What a good canned sardine?

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boomchakabowwow

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Might be nice not to have to fly to Portugal. :)


My sardine kungfu is yellow belt. What’s good and readily available?
 
I took tasting notes for a little while, wish I kept it up but here are my old notes in case they're helpful. Matiz Gallego is a reliable brand. King Oscar is good and very easy to find.
SeafoodDescriptionBrandNationReview
SardinesIn olive oilRolandMoroccoGood flavor almost like tuna, pleasant aroma and texture. Very nice.
SardinesSkinless & boneless in olive oilRolandMoroccoGreat flavor and meaty texture. Slightly dry, but a winner.
SardinesSkinless & boneless in spring waterRolandMoroccoTasty, Meaty, but somewhat dry. Very good.
Sardinesw/ cayenne, in extra virgin olive oilBELA-OlhãoPortugalNeeds salt. With Mahon salt, these fish are good. Barely spicy.
Sardineslightly smoked, in extra virgin oliveBELA-OlhãoPortugalTasty and tender, very nice
SardinesIn Olive OilGoyaSpainIncludes skin and bone. Very good flavor and texture. A bit too salty. Good.
SardinesIn Olive OilMatiz GallegoSpainGreat flavor, tender, one fish includes a succulent liver and another has roe. Outstanding.
SardinesIn spring water, no salt addedBrunswickCanadaBoring flavor and texture; somewhat improved by salt and pepper.
SardinesFinest Brisling in Olive OilKing OscarNorwayTasty, tender, well seasoned; excellent sardines. These do have added salt (340 mg drained).
SardinesIn Olive OilAlboSpainTasty, succulent skin, one liver, even better with pepper and a touch of salt. Still, pricy at $4.
SardinesIn pure olive oil, salt addedNuriPortugalTasty, meaty, clean olive oil and quality tuna kind of flavor, very nice
SardinesIn olive oil, salt addedAngelo ParodiPortugalTasty, meaty, perfectly seasoned, clean light olive oil, tasty liver found. Outstanding.
SardinesSkinless and boneless in olive oil, salt addedSclafaniPortugalSkinless, but excellent sardines. Tasty meaty fish, good olive oil, a nice liver. Great sardines.
SardinesLightly smoked, in olive oil (salt added)Trader Joe'sPortugalTasty, tender, properly seasoned, good sardines, good value.
Roe of HakeAlboSpainLike hot dog, in a good way. Tasty, especially with a little salt and pepper.
OctopusSliced smoked, in soybean oil w/ saltRolandThailandVery tasty, nice smoke. Well seasoned, no additional salt needed. Good meaty texture. Some pieces are a little too chewy, but it’s no big deal.
OctopusSpiced w/ vegetablesRolandSpainGood spicy flavor, but too chewy. Pass.
OctopusIn olive oil and garlic saucePalacio RealSpainPretty good with addition of salt and pepper; some pieces too chewy; too pricey at $4.
Cod LiverSmokedRolandDenmarkSoft, silky, supple, rich & creamy. Delicious. Well worth the $4.
SquidInk sauceVigoSpainGood full flavor, even better w/ salt and pepper.
Squid (fillets)In olive oilPalacio RealSpainSatisfying steaks of squid. Not overly flavorful, but good.
EelFillets, smoked bonelessRolandThailandSomewhat bland and boring, but decent.
MusselsIn marinade (en escabeche)VigoSpainVery tasty sauce and good mussel flavor, oily, decent texture. Worth the $3.19.
MusselsIn kingscallops's sauce (salsa de vieira)Palacio RealSpainFlavorful and well seasoned, even a bit too salty, but quite tasty.
OystersSmoked, in pure olive oilCrown PrinceSouth KoreaDecent, but too chewy
Garfish (Agujas)In Olive OilPalacio RealSpainTasty, but somewhat dry. Good, but not worth buying again at $4.
ClamsSmoked Baby (w/ soybean oil, salt)NapoleonThailandOversalty, but well worth it. Tasty clams.
CuttlefishIn American SauceAlboSpainTasty and tender. Plenty seasoned, and moderately spicy. Oily, but excellent.
CuttlefishInk sauceAlboSpainTasty and tender, though oily.
MusselsIn waterBar HarborMaine, USAWay too many crunchy bits, including a piece of shell and surprisingly several tiny pearls. Decent flavor, but had to chew very carefully, not very enjoyable.
Clams (cherrystone)In waterBar HarborMaine, USAChewy as all hell. Avoid.
MackerelHardwood smoked, in waterBar HarborMaine, USAPretty good flavor, but way too dry.
MackerelIn vegetable oilEvaCroatiaA bit dry, but quite tasty, and the salt level is just right. (note: consumed drained of oil)
SardinesIn vegetable oilEvaCroatiaGood sardines. Tasty, meaty, well seasoned. Not olive oil, but good sardines for a great price.
SpratsSmoked, in Sunflower seed oilRiga GoldLatvia
OctopusIn olive oilMatiz GallegoSpainVery tasty indeed. Great tender meaty texture. Well seasoned. Good olive oil. Expensive, but worth it.
ClamsSmoked baby (w/ olive oil, salt)Crown PrinceThailandBland clams, bland oil, but with salt and pepper it's not bad.
SardinesIn olive oilCole'sPortugalFull flavor, meaty texture, quality olive oil, right level of salt. Tasty creamy livers. Seriously good sardines. Expensive, but worth it.
 
Sorry there's no note for the Riga sprats, I copied and pasted a bit hastily. From what I remember those are pretty tasty if you like smoke. By the way, the prices in some of the notes are in USD and are probably from around 2007 to 2010, so certainly out of date.
 
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Might be nice not to have to fly to Portugal. :)

portugal is really nice, make an effort to go some day...
 
I took tasting notes for a little while, wish I kept it up but here are my old notes in case they're helpful. Matiz Gallego is a reliable brand. King Oscar is good and very easy to find.
SeafoodDescriptionBrandNationReview
SardinesIn olive oilRolandMoroccoGood flavor almost like tuna, pleasant aroma and texture. Very nice.
SardinesSkinless & boneless in olive oilRolandMoroccoGreat flavor and meaty texture. Slightly dry, but a winner.
SardinesSkinless & boneless in spring waterRolandMoroccoTasty, Meaty, but somewhat dry. Very good.
Sardinesw/ cayenne, in extra virgin olive oilBELA-OlhãoPortugalNeeds salt. With Mahon salt, these fish are good. Barely spicy.
Sardineslightly smoked, in extra virgin oliveBELA-OlhãoPortugalTasty and tender, very nice
SardinesIn Olive OilGoyaSpainIncludes skin and bone. Very good flavor and texture. A bit too salty. Good.
SardinesIn Olive OilMatiz GallegoSpainGreat flavor, tender, one fish includes a succulent liver and another has roe. Outstanding.
SardinesIn spring water, no salt addedBrunswickCanadaBoring flavor and texture; somewhat improved by salt and pepper.
SardinesFinest Brisling in Olive OilKing OscarNorwayTasty, tender, well seasoned; excellent sardines. These do have added salt (340 mg drained).
SardinesIn Olive OilAlboSpainTasty, succulent skin, one liver, even better with pepper and a touch of salt. Still, pricy at $4.
SardinesIn pure olive oil, salt addedNuriPortugalTasty, meaty, clean olive oil and quality tuna kind of flavor, very nice
SardinesIn olive oil, salt addedAngelo ParodiPortugalTasty, meaty, perfectly seasoned, clean light olive oil, tasty liver found. Outstanding.
SardinesSkinless and boneless in olive oil, salt addedSclafaniPortugalSkinless, but excellent sardines. Tasty meaty fish, good olive oil, a nice liver. Great sardines.
SardinesLightly smoked, in olive oil (salt added)Trader Joe'sPortugalTasty, tender, properly seasoned, good sardines, good value.
Roe of HakeAlboSpainLike hot dog, in a good way. Tasty, especially with a little salt and pepper.
OctopusSliced smoked, in soybean oil w/ saltRolandThailandVery tasty, nice smoke. Well seasoned, no additional salt needed. Good meaty texture. Some pieces are a little too chewy, but it’s no big deal.
OctopusSpiced w/ vegetablesRolandSpainGood spicy flavor, but too chewy. Pass.
OctopusIn olive oil and garlic saucePalacio RealSpainPretty good with addition of salt and pepper; some pieces too chewy; too pricey at $4.
Cod LiverSmokedRolandDenmarkSoft, silky, supple, rich & creamy. Delicious. Well worth the $4.
SquidInk sauceVigoSpainGood full flavor, even better w/ salt and pepper.
Squid (fillets)In olive oilPalacio RealSpainSatisfying steaks of squid. Not overly flavorful, but good.
EelFillets, smoked bonelessRolandThailandSomewhat bland and boring, but decent.
MusselsIn marinade (en escabeche)VigoSpainVery tasty sauce and good mussel flavor, oily, decent texture. Worth the $3.19.
MusselsIn kingscallops's sauce (salsa de vieira)Palacio RealSpainFlavorful and well seasoned, even a bit too salty, but quite tasty.
OystersSmoked, in pure olive oilCrown PrinceSouth KoreaDecent, but too chewy
Garfish (Agujas)In Olive OilPalacio RealSpainTasty, but somewhat dry. Good, but not worth buying again at $4.
ClamsSmoked Baby (w/ soybean oil, salt)NapoleonThailandOversalty, but well worth it. Tasty clams.
CuttlefishIn American SauceAlboSpainTasty and tender. Plenty seasoned, and moderately spicy. Oily, but excellent.
CuttlefishInk sauceAlboSpainTasty and tender, though oily.
MusselsIn waterBar HarborMaine, USAWay too many crunchy bits, including a piece of shell and surprisingly several tiny pearls. Decent flavor, but had to chew very carefully, not very enjoyable.
Clams (cherrystone)In waterBar HarborMaine, USAChewy as all hell. Avoid.
MackerelHardwood smoked, in waterBar HarborMaine, USAPretty good flavor, but way too dry.
MackerelIn vegetable oilEvaCroatiaA bit dry, but quite tasty, and the salt level is just right. (note: consumed drained of oil)
SardinesIn vegetable oilEvaCroatiaGood sardines. Tasty, meaty, well seasoned. Not olive oil, but good sardines for a great price.
SpratsSmoked, in Sunflower seed oilRiga GoldLatvia
OctopusIn olive oilMatiz GallegoSpainVery tasty indeed. Great tender meaty texture. Well seasoned. Good olive oil. Expensive, but worth it.
ClamsSmoked baby (w/ olive oil, salt)Crown PrinceThailandBland clams, bland oil, but with salt and pepper it's not bad.
SardinesIn olive oilCole'sPortugalFull flavor, meaty texture, quality olive oil, right level of salt. Tasty creamy livers. Seriously good sardines. Expensive, but worth it.
Oh my god this is incredible! I'll be moving to Granada later this year to open a restaurant, so I will for SURE be using this list. Thank you!!
 
Nuri is my favourite brand. Those are outstanding sardines, and not just the ones in olive oil. The other flavours are excellent, too.
They're excellent, unfortunately I can't get them here. I love the packaging too.

(Edit: Just remembered I'll probably be in Sydney in a couple of months. I know what I'm bringing back in my luggage!)
 
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I usually grab either Porthos or Ortiz simply because those are the 2 quality Iberian brands that are easily and affordably available to me.
 
NICE list!!

I found that most Portugese brands do well, many Spanish also.

OT: I always wonder what 'sustainably caught' means, did they use solar powered boats, did they only catch 1 out of every 10 fish, do they keep count of total nr caught in a year?
 
OT: I always wonder what 'sustainably caught' means, did they use solar powered boats, did they only catch 1 out of every 10 fish, do they keep count of total nr caught in a year?

This usually means that the fish were caught with a line and hook rather than being caught with a huge net that scoops up everything or trawls the bottom of the sea. And that they were caught in accordance with seasonal quotas and whatever other environmental regulations there might be.
 
This usually means that the fish were caught with a line and hook rather than being caught with a huge net that scoops up everything or trawls the bottom of the sea. And that they were caught in accordance with seasonal quotas and whatever other environmental regulations there might be.
With these smaller high volume fish it's most likely all about tonnage caught and fishing quotas to at least theoretically prevent overfishing.

I'd be surprised if anyone is making line-caught sardines, you mostly see that sort of thing with larger fish like tuna.
 
That company also markets tuna, which has a higher chance of using damaging practices. Much of their earned respect and company identity is from how they collect tuna. As mentioned by @Beerzebub, purse-seines have smaller bycatch and don’t touch or scrape the bottom, so those habitats are left undamaged. Right from the start, sardines are a more sustainable choice which is why I eat them.
For me, a big part of sustainability is about how the humans in the operation are treated.
The company is easy to read about.

There are live links here regarding their operations:

https://wildplanetfoods.com/pages/operational-policies
 
sad that this is not the 'unpopular opinion' thread, since I tend to think that sustainably caught most often is greenwashing and nothing else ;-)

yeah sardines are caught with large nets

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/can-portuguese-sardines-make-a-comeback
https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/species/pacific-sardine

That humans are treated normally should be something to expect...I mean, not belittling your post, what's the point of making a statement like that?
Adding a statement that 'no PFAS was or will be dumped in the Ocean while fishing' does not make overfishing anymore sustainable to me.
 
Actually since the human population is not even remotely threatened of becoming extinct it's perfectly sustainable to abuse your laborers and treat them as disposable...
 
On that note I think we as Dutchmen are the clear experts on sustainability. We once had an eighty year war. If that isn't the highlight of sustainable slaughter, I don't know what is.
 
Nothing wrong with that if the target species is reproducing and maturing as quickly as we take them, and other species aren’t suffering heavy collateral damage.
I don’t dismiss small steps in the right direction; that’s all we’ve got.
for sure, I'm not sayin the catch method is at fault here...it's just that us humans universally seem to be overly greedy without much respect to our environment.

the good news is that the Portugese fishermen seem to abide by the set max numbers to catch so the sardines a have a good chance of repopulating or at least not disappearing completely due to global warming. So I guess it's fine to eat great Portugese canned Sardines.

That wild food company has a nice website with all kinds of (IMHO) non substantiated claims everywhere, but at some point you'll find that they sell north pacific Sardines caught by Japanese Fishermen.
Efficient fishing explained as 'Selective fishing' is a great marketing trick ;-
Selectively caught by fisheries targeting free-swimming schools of sardines.


https://wildplanetfoods.com/products/wild-planet-sardines
I cannot rhyme that with this; https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/species/pacific-sardine

but what do I know....at best it's incomplete information, at worst something to try avoid.
 
Briesling and Sardines in olive oil and skin on and bone in. I don’t buy canned sardines in water and or sunflower oil. Not that they are bad, its just that I like the ones in olive oil better.

The chart above is exellent. Portugal and Morocco make very good canned sardines. Nuri is top tier canned sardines brand.

I eat them a lot as supplement for fish oil and Vit. D. or as snacks. Pictures are from late last night. I will upload some more pictures for canned sardines ideas later.
IMG_9090.jpeg
B48D4B04-3FCD-4159-80AD-4DF266AC6CDA.jpeg
IMG_9092.jpeg
 
for sure, I'm not sayin the catch method is at fault here...it's just that us humans universally seem to be overly greedy without much respect to our environment.

the good news is that the Portugese fishermen seem to abide by the set max numbers to catch so the sardines a have a good chance of repopulating or at least not disappearing completely due to global warming. So I guess it's fine to eat great Portugese canned Sardines.

That wild food company has a nice website with all kinds of (IMHO) non substantiated claims everywhere, but at some point you'll find that they sell north pacific Sardines caught by Japanese Fishermen.
Efficient fishing explained as 'Selective fishing' is a great marketing trick ;-
Selectively caught by fisheries targeting free-swimming schools of sardines.


https://wildplanetfoods.com/products/wild-planet-sardines
I cannot rhyme that with this; https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/species/pacific-sardine

but what do I know....at best it's incomplete information, at worst something to try avoid.
Not sure but is the NOAA page about the U.S. fishery? Seafood Watch, which I think is supposed to be one of the few actually reputable guides, gives Japanese pilchard caught with purse seine a thumbs up, so probably one of the better choices. Not that I'm an expert and don't make bad choices sometimes, I'm sure I do!
https://www.seafoodwatch.org/recommendations/search?query=:species;Japanese pilchard
 
Well, we made it 12 posts into a sardine thread before the agenda rolled out... :rolleyes:
If 'the agenda' means that I'll still be able to eat sardines at a somewhat affordable price 50 years from now, by all means bring on the agenda.

Some of us are still young enough to care about sustainability even if it's just for selfish reasons!
 
Not sure but is the NOAA page about the U.S. fishery? Seafood Watch, which I think is supposed to be one of the few actually reputable guides, gives Japanese pilchard caught with purse seine a thumbs up, so probably one of the better choices. Not that I'm an expert and don't make bad choices sometimes, I'm sure I do!
https://www.seafoodwatch.org/recommendations/search?query=:species;Japanese pilchard
(You might have to avert your eyes for a few more minutes, @HHC) 🫣

Yes I believe NOAA only deals with U.S. And true, seafoodwatch is regarding global sources.

My tin of sardines says “processed in Thailand”, not exactly transparent there. My tin of anchovies from the same company says “Product of Morocco”, better.
 
Has anyone tried the Ortiz ones? They're available here in NZ but I haven't tried them because they're expensive at about NZ$14, that's almost US$9.
I’ve been wanting to, but nobody local carries them (not a lot of gourmet shopping here on the sun’s anvil) and the Zon is very pricy, and the reviews complain about a fair incidence of expired andor spoiled products. Food from the Zon is a gamble, and often an expensive one.
 
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