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Best canned sardines?

Evilbanana11 Mar 12, 2012 09:26 AM

What is your favorite brand of canned sardines and where can I find them in Montreal. I'm tired of the Tousain sardines I usually buy.


  1. TheSnowpea Mar 24, 2012 11:28 AM

    For some reason, now I'm craving sardines.

    1. Haggisboy Mar 15, 2012 02:02 PM

      The Connors plant in New Brunswick harvests and packages the majority of all sardines sold in North America (except imports from Europe). They package under the following brands: Brunswick, Clover Leaf, Bumble Bee and King Oscar. All those sardines come from the same fishery and are packed in the same plant.


      4 Replies
      1. re: Haggisboy
        GH1618 Mar 15, 2012 02:14 PM

        Brisling (European sprat), however, come from European waters.

        1. re: GH1618
          Haggisboy Mar 15, 2012 06:02 PM

          GH1618 wrote "Brisling (European sprat), however, come from European waters."

          Re-read my post. I wrote that all except European imports come from the Connor's plant in New Brunswick.

          1. re: Haggisboy
            wattacetti Mar 15, 2012 06:07 PM

            I know that the Clover Leaf Brislings used to be marked "packaged by King Oscar", and given that the Norwegians now package export Brisling in Poland, I'm guessing King Oscar is still behind those.

            Have you managed to find King Oscar branding locally? It's just kinda funky to have the image of a dead Scandinavian king staring back at you in the pantry.

            1. re: Haggisboy
              GH1618 Mar 15, 2012 06:25 PM

              I read it, but it seemed to me to imply that King Oscar (and the other brands mentioned) all came from that source. I thought it was misleadong, but it's a small point and I don't wish to quibble. Some devotees prefer Brisling, so I thought it worthwhile to emphasize the point.

              Pacific sardines are canned on the West Coast:


        2. g
          GH1618 Mar 15, 2012 12:31 PM

          My favorite sardines are Riga (Gold) sprats. This is the same fish as Brisling. You should be able to find them at Ella's Deli.

          1. k
            Kebec1 Mar 15, 2012 08:52 AM

            Best I've had is Pastene. Boneless, skinless. But I'm in Boston.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Kebec1
              fundymermaid Mar 15, 2012 02:24 PM

              Kebec1, I'm in the Boston area, and you can get Canadian sardines here - next to the tuna fish! ;-)

              1. re: fundymermaid
                Kebec1 Mar 15, 2012 04:27 PM

                I'm pretty happy with Pastene, but I'll look for them... Are you near a Market Basket supermarket?

                1. re: Kebec1
                  fundymermaid Mar 15, 2012 04:37 PM

                  They're in Shaw's, Stop & Shop, Market Basket - all the chains.

                  1. re: fundymermaid
                    Kebec1 Mar 15, 2012 07:01 PM

                    Thanks... Realizing I'm a sardine ignoramus compared to you people.

            2. SnackHappy Mar 12, 2012 07:02 PM

              Clover Leaf Brislings are quite good. Millionaire smoked brislings are not bad, but for the money Clover leaf is better.

              If you like mild sardines, Saupiquet is pretty good. You can find them in gourmet shops and even some IGAs.

              Albo brand sardines are really good, but they're expensive and ultimately not worth the money. You can get them at Librairie Espanola.

              My regular brand is Sabor Do Mar, their sardines are good. Comparable to Toussain, maybe a bit better. Their stickleback are surprisingly good.

              Adonis house brand sardine are pretty good, but nothing great or that different from Toussain.

              Pastene sardines are a good buy. I like the spicy ones better than the regular.

              You can also find a few different brands of Portuguese sardines at Marché Universel on Mont-Royal and Coloniale. I tried a few of them but can't remember the brands. They were rather good.

              I've got some Bon Appetit and Petit Navire brand sardines in the pantry. I'll update once I've tasted them.

              2 Replies
              1. re: SnackHappy
                SnackHappy Mar 17, 2012 11:14 AM

                I just tasted my Petit Navire sardines and I was quite impressed. They're boned pilchards in extra virgin olive oil with sliced green olives. There were 4 fillets in the 95g can. The fish were very flavourful. Not as unctuous as brislings, of course, but the texture was quite nice. The olives add a nice touch and bring out the flavour of the pilchards.

                At $3 for 95g, they're not the best value, but I would definitely buy them again.

                I got them at Gourmet Laurier, BTW.

                1. re: SnackHappy
                  SnackHappy Mar 21, 2012 10:45 AM

                  Another sardine update:

                  Bon Appetit Portuguese sardines in olive oil. Three big sardines in a 120g can. Lovely texture, very flavourful. Not too bitter or salty. I would certainly buy them again. I don't remember where I bought them but Bon Appetit is a well distributed brand.

                  Sumaco sardines in tomato sauce and oil. Product of Thailand. Very tasty. A bit drier than Atlantic sardines, but quite good nonetheless. I would buy them again, but would not seek them out. Bought at Marché Hawaï.

              2. porker Mar 12, 2012 05:41 PM

                Here's perhaps the definitive CH post on "best"
                Now, where in Montreal...

                1. w
                  wattacetti Mar 12, 2012 05:30 PM

                  King Oscar Brisling sardines. Unfortunately, incredibly difficult to get. Clover Leaf Brisling sardines are okay and available everywhere at about $2.99/tin. At one point CL was reselling King Oscar and I suspect the Norwegians may still be the source.

                  I also really like Smiling Fish brand spicy mackerel but that's an entirely different fish. $1.29/tin in Asian markets.

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