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Canned Fish Sardine The Best Which Is Better?

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

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General Discussion Canned Fish Sardine The Best Which Is Better?

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

r
rworange | | Mar 21, 2006 11:16 PM

After trying 30 types of canned sardines here are my thoughts:

- Sardines caught near Portugal or Spain are the best with a meaty tuna flavor
- Italian grocery stores carry the best brands of Portuguese sardines (in my area anyway)
- Olive oil is the best medium for sardines
- Really skip those flavored with tomato sauce or mustard
- Read that ingredient list there is no reason for anything but fish, oil/water or salt

Here are the next 7 canned sardines, in order of preference:

Rankings

1. Matiz Gallego sardines in olive oil - Spain - $2. 99
2. Idamar Portuguese Sardines in olive oil - Portugal - $2. 25
3. Gonsalves Sardines in olive oil – Portugal - $1.99
4. Da Morgada Sardines in Pure Olive Oil - Portugal - $3. 99
5. BELA-Olhão lightly smoked sardines in cayenne pepper-flavored extra virgin olive oil. - Portugal - $1. 75
6. Crown Prince One Layer Sardines in soy bean oil no Salt - Scotland - $1. 85
7. Brand: BUMBLE BEE Sardines in Water – Poland - $.89

The top four sardines were almost equally delicious. Appearance or price was the deciding factor. If a $4 and a $2 can tastes similar, the less expensive option was ranked higher.

After thirty cans of sardines, Angelo Parodi Sardine Portoghesi all’olio di olivo, still is the clear winner. My can of French sardine is in the mail.

Full ranking and link to previous post at end.

THE DETAILS

Size – my casual grading:
Large = length of can
Small = ½ length of can or smaller
Medium = anything in between

Brand: BELA-Olhão lightly smoked sardines in cayenne pepper-flavored extra virgin olive oil.
Calories per can: 260
Ingredients: Sardines, extra virgin olive oil, cayenne pepper-flavor, salt, natural smoke flavor
Taste: Nice meaty texture and held their shape nicely. Did not have the more assertive tuna flavor of other Portuguese sardines but were less fishy. Caynenne was barely noticeable, a little after tingle. Flavor is in the oil. Not like some spicy sardines where the spice takes over. You taste the sardine first, then the oil. Neutral olive oil. While these were good, they didn’t have the flavor punch of some of the other sardines or an olive oil that had any special deliciousness. I wouldn’t go out of my way to seek these out.


Brand: BUMBLE BEE Sardines in Water – Poland - $.89
Calories per can: 120
Ingredients: SARDINES, WATER, SALT
Country of origin: Poland
Taste: 5 large uniform size sardines that held their shape with not too much spine. They were a mild sardine with a touch of bitterness. Would not buy again.

Brand: Crown Prince One Layer Sardines in soy bean oil no Salt
Calories per can: 230
Ingredients: Brisling sardines, soy bean oil
Taste: Eight medium sardines that looked really nice in the can – very silvery skin with few nicks. Fell apart easily. Very nice delicate texture. Classic sardine taste (not the tuna taste of Portuguese sardines). Lovely smoke flavor that was prominent but not overwhelming. A little bit of bitterness. Naturally wood-smoked. Probably wouldn’t seek them out, but might try other Crown Prince varieties.

Brand: Da Morgada Sardines in Pure Olive Oil
Calories per can: some sort of European measurement I couldn’t figure out.
Ingredients: Sardines, olive oil, salt
Taste: four large sardines, skin intact. Saltier than most. Excellent tuna flavor without being too fishy. Nice mild olive oil. Fresh taste.

The website says these are “ Pilchardus Walbaum are collected from the waters just off the shore of Portugal. They are caught between May and November, when sardines are at their best. Only fresh fish is allowed. The process involves manual cleaning and very careful handling, followed by the traditional cooking in a grill oven before being canned”

Might buy again. For the price they were not significantly better and I would have to make special trip to buy them. Do like the attention to quality.

Brand: Gonsalves Sardines in olive oil
Calories per can: 260
Ingredients: sardines, olive oil, salt
Taste: Three large sardines which held their shape nicely and had a ‘tuna’ taste to them. Mild olive oil, A few points off for shabbiness of skin. Not overly spiny. Would buy again.

Brand: Idamar Portuguese Sardines in olive oil
Calories per can: 235
Ingredients: Sardines, olive oil, salt
Taste: Three fat sardines. Presented in can with the black backs, so it was alarming to see the dark fish in the can instead of the silvery skin that sardines have on the side and belly.
Tuna flavor, not as assertive as most. Good balance of oil and sardines. Nice rich olive oil. Would buy again.

Brand: Matiz Gallego sardines in olive oil
Calories per can: 228
Ingredients: Sardines, olive oil, salt
Taste: Three VERY plump sardines. Medium fish smell. Italian tuna taste.& mild olive oil. Nice balance. Would buy again

OVERALL RANKINGS

1. Angelo Parodi Sardine Portoghesi all’olio di olivo – Portugal/Italy - $1.99
2. Gallego sardines in olive oil - Spain - $2. 99
3. Idamar Portuguese Sardines in olive oil - Portugal - $2. 25
4. Gonsalves Sardines in olive oil – Portugal - $1.99
5. Da Morgada Sardines in Pure Olive Oil - Portugal - $3. 99
6. Albo Sardines in Olive oil – Spain - $4.99
7. King Oscar Sardines Mediterranean style – Norway, packed in Poland - $2.99
8. Yankee Clipper lightly smoked sardines in soybean oil – Morocco - $2.49
9. King Oscar Extra Small Sardines in fish oil 2 layers – Norway - $2.99
10. Brand: BELA-Olhão lightly smoked sardines in cayenne pepper-flavored extra virgin olive oil. - Portugal - $1. 75
11. Beach Cliff Sardines in soybean oil – USA / Canada - $.69
12. Brunswick Sardines in Spring Water No Salt Added – Canada - $1.19
13. Madrigal spiced sardines in vegetable oil – Morocco - $1.59
14. Brunswick Sardines in Olive Oil – Canada - $1.19
15. King Oscar Extra Small Brisling Sardines in purest virgin olive oil – Norway - $2.99
16. King Oscar tiny tots Sardines in olive oil two layers – Norway - $2.99
17. Crown Prince One Layer Sardines in soy bean oil no Salt - Scotland - $1. 85
18. Palacio Real Small Sardines in Olive oil (slightly smoked) – Spain - $2.99
19. King Oscar Sardines in pure spring water – Norway - $2.99
20. BUMBLE BEE Sardines in Water – Poland - $.89
21. Mega Sardines in tomato sauce with chili – The Philippines - $.79
22. Brunswick Sardines in Mustard Sauce – Canada - $1.19
23. Bumble Bee Sardines in Mustard – Poland - $.89
24. Yankee Clipper lightly smoked sardines in tomato sauce – Morocco - $2.49
25. Yankee Clipper lightly smoked sardines in mustard sauce – Morocco - $2.49
26. King Oscar Sardines in tomato – Norway - $2.99
27. Brunswick Sardines in Mustard and Dill Sauce – Canada - $1.19
28. King Oscar Skinless & boneless Sardines in olive oil – Morocco - $2.99
29. Gourmet Award lightly smoked sardines in tomato sauce – Morocco - $1.89
30. Brunswick Sardines in tomato & basil Sauce – Canada - $1.19

THE NEW BRANDS SAMPLED

Brand: BELA-Olhão
Manufacturer: Blue Galleon, Inc.
http://www.mybela.com/

Brand: Crown Prince
Manufacturer: Crown Prince, Inc
http://www.crownprince.com/index.html

Brand: Da Morgada
Manufacturer: Tradifoods
www.tradifoods.pt

Brand: Gonsalves
Manufacturer: The Henry Gonsalves Co

Brand: Idamar
Manufacturer: Idama

Brand: Matiz Gallego
Manufacturer: Matiz Gallego
http://www.psimports.net/
http://www.matizespana.com/

Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

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