HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


Underwood Brisling Sardines in Mustard Sauce?

I'm down to my last can and i've been looking for over a year for these. Been eating them since I was a kid and can;t face never tasting them again. Tried others and they don't compare, here in the Philly area it seems like all the stores stock the same Bumble Bee brand in Mustard but they aren't the "brisling sardnes lightly smoked" found in the underwood package. Looked on the website and they're not even listed. Can anyone help me out with location or info! Thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Have you tried asking them in an email? There's been a lot of consolidation/rebranding in the industry, and they might know where the newly renamed product is.

    1. Were you sucessful in finding the Underwood Brisling Sardines in Mustard Sauce? I am down to my last hoarded can and can't find them either. Please let me know if you have a source. Thanks

      3 Replies
      1. re: Wm Kim McPherson

        Sorry to say they no longer make them. I emailed and got the bad news straight from the company. Shame best sardines on the market.

        1. re: FISHINC

          Say it ain't so!

          I grew up in the' burbs of Philly and I figured like a lot of other things they just don't carry them where I live now.....closer to Harrisburg.

          Bumble Bee in Mustard just aren't the same, but they beat the heck out of anything else out there.

          1. re: bmce

            Not necessarily a replacement, but if you like such things, check out the huge range of classy canned fish specialties made by Appel Feinkost in Germany. In the US, German delis distribute them and the Trader Joes' chain carries some of their products, often salmon and both smoked and unsmoked trout. . They make good-quality preserved fish of all kinds packed in a bewildering variety of seasonings from sweet-pepper puree to onions, and should certainly have some interesting mustard versions if anyone does.

      2. I just found something that was just as good as Underwood Sardines. King Oscar Finest Brisling Sardines in extra virgin olive oil. I bought the two layer kind. I opened the can, dumped them in a bowl and added a lot of French's yellow mustard. The sardines crumbled but the taste was wonderful. Next time I think I will drain off the olive oil and mix the mustard in it then pour that over the sardines. Either way that is the closest thing I have found to Underwood Sardines in mustard sauce yet. They were delicious. Hope that is helpful. :-) Elaine

        3 Replies
        1. re: Nightowlssong

          Nice report,

          The mixing of mustard with goodly canned oil
          Is part of the art of partaking of deenes.

          1. re: Nightowlssong

            Been eating those brislings for decades, like them better than the vintage aged French ones. These brislings you can even get at Costco.

            1. re: Nightowlssong

              This is a link that is worth keeping open... reading all accounts all I could do is salivate and agree wholeheartedly! Underwood sardines in mustard sauce will be dearly missed.

              However, I must agree with Elaine (Nightowlsong), I tried her suggestion and it IS WONDERFUL! I felt like the food critic in Ratatouille (Disney animated movie)... it took me right back!

              I had King Oscar Mediterranean Style on hand so tried the French's mustard with those, and that did the trick as well. I will try the ones in olive oil next time. Many thanks Elaine!


                1. Have you tried Brunswick Mustard & Dill Sardines? I love 'em. Sometimes I'll toss them with Officer Cod Livers and put them on crackers. I also love their Tomato & Basil Sardines, as well.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: David11238

                    They are good, but still not as good as the Underwoood.....heck of a lot better than Bumblebee though!

                  2. After trying Elaine's (NightOwlssong) suggestion above, and loving it. I sent a message to King Oscar Co. to see if they would add "in Mustard Sauce" to their already fabulous product line.

                    Please add your voices to mine, and send your own request to them!




                    6 Replies
                    1. re: monolith

                      According to their site, they have brisling sardines in dijon mustard. However, in trying to find a rertailer I drew a blank, and have emailed them.

                      1. re: MrDestin

                        Thanks for the heads-up MeDestin! The shipping will blow you away ($13.00 USD), and so will the price ($22 USD for 6 cans), but amazon.com has'em! I just decided to get myself a Valentines gif and ordered a set... I will report back. If anyone is passing though Morgantown, PA USA in the next couple of weeks, I'd be happy to share a can!

                        1. re: monolith

                          The King Oscar Sardines in Dijon Mustard arrived from Amazon.com today! They are the best match out of a can that I have found to "replace" Underwood Sardines in Mustard Sauce. You can read about them here:

                          Unfortunately however, the dijon is not nearly as tart as the yellow mustard sauce used by Underwood. If you don't mind a little extra bother, nightowlsong's suggestion of King Oscar's in Olive Oil with a good dose of French's Yellow Mustard provides the most authentic experience.

                          PS. correction on Amazon's shipping fee was $4.95 USD not $13 as I previously stated. So it was $26.94 (delivered) for six cans ($4.49 per can)

                        2. re: MrDestin

                          I inquired at my local grocer (Shady Maple in East Earl, PA - BIG place). They cannot find a distributor in eastern PA (USA) who carries the Dijon Mustard variety. They have e-mailed King Oscar to see how they can get them! Allow me to encourage you to ask your grocer as well... if enough people are asking, perhaps they will be more widely distributed. $4.50 a can thru Amazon just won't cut it.

                          1. re: monolith

                            I pay $1.49 per 160 g can of Riga Gold smoked baltic sprats, at my local international food market. The mustard is my responsibility, but I can have it my way (just don't go crazy!).

                            1. re: GH1618

                              It sounds like you have a solution that works for you... excellent! If I could get a ready supply of King Oscar's in Dijon my quest would be over :-)

                      2. I've never had sardines (Grandpa loved 'em) and thinking of trying them. Figured maybe to start on a nice sturdy crackerbread?
                        1) rec for a sardine newbie (brand/flavor)
                        2) errr...how fishy are they (stupid question, but they do have a bad rep) - FYI, I do like picked herring, so I'm not adverse to "fishy" fish
                        3) once opened, how long can I store leftovers (in a glass container in fridge)?

                        11 Replies
                        1. re: BeeZee

                          Leftovers? I eat the whole can myself at one sitting.

                          1. re: GH1618

                            OK, I understand... the smell of sardines is throwing you off. They are like beer... the smell is raunchy but the flavor when partaking is nothing like the smell. Sure, you could ramp up to them with crackerbread, but every sardine aficionado I know does then "up straight". And they seem to never have leftovers (unless they decide to be nice to their cat, my cats always come running no matter how quietly I open the can).

                            1. re: monolith

                              Excuse me? Was that intended for someone else?

                              1. re: GH1618

                                yeah, sorry... BeeZee they guy/gal you responded to.

                                1. re: monolith

                                  thanks, monolith. I'm sure the kitty will do her happy-fishy food dance if I try them!

                                  1. re: BeeZee

                                    BeeZee, the brands we are talking about are especially suitable for someone trying sardines for the first time. They are more expensive than the commonly available "Bumble Bee", "Beach Cliff" and perhaps a few others in that bottom of the food chain price range of about $1 (USD) per can. In other words, stay away from the inexpensive brands or you will likely be disgusted by the larger size of the sardines (with let's say... too identifyable internal features). Of course your kitty wouldn't care :-) We look forward to your report!

                                      1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                                        Thanks. Siamese (if you please)! 15 yr old mama on the left, 9 yr old daughter on the right, and adopted 5 year old (with MAJOR attitude) in middle.

                                      2. re: monolith

                                        tried Seasons skinless/boneless sardines in olive oil, no salt added.

                                        Very nice firm texture, 3 whole fish/tin. Flavor reminiscent of canned tuna. I had a piece of one straight out of the can to try it first, then had them as a sandwich with some mustard. Obviously, I can concur that sardines get a bad rap. I would eat them again. Unfortunately for kitty, I ate it in the kitchen at work, so no fishy oil for her. No danger of stinking out my work mates, our kitchen is in the warehouse in the back of the building!
                                        Edit to add: 2 hours later, I'm experiencing fishy burps, which isn't the best.

                                        1. re: BeeZee

                                          BeeZee, you had me worried at first... sardines at work/school are generally a very good way for us to all get a bad rap. But you redeemed yourself with the warehouse explanation!

                                2. re: monolith

                                  That would be a-FISH-ionado!

                                  Anyway, Brunswick Canadian bear no resemblance to the formerly packed in Norway Underwoods, King Oscars (now controlled by Bumbler Bee), Crown Prince, Tiny Tots or any other once-elegant sardine, in mustard or not. BTW, Chicken-of-the-Sea has also muscled its way into the business.

                                  Norway's once-thriving packing towns, proudly displayed on the labels (Stavanger, Bergen, etc.), have given way to "Packed in Poland (or Scotland or Denmark)" - anywhere but Norway. And once-powerful Portugal's canning factories are fewer in number, with Morocco becoming the source.

                                  Yes, there are a few new players with "artisanal" products out there, not to mention the French Brittany Coast stuff...at $5 to $10 bucks a tin. But none of these will sate your craving for Underwood in Mustard.

                                  Personally, a 1976 vintage can of (packed in Norway) Moosabecs would be a thrill to peel open - with the key! Until, I get my hands on one, fresh-grilled over hardwood charcoal is the way to go - dress 'em up any which way you like.

                            2. Best try to duplicate the mustard sauce, then just get brislings without the sauce. Brisling is the European Sprat. I get these as Riga (Gold) Sprats and eat them on rye with mustard.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: GH1618

                                Ooh, they MUST be good... in the USA amazon.com sells them with a legal disclaimer!!

                                Legal Disclaimer
                                ...We recommend that you do not rely solely on the information presented and that you always read labels, warnings, and directions before using or consuming a product. Please see our full disclaimer below.

                                I ordered some... I'll let you know.

                                1. re: monolith

                                  I never buy from Amazon, the site said that they might ship Gold or not, depending on availability. That's not good enough for me. I want consistency. I only buy the Gold.

                                  1. re: GH1618

                                    Understood... I'll let you know.

                                    1. re: GH1618

                                      The sprats arrived from Amazon.com today. As you suggested, they were not "Gold" so I expect my experience was not what you were referring to <sigh>. This was my first time trying sprats. They were tasty, petite, smoked little fish in olive oil. One negative... I did notice the tails had more texture and substance than what I'm used to from all sardines I've ever eaten. I tried yellow mustard on them and without. They were OK, but I would only get them in the future in a pinch (i.e. King Oscar sardines being unavailable).

                                      1. re: monolith

                                        Petite? Maybe "Gold" implies large. Mine are always large enough to span the width of normal sandwich bread.

                                2. Have you tried Brunswick sardines? If so how would they compare?

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Puffin3

                                    They are better than Bumble Bee, but nothing like the Underwood Sardines in Mustard Sauce. My mom got me hooked on them. Fresh Rye Bread, tomato and lettuce with Underwood Sardines in Mustard Sauce was a favorite sandwich.

                                    So now I have to try these King Oscar's people are talking about.

                                    Honestly, if it wasn't for the Underwood in Mustard Sauce I probably would never have gotten "Hooked".

                                  2. What is the character of the mustard sauce? Anyone?

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: GH1618

                                      It's a tart mustard sauce similar to a yellow mustard like French's

                                      1. re: bmce

                                        You mean it's not hot or sweet? I'm experimenting with making a mustard sauce for this, but have never had the original, so can't try to duplicate it. Russian mustard is hot an sweet, but I don't want that level of sweetness, and probably none at all.

                                        1. re: GH1618

                                          Nope, not hot or sweet. bmce is right on... it's like French's yellow mustard. But just because Underwood wasn't particularly "gourmet" with their selection of mustard sauce, doesn't mean that you can't be creative. Go for it!

                                    2. Walgreen's, the drugstore, is a good source for deenes.
                                      Their line is Chicken of the Sea, in mustard sauce.

                                      Of course they're not brislings, arranged in those layers so tiny.
                                      They are big chunks of deens, Three to a can, in mustard.

                                      "Low end", I know, but I get good protein and Omegas.

                                      As to shipping: My house is just 300 yards from a Walgreens,
                                      part of my daily walking excercise.

                                      Every two months or so they publish a special
                                      of deens to be had at 79 cents. I buy them.

                                      Consuming of 3 to 4 cans of a week
                                      I keep pipelines open to both low end and brislings.

                                      One to be savored
                                      the other just devoured
                                      with good mix of mustard.

                                      Get thee to Walgreen's.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: FoodFuser

                                        I bought Chicken of the Sea sardines in mustard sauce and some with hot sauce for twenty-five cents a can today at Shaws. I guess they'll be discontinued.

                                      2. Having tired of the available prepared mustards for my sardine sandwiches, and having been inspired by all this discussion of Underwood Brisling in Mustard Sauce, I have decided to prepare my own mustard sauce.  Here is my first crack at it, easy version:


                                        One 160g tin of Riga Gold smoked Baltic sprats.  These are <i>sprattus sprattus</i>, the same as brisling.

                                        Dijon or Dijon-style mustard.  There are a lot of prepared mustards claiming to be Dijon, and they are not the same.  Some have sugar — mine does not.  It is a supermarket brand (Raley's) which is similar to authentic Dijon.

                                        Dry hot mustard (Chinese style), used to kick it up a notch.

                                        Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce.

                                        Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar.

                                        Liquid from Kalmata olives.  Mine (Raley's) has red wine vinegar in it.

                                        Choice of bread, not too thick.


                                        Drain and reserve oil from sprats.  Transfer sprats to paper towels to remove excess oil.  If you don't like the tails, remove them.

                                        Put 1/4 cup Dijon mustard in a small mixing bowl.  Separately, mix 1 tsp of dry hot mustard in 1 tsp of cider vinegar until smooth.  Add 1/4 tsp L&P and 1/4 tsp of olive liquid.  Stir until blended, then stir into the Dijon until blended.  Add 2 tsp of the reserved oil and stir until blended.

                                        Transfer sprats to a suitable dish, add mustard sauce, and mix gently so as to avoid damaging the sprats.  Let marinate for awhile.

                                        Put the whole mess between two slices of good bread and eat.


                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: GH1618

                                          Nice follow through GH1618... a true CHOWHOUND!

                                        2. Well, I've just tried another brand with good, but not great results. "Port Clyde" sardines in Mustard Sauce. They were actually quite good. Not exactly like Underwood. Bigger fish, but the mustard/fish taste was very close. Much better than Bumble Bee in Musatrd Sauce and Brunswick in Dill Mustard Sauce.

                                          There have been many comments about buying certain brands in olive oil and then mixing in mustard in a bowl. That is all well and good, but I really want to try to find something straight out of the can that is somewhat close to Underwood. I never had to go to that trouble for that taste.

                                          I am in South Central PA and Port Clyde brand seem to be only in one supermarket in my area that is family owned and a division of the Shure Fine chain of stores.


                                          I am replying to the original message that started this because I want all of you to see this. They are a product of Poland.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: bmce

                                            We get Surefine products up in Maine as well. In the 90's I used to buy Port Cyde sardines, rejects iunpainted cans for 4 bucks for a case of 48. The cannery then closed. The last of 43 Maine canneries, Port Clyde, was in my school district. I used to buy cases of sardines (and King Oscar), but it was then bought out by Bumble Bee and stopped local sales. I now, living in NM, buy Port Clyde, but the label states they are made in Canada. I don't think they ar3e owned by Sure Fine. I wonder if Bumble bee still owns them. Eech.
                                            Go Muhlenberg!

                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                              I just mentioned Shurefine as they are the only store in my area that carries them. The ones I bought were a Product of Poland and not Canada.

                                          2. FYI — I put my latest recipe for mustard sauce in the Home Cooking" section.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: GH1618

                                              Your write up (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/831828) is tantalizing! I'll give it a try, but I might try it with King Oscar's in oil and substitute the beer with a nice Troegenator Double Bock (Troegs, Pennsylvania micro brewery). I agree with you on Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce! It is unmatched (as is their BBQ sauce). My dish might not be exactly what you've so artfully created, but will hopefully be close. Thanks for posting that!

                                            2. Today I bought a tin of brisling in mustard sauce to see what all the fuss is about.  Not Underwood, of course, but King Oscar.  This is a comparison of KO brisling in mustard sauce with the Riga Gold sprats in oil with homemade mustard sauce, which is my usual fare.

                                              The KO come in a 3.75 oz. tin, which includes the mustard sauce.  The RG come in a 5.6 oz. tin with a dry weight of 4.0 oz (the rest is oil).  I paid $4.65 for the KO; my usual price for the RG is $1.49.  The KO can be had for less, but the best price I found online was $2.49.  So the KO are more expensive, but the gap is narrowed considerably by the premium imported mustard I use as a base for my sauce, which is $4.49 for about a cup, enough for four batches.

                                              In my opinion, the KO tin is too small for a proper sandwich, although that's just personal preference.  I should have cut the bread down, to compensate.

                                              The mustard sauce in the KO is unexceptional.  It is described as Dijon, but I don't see how it can be, as Dijon mustard is made with white wine, and this had no wine in the ingredients.  It did contain sugar, turmeric, modified food starch, and xanthan gum, all of which I consider not essential in mustard, or even undesirable.  The sauce was thick, whereas I make a thin, creamy sauce.  My impression of the KO mustard sauce is that I might as well use some prepared mustard straight out of a jar instead.

                                              The KO website states that their brisling come from the North Sea and Norwegian fjords.  This could be considered an advantage, as there has been some concern about pollution in the Eastern Baltic contaminating the sprats.  However, the KO were packed in Poland, so I wonder if they did come from the North Sea or not.

                                              The KO had the tails removed, which some might think an advantage.  I eat the Riga sprats tail and all.

                                              On the whole, I don't see any point to KO brisling in mustard sauce, as the sauce seems to me to be inferior.  I don't see how Underwood could have been enough better to make a difference.  With a homemade mustard sauce, one can easily adjust the quantity, consistency, pungency, and sweetness to personal taste, which for me decides it. 

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: GH1618

                                                It's all about memory lane, not about an exquisite gourmet sauce... think French's yellow mustard and small firm sardines. And yes, the mustard was thick enough to adhere to the mouth watering fork full :-)

                                                Never the less, I bought the closest ingredients I could find to match your gourmet recipe... i'll report back soon.

                                                1. re: GH1618

                                                  I tried your recipe. Check out my review here:
                                                  Thanks for posting it!