Lots of cultural stigma around good sardines.

                                                                                                                                                "Cat food" finally, is not the worst appellation. If our human populace would feed themselves with the fundamental foods that we feed our dogs and cats, would we really have an obesity epidemic?

                                                                                                                                                I too do the sardine whole wheat sandwich with the avocado bridge. But I add a heavily spiced mayo made from soybean and olive oil, with garlic and wasabi powder and anchovies. and mash some avocado slices in there.

                                                                                                                                                Again... a bridge. The wasabi (really horseradish) cuts the fishiness just a bit.

                                                                                                                                                As to calories, the one tbs of mayo comes in at 100.

                                                                                                                                                But it bridges the mouthfeel that you mentioned, adding a third player.

                                                                                                                                          2. I am delighted to find that someone other than myself likes sardines combined with a starchy food. I developed a recipe similar to yours using grits, as I'm from the south. I combine a can of skinless and boneless Reese sardines packed in olive oil with a cup or so of cooked grits, and add 3 tablespoons of diced canned tomatoes. I then add two tablespoons of chopped black olives, I break up the sardines and stir this mixture, then heat it for a minute in the microwave, as everything except the grits is cold. I add hot sauce and lemon pepper seasoning at the table. I usually have it as a breakfast meal, and find it delicious and satisfying, but have yet to convince anyone else to try it!

                                                                                                                                            Paul Reeves

                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. re: reeves1

                                                                                                                                              You've convinced me! This sounds like an outstanding breakfast to me.

                                                                                                                                            2. My best sardine/canned oily fish experiences were in the UK.

                                                                                                                                              1. I was walking around London at lunchtime and stepped into a sandwich shop. I don't know if it was on the menu board but I tried a sardine sandwich with pickle (dill, not their relishy-type) on a granary bap (whole grain & seed roll). It was dee-licious.

                                                                                                                                              2. Full 'English' breakfast in Scotland: eggs, broiled tomato, kippers and toast. The kippers went really well with the other breakfast foods.

                                                                                                                                              1. The best canned sardines I ever ate were Hyacinthe Parmentier (in olive oil with herbes de provence). They were a present from a friend who corgi we were minding while she was in France. Does anyone know a webgrocer in the states who sells these or other French brands?


                                                                                                                                                1. I like fresh sardines, grilled with a little salt and pepper, maybe a squeeze of lemon or lime. Nothing fancy. They serve it like this in Spain. I've tried doing this at home but the fresh sardines I can get are kind of sad looking--eyes are cloudy, flesh doesn't feel right, cooks up kind of dry. Oh well, another reason to go to Spain (like I even need one).

                                                                                                                                                  Otherwise, I'm not too fussy as far as the canned ones go. I do like the ones packed in water (less messy?), and the small ones are easier for me to handle on a cracker. I've had one in some sort of mediterranean tomato sauce that I can't find anywhere (but I know I ate one can) that was excellent. Otherwise, just plain ol' canned sardines, drain the liquid (make the drain stink), slice up a good onion into think slices, a dollop of mayo if you must, crackers (I'm not a bread eater). I'm a happy camper. I need to find actual recipes for tinned sardines since I love them so much. They ought to have made sardine salad in a can (sort of like they now have tuna salad in a can ready to eat, sometimes you can buy the can with a few crackers). And sardine paste (like anchovy paste) to spread on stuff or squirt in stuff like celery and olives and things. I like the ones with the bones. Oddly, I've never even tried kippers, must be about the same thing.

                                                                                                                                                  Wasn't there a private investigator series of books where the p.i. (a woman) liked to eat sardine sandwiches? Not Grafton (I don't think it was her), Marcia Muller's Sharon McCone?

                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Big Belly

                                                                                                                                                    i love sardines! cause they are tasty and convienient. wanna share my favourite way to eat them that is , brunswick canadian sardine in olive oil they are best.first i mince two cloves of garlic, finely chop half of a small onion,piece of hot pepper, one pimento pepper all finely chopped. i clean the sardine i think it tastes better this way. i scape of the sliver scales take out the guts an bones. then i squeeze a half a teaspoon lime over the sardine sprinkle a dash of black pepper an flavour seasoning then i add all the chopped ingridents with also a small chopped tomato an now my sardine is ready to eat with crackers or bread delicious, i hope u try this u will enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: passionfruit

                                                                                                                                                      I like the Brunswick sardines too, $.99 at Reny's in Maine. While kayak guiding along the Maine coast in the summer, I "Pop a Top Again", eat the sardines w/ my fingers, rinse the can and my fingers in the ocean and look at the expression of the tourists. Priceless. One would think I'm a cannibal.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                        I will have to say that the Brunswick Olive Oil sardines are what I buy and enjoy most frequently...okay, they are $1.25 here in snooty old Naples, FL...sheesh! But I really do love them! I don't like to *sanitize* them as passionfruit does because to me, it removes all the best nutrients...but whatever...each to her/his own!

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Big Belly

                                                                                                                                                      Cyrus Reed, husband of Mrs. Pollifax in the books by Dorothy Gilman, is a huge sardines fan.

                                                                                                                                                    3. Just bought a brand called "Alshark" Moroccan sardines, but its mostly in another language. Anyone tried these?

                                                                                                                                                      1. Excellent recipe for sardines...

                                                                                                                                                        Ingredients are per serving.

                                                                                                                                                        1 can (95g) Generic supermarket sardines in spring water (morocco origin)
                                                                                                                                                        cherry tomato's ( about a dozen or so)
                                                                                                                                                        black olives ( about a dozen or so)
                                                                                                                                                        capers ( to taste, enough to "cause a stir" )
                                                                                                                                                        diced garlic ( to taste... a clove or two)
                                                                                                                                                        basil (fresh or not, it's up to you)
                                                                                                                                                        olive oil
                                                                                                                                                        salt and pepper (to taste)
                                                                                                                                                        Parmesan ( to taste )
                                                                                                                                                        Fresh pasta ( I use fettuccine, however, linguine, angel hair, or anything will do)

                                                                                                                                                        Heat pan, add oil. ("mediumish" heat)
                                                                                                                                                        Add tomato's, olives, let tomato's soften.
                                                                                                                                                        Add garlic, sardines, capers, let cook till garlic browns. Add more olive oil if needed to prevent pan from going "dry".
                                                                                                                                                        Throw fresh pasta in boiling water. (cooks in minutes)
                                                                                                                                                        Add basil to pan, season with salt and pepper, and turn down heat until pasta is done.
                                                                                                                                                        Strain pasta, toss into pan and mix.
                                                                                                                                                        Plate, and garnish with Parmesan to taste.



                                                                                                                                                        Good mix of protein, carbs, and straight up delicious.

                                                                                                                                                        Cheap too. I can buy sardines at my super market for 59 cents a can!

                                                                                                                                                        I have this at least 3 times a week. :)

                                                                                                                                                        Sardines are an excellent and inexpensive source of protein.

                                                                                                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: James Idi

                                                                                                                                                          I do a very similar recipe using anchovies. The next step. More zap!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                            I have been trying different brands and finally found the Angelo Parodi Sardines. The are pretty good but since they are larger fish the have more noticable scales. It is not bad but a sight irritation to me, My favorite so far are the Crown Prince skinless & boneless sardines in olive oil. I just drain the oil out and put salt and pepper on the, I eat one can each day at work. It is handy and tastes great. I can get them at Walmart or HEB in Texas.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mrappe

                                                                                                                                                              Funny, we're moving to NM next month and we've packed a box full of our local fave. sardines, just in case.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                wow, passa...you are LEAVING the NE??? sounds like a drastic move to the desert southwest...yeah, definitely take the sardines!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Val

                                                                                                                                                                  Back to where I started teaching 39 years ago! Gettin vested in a second retirement, be back June 1. Bro & daughter in SW.
                                                                                                                                                                  Taking a ton of Roland and Bar Harbor brand sardines.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                    "One must always travel with canned fish" -
                                                                                                                                                                    - Confishius, China, circa 590 BCE

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: FoodFuser

                                                                                                                                                                      Just for the halibut?
                                                                                                                                                                      Oh cod!
                                                                                                                                                                      Dumkeg, Maine, circa 1988 AD

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                        (Grasping and gasping for an appropriate pun in response, I Flounder.)

                                                                                                                                                                        They are little fish. Thus you must trust the 70's band LittleFeet ........that somewhere twixt Tuscon and Tucumcari there will be canned sardines, "or everywhere in between."

                                                                                                                                                                        Something tells me you know the song. If not... be "Willin'"

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: FoodFuser

                                                                                                                                                                          Yup, it sound a little fishy, but Little Feet played in Ellsworth 2 years ago!
                                                                                                                                                                          Now clam up!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                            Why after passage of many of months
                                                                                                                                                                            is the knock on the carbonate shell of this bivalve?

                                                                                                                                                                            I've been settled and nestled in soft filter-feeding
                                                                                                                                                                            along with twice-weekly can of sardines

                                                                                                                                                                            As currents flow past me and I suck with my siphon
                                                                                                                                                                            and claim my detritus and suck like a clam

                                                                                                                                                                            I find ways to peel open those Roland's in olive oil,
                                                                                                                                                                            that gently are ordered from Amazon.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: FoodFuser

                                                                                                                                                                              We have a local discount store, Reny's, and get our Roland's for $.99 per can!

                                                                                                                                                                              In NM, I keep a can of smoked sprats in my desk drawer, for an emergency snack, and if I pull out the can and show it to my students, they all go, Euuuuuuuuu! Gross! I guess I shouldn't be surprised how much NM kids hate fish, but I am.
                                                                                                                                                                              I geuss they just like to beef a lot. (Ain't English a great language?)

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                          Oh stop........you're giving me a haddock

                                                                                                                                                          2. My mother and I got to talking about how I've been eating a lot of things I wouldn't expect, like sardines and liver, and she said that when I was a kid and we first moved to the "South" from Miami, she used to make me sardines all the time and I loved them! (Which was a surprise to me, since I thought I'd never had them before)

                                                                                                                                                            She said she would marinate a can of sardines straight out of the can (after taking out the spine; kid me didn't like it) in Olive Oil and Lemon Juice with garlic and super thinly sliced onions and salt.

                                                                                                                                                            Tried to remake the recipe the other day and it turns out its awesome! Great cold with some fresh white rice.
                                                                                                                                                            Next time I'm planning on going all out and serving it with cubed avocado, boiled yucca w/ mojo, and lemony tomato salad too. Mmmm... Now if only I could get my boyfriend to eat it....

                                                                                                                                                            1. I can only get Brunswick in my local supermarket and then, none packed in olive oil (only Soya oil); but, here's one way I like them...Sour Sardines...good as an appetizer or for lunch;

                                                                                                                                                              Sautee 1 sm-med onion sliced thinly in olive oil until tender. Add about 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar and simmer until reduced. Drain sardines in spring water and add fish to onions At this point you can add capers or sliced green olives if you like. Heat until fish are warmed and then add freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve with your favourite bread...the crustier the better.

                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: RodMacT

                                                                                                                                                                I can get Bruswick Sardines packed in Olive oil at my local Stop' N Shop. If, you can't find them do a search on google

                                                                                                                                                                KMART sells them and they taste great and the olive oil is better for you to.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: irish65

                                                                                                                                                                  Anyone have any comments about the Brisling Sardines. Higher priced but smaller and milder. Thanks to all for the full rundown re tinned sardines.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gnoisette

                                                                                                                                                                    I like the smaller sardines when I am eating them by themselves or with crackers. The larger filleted sardines like the Season brand you get in Costco are a little on the dry side but they are very satisfying if you want to sink your teeth into some firm sardines. The smaller sardines have a bit of a crunch to them and a have lots of flavor, probably because they have more of their liver still intact. Whichever type you want to eat make sure you buy ones of good quality. THe old saying, "you get what you pay for" is quite evident when buying sardines, very cheap sardine taste horrible. I would also like to mention some that Costco Albacore tuna is delicious and well worth the price. I like both solid white and chunk light varieties and recently I decided to try a brand at Costco called Genova, solid light tuna. I can't say enough about this tuna, it is delicious.

                                                                                                                                                              2. The other day I had Bar Harbor smoked sardines in maple syrup. They were very big, almost like herring, smoked firm and packed in maple syrup. The syrup candied the sardines during the canning process. Very interesting and tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JMF

                                                                                                                                                                  very weird sounding, but i'd try a can if i saw them in the store. how did you eat them?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JMF

                                                                                                                                                                    I've only seen the Bar Harbor KIPPER products at Whole Foods and guess where else? Walmart!!! No kidding, good for Walmart! But not sure I would venture into the 'dines with anything sweet...that just seems....wrong. You are a brave soul, JMF!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Val

                                                                                                                                                                      Well, I met the owner of Bar Harbor products while I was a writer and living in Maine a few years ago at a local food show. All of their products are excellent. Probably the best canned fish on the market. I love their smoked herring. So when I saw the maple syrup sardines I had to try them. I just put them in a bowl and grabbed a fork and dug in. I would get them again and try inventing some recipes, but I can't remember where I got them. maybe the new Whole Foods that opened up near me.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JMF

                                                                                                                                                                        yes, BH's quality is very top notch, no question...though really, to ME, kippers are kippers...WF charges like $3.99 for a can of the stuff...Walmart charges much less...but Walmart ALSO sells a German kipper by the name of "Polar"...for $1...$1!!! not as big of a serving as the BH...but hey, just saying. I try to eat wild caught red salmon; sardines; and kippers once a week...all three because of their high Omega 3's. Bar Harbor really does have a great product...and I will seek out their sardines! So thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Val

                                                                                                                                                                          Talking about Maine ,about 20 years ago Mooseabec sardines were the best. Made by the Stinson Co.They were long and thin and delectable. They stopped offering them. Now, I buy what Costco sells, because they are packed in olive oil. I eat them mostly for their Omega 3 value--- which is the same reason I eat herring--from Costco as well. Stinson closed in 2010 mostly do to Federal restictions on herring catches. It was the last sardine cannery in the USA.

                                                                                                                                                                          I buy fresh sardines from my local mongers-if they have it. I grill them as a main course.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Jerry P. Santa Monica

                                                                                                                                                                            Jerry P, I've only had fresh sardines ONCE, when I was visiting my son in San Francisco (I ♥ that city! and California in general) and they were delicious! Hard to find them all the way down here in SWFL, but I have seen frozen whole sardines at Whole Foods. I should just try them out on the grill sometime soon!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Val

                                                                                                                                                                              McCalls meat and Fish co. in Los Angeles usually has them. $10 per pound.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. wow-
                                                                                                                                                                    i just started to do a tasting-
                                                                                                                                                                    thanx for your listing and comments-

                                                                                                                                                                    anything new to add

                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                                                      sardines are an great way to eat fish without all the mercury and other contaminants. Sardines only live a short while before they are harvested and are not in a bunch of mercury laden waters to build up a bunch of toxins. So, eat them, enjoy them and don't worry about the toxins in the swordfish and tuna because these little guys have only been around for 6 months and they are pretty clean.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. has anyone else discovered the blog-
                                                                                                                                                                      mouthful of sardines?

                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, I came across it last month. I love that blog. They are now taking reader submissions, I believe I will submit some of my sardine pictures. Most of his reviews are spot on. I'm having trouble finding most the sardines that is on there.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. Has anyone tried Zoe-Diva Select Sardinillas $ 5.99 at Fresh Market-Broward County, Florida

                                                                                                                                                                        1. Yum I love sardines! I like to mash mine up and spread on toast then grill/broil to crisp the tops slightly.
                                                                                                                                                                          Portuguese or Spanish are the best in olive oil or spicy tomato sauce :)

                                                                                                                                                                          1. For anyone who is interested, this is some good info on "what is a sardine" and some other lore.


                                                                                                                                                                            1. Interesting. I just finished off a tin of these. Three nice tasty sardines. Not too 'fishy. I drizzle a couple of drops of lemon juice and soy sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                                                                Yes - "Brunswick" is an excellent brand. One of my favorites.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                                                                  I too love Brunswick BUT have become enamored of the King Oscar Double Layer brislings in Olive oil lately....just saying...yeah...I add fresh lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper to the King Oscar brislings and I am VERY happy!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Val

                                                                                                                                                                                    Again, yes - "King Oscar" is another favorite of mine as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                                                                    Brunswick is sort of our cheap default brand here, but that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with them. I also like the tomato-packed kind, though I know that doesn't appeal to everyone. Alas they seem to have dropped the Jerk-Spiced version. Of course they come from New Brunswick, our eastern neighbours. Drat, I see there are varieties available in the US and elsewhere that we can't get here.

                                                                                                                                                                                    I love those King Oscar sardines - found them when buying caraway rye at a kosher bakery not far from my place. Very good.

                                                                                                                                                                                  3. I'm so glad my grandmother gave me sardines as a young child because they've been a favorite throughout my life. My children love them as well. We eat them straight out of the can.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Best ever Saturday morning light Breakfast:
                                                                                                                                                                                      Smoked Sprats or Smoked Sardines on pan fried toast
                                                                                                                                                                                      I usually use home baked bread like french or sourdough but any reasonably fresh soft-bread would do.
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Open one can of Smoked Sprats/Sardines and drain sprats and oil in a medium/small bowl
                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Dice 1/2 of one medium/large sweet onion in tiny blocks by making crisscross slits halfway through the onion and then slicing off the little blocks in thin consecutive slices (DO NOT Mash as it will be watery and spoils).
                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Add the onion to the Sprats/Sardines and mix thoroughly with back of a fork to blend in the sprats/sardines (now broken into finer pieces) until combined with onions and set aside to merge flavors
                                                                                                                                                                                      4. Take 3 to 4 Slices of bread (1/2 inch / 13mm thick) and lightly butter both sides of all slices
                                                                                                                                                                                      5. Heat large frying pan until med/high on cooker range or plate
                                                                                                                                                                                      6. Toast bread in pan until slices are golden brown.
                                                                                                                                                                                      7. Top toast with sprat or sardine onion mix and ENJOY!
                                                                                                                                                                                      Simple and easy but Yummy!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: aerofanatix

                                                                                                                                                                                        Here's a couple of brands I really like. One's Spanish the other, on the right is from Portugal. Prefer the Spanish slightly.
                                                                                                                                                                                        Used to have little 2" pilchards on the beach in Golf Juan. The fisherman would have a big pot of boiling oil and deep fry them and serve on scrapes of newspaper. No charge.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Bangus fish, Spanish style you wont want sardines again or they will become a poor substitute when bangus isnt available.