The Best Canned Sardines: An Inexhaustive Study

Part Two in the Great Sardine Experiment!

The results are in. If you missed last week’s post, I did a taste-test of 5 different brands of sardines to find the BEST SARDINES IN ALL THE LAND.

Surprisingly to myself, I found out I am down with the sardine and its ilk. This is a marvelous discovery for me and hopefully for you because it means I have a whole new thing to eat that is both healthy and cheap! A couple of general notes: I am still a little easily-skeeved by sardine bones; it is true that sardine cans are kind of a pain in the ass to open; it is also true that dogs LOVE sardines.

Here’s the run-down on the brands, in order from least yummy to MOST YUMMY.

Ligo Sardines5. Ligo – These sardines were BIG. They were, like, big and fat. There were only four in the can if that gives you an idea. Interesting to me how different they were from the whole, Wild Planet brand in regards to shape, size, and color. As noted in the previous post, these were in a “tomato-chile” sauce. Which was kind of good, in a way, except there was no actual chiles in it. But in another way, it was like it was from space and reminded me of Spaghetti-Os sauce. The sardines themselves were not bad, I don’t think, but really the flavor was heavily masked by the sauce. They seemed like the “junk-food” version of sardines. I’d like to try a different variety next time. BUT, it did give me hope for future sardine/tomato combinations.

Season Sardines4. Season brand – Decent-sized fish, but very delicately-textured compared to other brands. Good flavor, but the olive oil they were packed in distracted from the texture. Found a couple tiny bones but that turned out to not be so bad. The new “easy to open can” turned out to be just that and I was very appreciative after opening some of the more “difficult to open” cans. Overall, I’d buy these again in the water-pack version, but they were not my total fave.

Wild Planet Sardines3. Wild Planet – These were the first bone-in sardines I tried and I admit I cheated a little and breaded them in panko and then baked them to distract myself from the bones. But I really don’t think it was necessary. One thing that was nice about these whole sardines was the way they held together and didn’t break up when I forked them out of the tiny can. It was actually kind of neat that they still looked like the little dead fishes that they are, like you really know what you are eating. And honestly, I don’t think I would have noticed the bones even without the crunchy coating I applied. I’ll definitely get these again, if only to bread and bake them for a nice appetizer. I’ll post that recipe next week along with some others.

Crown Prince Sardines2. Crown Prince – These were the palest pink of them all. And the mildest. Nice, fairly firm texture, almost like canned tuna. Of the five, I think these would be the easiest sardines for a beginner to handle. I don’t consider myself a beginner anymore, but I still liked this brand a lot.

Bar Harbor Wild Herring Fillets1. Bar Harbor – Granted, these weren’t actually sardines. But they were durn good. Very lightly smoked, and very light on the black pepper. But the fillets were a good 4″ long and held together well when forking them out. There were some left over (it turns out that it’s impossible to eat more than one and a half cans of sardines in a day) and they were good cold from the fridgerator, too. The can was more than a bitch to open, but worth it. Definitely would buy these again.

Post-Mortem Notes:
I’d like to try some bone-in sardines packed in oil. I’d like to try Season brand, packed in water. I’d like to try Crown Prince brand, whole.
It’s still best to not look too closely at them, especially their insides.
My favorite crackers to eat with sardines are Saltines (of course) and Wasa crisp breads.

2015 Update. More Canned Sardines!

I got a care package from Drew at Mouth Full of Sardines with a whole big bunch of new sardines to taste. Here’s what I think so far (though there are a few more to try!).

Roland Boneless Skinless in Oilsardines-roland

These were good! Of course, I am partial to B/S sardines, so I figured I would like these but still, these were meaty and mild and while I ate them on crackers, they’d be great in place of tuna for tuna salad.

Bela sardines-bela-can

The package design on these Portuguese sardines is gorgeous. Really, one of the prettiest sardine cans I’ve ever seen. Actually one of the prettiest cans I’ve ever seen. The sardines inside the can were big … but not cleaned very well unfortunately. Maybe I got a bad can, but they had lots of tough scales that I had to pick off. They tasted good, but the scaliness would keep me from giving them another try.

Master “Spanish Style” sardines-master

Don’t let the name fool you. These spicy sardines are actually from the Philippines. They are real good, though. Packed in oil, they have their skins and bones, but guess what no tails! I appreciate that. They were seasoned with bay, pepper, spices and in the bottom of the can there were actually all of those things including a slice of cucumber and carrot. I did not eat those parts. The sardines themselves were very good. Spicier than I expected, but good. Would buy these again and at only $1.49 they are a bargain!

King Oscar sardines-king-hot

KO is a well-respected brand and these spicy jalapeños Brisling sardines were a good example of why. These were a little larger than some Brislings I’ve seen, but still tasty. Packed with lots of pepper slices these have a strong jalapeño flavor; that is to say, not just spicy, but also with the identifiable flavor of jalapeño. I enjoyed this but that’s coming from a person who puts pickled jalapeños on everything.

I’ll continue to update this page as I try more canned sardines. If you’ve got a favorite that I haven’t tried yet, leave it in a comment below!


  1. Mathias on August 22, 2011 at 9:13 am

    I have eaten a LOT of Sardines in my life and and the best for texture and taste of just the pure Sardine (bone in) are King Oscar, which is probably why they are the most expensive too. They also come in a tomato sauce, dijon mustard and olive oil. But there are a lot of various fun sorts you can find if you check the asian grocery stores, such as fried and soaking in a Thai curry sauce,

    • Hilah on August 22, 2011 at 9:48 am

      Thank you, Mathias! I’ll look for King Oscar and try those. I’m pretty sure I remember seeing them at my store.

      Curried sounds interesting. Do you make your own curry sauce or use a store-bought one?

      • Chris V Curry on August 29, 2017 at 1:02 am

        Yes I’m a Comander sardine man I love to pour out the oil add Braggs apple cider vinegar let soak fo 1 min then add Tabasco sauce then eat with a fork straight from the can after they eaten drink the juice that’s left over !! That’s some good eaten there Granny !

        • Robert B on November 19, 2022 at 11:20 am

          Iberia is tasty. No tail, just had some in oil. I will buy them again in water. Served with Ritz crackers. Yum. The box says: not for sale in California! Can’t find the reason why any where online.

      • Katrina Cooper on February 17, 2018 at 5:28 pm

        That’s a hilarious reply because they are already on your list.

      • Erv Robinson on December 9, 2018 at 12:07 pm

        Please help me, I have read all of these great comments about sardines and not a single solitary person mentioned the greatness of sardines and a delicious Vidalia onion. One can eat Vidalia alone but sardines must have a Vidalia.

        • Hilah on December 9, 2018 at 2:38 pm

          That sounds good! Something else I’ve been meaning too try is a chopped salad with chopped sardines in it: cucumber, tomato, onion, lettuce, maybe a lemon salad dressing

          • Robert on August 8, 2019 at 7:50 pm

            look up alton browns sardine and avocado salad. WOW!

          • Dan Corcoran on July 9, 2020 at 10:32 am

            OMG I just finished a lovely salad from our garden (lettuce, mustard green, arugula, cilantro, basil, tomato, shallots), with two (2) cans of Brunswick Sardines in tomato sauce (not Spaghetti’O like at all) made of Tomato paste, salt, sugar, paprika and a slurry of chemical preservatives (why?).
            Enough spice to dress the salad, but drizzled on a little extra virgin from Greece.
            Sardines are from Blacks Harbour, NB, CAN

          • Linda on May 7, 2024 at 6:48 am

            OMG!!! A chopped salad with sardines sounds amazing!! Why have I never thought of that? Coming right up!!!

        • Ann on May 18, 2019 at 3:55 am

          When I was a kid my dad used to make sardine and onion sandwiches with some hot sauce and mustard then wash it down with a beer. He’d then chase my mom around with his onion, sardine, and beer breath, saying “Honey, how about a kiss?” It was all in good fun. Quite hilarious!

        • Stush K on July 5, 2023 at 10:41 am

          Try them with spicy chili crisp and thank me later.

          • Jesus Gonzalez on March 20, 2024 at 7:55 pm

            They them with Cholula Mexican hot sauce, the ingredients on Cholula are all healthy. With some non-GMO corn chips 👌

        • Sydney L on August 7, 2023 at 12:05 pm

          Agree on the Visalia onion but I made a sandwich with bread and butter pickles , heirloom tomatoes and avocado and a touch of mayo
          A brand I just tried was Very expensive but very good quality

        • N McBee on October 29, 2023 at 4:29 pm

          Ha! My mother is from the county in Georgia and we love the Vidalia onion with anything (even alone). They are like no other. My sister-in-law love onions with sardines, which is why I’m at the site at all. I intend to send her a bag if Vidalia’s and some new varieties of sardines to Hawaii 😊

      • Phay on September 22, 2020 at 1:19 pm

        You should try brunswick sardines.

        • m brown on November 25, 2021 at 5:01 am

          You mean Brunswick herring which is in a can that says sardines.

          • Matt on June 7, 2022 at 12:46 am

            Sardines are herring, do with this information what you will. Other brands market sprats as sardines but Brunswick does not.

          • Linda on May 7, 2024 at 6:56 am

            Size: Herring are generally larger than sardines. Herring can grow up to 1.5 feet (45 cm) in length, while sardines typically reach a maximum length of about 1.3 feet (40 cm).
            Taste and texture: Herring have a stronger, more pungent flavor and a meatier texture than sardines, which are often described as milder and more delicate.
            Diet: While both fish consume zooplankton and small crustaceans, herring tend to eat more marine worms and other invertebrates than sardines.
            Mercury content: Sardines generally have lower mercury levels than herring, making them a potentially healthier option.
            Culinary uses: Herring are often pickled, smoked, or used in sushi, while sardines are commonly canned in oil or water and used in a variety of dishes, such as salads, sandwiches, and pasta sauces.
            In conclusion: While herring and sardines share many similarities, they are distinct species with differences in size, taste, diet, and culinary uses. So, while they may be similar, they are not exactly the same thing.

      • John Thompson on March 6, 2021 at 7:53 pm

        Hi I loved the millionaire sardines but can’t find them anywhere any more. They were small and nice flavor. I don’t know what to buy now that would be as good or small, don’t like large sardines.

        • gary on November 29, 2021 at 2:31 pm

          Try and find Riga Brand Sprats made in Latvia….There are many versions and they are all small and smoked and delicious.

    • laura m. on June 8, 2015 at 11:48 am

      I eat (weekly) King Oscar packed in water and sprinkle on wine vinegar and a little olive oil, some folks add hot sauce like Frank’s or Crystal. Have tried Brunswick sardines the same way, they are cheaper but taste ok. Some brands listed above are not available in my local store. Also, I eat wild salmon weekly and take fish oil pills.

      • Capt. Nemo on March 2, 2016 at 6:00 am

        if you’re already eating plenty of fish, you don’t need to consume fish oil pills.

      • Tom carr on November 22, 2017 at 12:56 pm

        King Oscar sards are absolutely the top of the line in canned sardines. The Wild Caught Sardines on E.V. Olive Oil with Spicy Cracked Pepper are particularly potent. I use them in a tossed salad and the olive oil and cracked pepper are all the dressing required. Top shelf! If you order a dozen cans on Amazon they are only $2.90 a can which is a real steal.

      • Gapup on May 25, 2018 at 11:56 am

        You are going to live forever!!

      • Jim moyer on June 19, 2020 at 5:23 am

        We buy fresh walleye by the 10 lb box at our meat store, there from canada flash frozen and extreamly good baked, we dont trust any fish caught in the pacific ocean!! Think about it fukashima is still releasinf radation into the ocean at hugh rates.

        • Rick Graves on November 12, 2021 at 8:58 am

          Where are you buying Walleye ? I live in Tennessee and have never heard of commercial Walleye ! I’d love to have some .

        • William on June 12, 2023 at 8:38 pm

          Fukushima’s been done and cleaned up for many years. Look for the facts on that one.

    • Drew on April 18, 2016 at 6:14 am

      I didn’t see mention of Vital Choice sardines in the article! They’re the best/ highest quality brand I’ve had in the past with the most omega 3/ can that I’ve found. Also, I just bought 48 cans of their sardine filet cans (in water):

      Each can would average to be about $1.76 considering they have a HUGE sale on the sardines ATM ($47 for 24 cans, plus add in one of their 10% off coupons: springfish10). This is figuring in my total being a minimum of $99 (free shipping). When one can of King Oscars with 2.5g omega 3/can is around $2.50, it’s nowhere near of a deal than a Vital Choice can with 2.73g omega 3 around $1.76!

    • W gillespise on August 28, 2016 at 2:11 pm

      The best for price is crown prince in olive oil!!! Skinless, bonless, wild caught, product of morocco, less than 2.00 per can!!! 21 grams protein!!! Substainable!!!

      • Mel_Anosis on November 19, 2016 at 9:54 am

        Season on sale at Costco is cheaper.

        • Justified on February 10, 2017 at 5:21 am

          I second this. The costco deal is the best I have found for amazing tasting sardines. The season ones are awesome.

      • V. Dargain on August 31, 2023 at 7:11 pm

        Crown Prince brand are my mom’s favorite . She started eating them when she was pregnant with me and introduced them to me and my siblings .
        I didn’t know they were Moroccan . Thought they Norwegian . Still yummy nevertheless .

    • Charice on September 17, 2016 at 8:40 am

      The most delicious sardines I’ve ever tasted was the one my daughter brought back from Spain. Sadly I don’t remember the brand

      • Mark on January 16, 2017 at 11:25 am

        They were probably from Conservas Ortiz. EASILY the best Sardines on Earth!

        • Bob on May 10, 2019 at 4:15 pm

          They are fried so .. they’re you go.

      • Scott Reitherman on December 5, 2019 at 5:28 am

        Were they Matiz Sardines? These are much better than any of the brands mentioned above, albeit a little more expensive.

    • Erna Ruben on April 2, 2017 at 2:11 pm

      I just had the King Oscar sardines Mediterranean style, with olives and bell peppers, in extra virgin olive oil. It was very good. They were bone in – but who notices them – and tails on, which does not bother me either. All in all I liked them.

    • Daniel Reyes on June 3, 2019 at 4:04 pm

      I hope my local supermarket carries them. I live in Texas and do my grocery shopping at H.E.B.

      • Stephen Stoker on July 6, 2020 at 9:48 am

        Heb does carry all or most of the KO sardines….

      • TerryH on October 24, 2020 at 2:44 pm

        Central Market carries several hard to find European sardines. Conservas, Matiz, Pinhais, Les Mouettes d’Arvor, Henry and Lisa’s.

        Just noticed one canned with butter! “Les Mouettes d’Arvor Guerande Sardines With Butter & Sea Salt”!

        • Hilah on October 28, 2020 at 6:26 am

          Wow! never heard of sardines in butter!

      • Adam on November 22, 2020 at 4:38 am

        I recommend the King Oscar crosspacked.

        They’re not cheap but, I consider them the best in can.

    • James Thaxton sr. on August 8, 2021 at 10:37 pm

      Ive tried many brands and many siseses and flavors i like sardines in louisiana hot sauce the best and for the most part they are cooked kinda like can salmon or mackrell so all the bones are etaball. I make fresh caught blue gill the same way with bones that melt in your mouth. Ummm good eats.

    • Maria Conner on March 17, 2022 at 1:39 pm

      I just tried Magellan Sardines in olive oil from Portugal . It was delicious! Right now the only place that carries them are some Asian stores like Seafood City. I live in Cerritos. The sardines are good sized and firm. I do not eat the bone and that was easy to remove without the sardines breaking. I am hooked.

  2. Great Stone Face on August 22, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I’ve gotten King Oscar in a multi-pack at Costco. You also might want to try Goya in the Latino foods aisle of the market. (With all our suggestions, you might be eating nothing but sardines for the next 10 years.))

    • Richard Vermeulen on March 16, 2014 at 8:01 am

      Goya makes good products. I use their “salt free” all purpose seasoning. I also like their malt drink

      • Hilah on March 17, 2014 at 8:32 am

        Never tried the Goya malt drink, but I love malt drinks, Richard.

    • Gail James on February 16, 2017 at 10:35 am

      I live in Canada and would love to be able to purchase King Oscar Sardines –
      each time I go tot he States I purchase all that I can find !
      |If anyone knows of a way to have them sent to Canada – id be entirely grateful.

      Gail James

      • Roy Fillingham on June 6, 2019 at 5:11 pm

        order them on Amazon! Price is great also!

      • Barbara Turner on April 30, 2021 at 2:02 pm

        I love the opossum sardines made in Canada. I purchased the last three cans off the shelf of a small grocery store in monroeville,Alabama sometime ago . Do you know if another company has purchased the Canada company.
        Do email me at with company phone number or email address.
        Barbara Turner

  3. Bev Weidner on August 22, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Good to know! I just bought some from Trader Joe’s – I’ll report back on my findings.

    I just said “findings.”

    • Hilah on August 22, 2011 at 5:45 pm

      You are a scientist at heart!

  4. peter jackson on August 22, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    When their little bones are crunching between your teeth, just think “mmm, calcium.”

    • Hilah on August 22, 2011 at 5:46 pm

      I try… it’s also when I look at their little bones.

      I need to stop looking so hard.

    • Marijan Favetti on June 9, 2018 at 3:20 pm

      Speaking of bones, not only are they full of calcium but they taste yummy, especially the vertebrae found in canned TUNA!

  5. Zora on August 23, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    I love me some canned sardines! I used to take them for lunch, with saltines, when I was in elementary school. Needless to say, I was not popular.

    Do you know the blog SALTS (aka Society for the Appreciation of the Lowly Tinned Sardine)? I think you just singlehandedly whupped them.

    • Hilah on August 24, 2011 at 7:51 am

      I am starting to love them, too!

      I used to take cheese and crackers for lunch almost every day. It didn’t make me unpopular exactly, but it made me an object of pity among those children with actual sandwiches.

      Thanks for sending that blog link, though. I hadn’t heard of it. There’s some very nice package designs on some of them foreign sardine cans.

  6. Patricia on August 25, 2011 at 10:29 am

    There’s nothing like fresh sardines… You should come to Portugal during Summer here. People grill them on the streets and they smell and taste marvellous. It’s definitely one of my favourite fishes.
    Even the skin is delicious, with a thin layer of fat. And the liver…

    • Hilah on August 25, 2011 at 4:51 pm

      Patricia, I would LOVE to come to Portugal! And eat grilled street sardines, skin and all.
      Thanks for writing!

      • JJ Murphy on October 30, 2019 at 12:23 pm

        Have you done it? Eaten grilled street sardines in Portugal? It sounds good enough, I might design an entire vacation around it!

        • Patricia on October 30, 2019 at 3:46 pm

          I’m not sure you asked me or Hilah, but I have! I live in Portugal and every summer they grill them on the streets or on the balconies… Very cheap and delicious, it’s a widespread tradition.

        • Hilah on October 30, 2019 at 4:15 pm

          Sounds fun!

        • Lana Bothwellk on August 2, 2020 at 6:44 am

          Why can’t I buy sardines packed in sardine oil anymore? They are so much tastier in their own oil. I used to eat then cold with crackers and blue cheese.

          • John Doelman on February 1, 2021 at 2:59 pm

            I have no idea but you are right. They are much better!

          • Ronald Farquhar on June 14, 2021 at 4:05 pm

            I think they cut it out for production reasons.
            I miss the fish oil too.
            I think it was called SILD OIL.

    • Erna Ruben on April 2, 2017 at 2:14 pm

      Which reminded me of camping at Montpellier, southern France, where early in the morning the fishermen would come with fresh caught sardines and sell them to the campers.
      I would quickly fry them in a pan and we had them for breakfast. They were absolutely delicious as they could not be any fresher. Nothing more was needed.

    • ann on May 18, 2019 at 4:14 am

      Same in Japan. I visited my family in Osaka. For lunch, my aunt would grill some fresh, head-on sardines, seasoned with just coarse sea salt. They were delicious! I make them that way, too but sometimes do a bit of a soy sauce and sesame oil rub served with grated daikon and scallions. So healthy and tasty!

    • Patricia Machado on October 30, 2019 at 4:28 pm

      Oh, I wrote “fishes” in my original comment years ago! Beeeeeautiful!

  7. thomas on August 29, 2011 at 8:30 am

    The bones are really no big deal. Same with canned salmon. They are de-bonified by the canning process. Like someone said, CALCIUM. It is some of the higher quality food-grade calcium you are ever going to eat.
    One of my favorite things to do with sardines is with a crunchy salad with green pepper, some hot pepper, some onion, some tomato and anything else you might want to add. Takes a little experimentation but it can be a tasty and refreshing salad.

    • Hilah on August 29, 2011 at 10:39 am

      Hi Thomas!

      I think that after this experiment I will be hard-pressed to get weirded out by weird foods ever again, thank gawd. It was really a mental block more than anything. I’m also weirded out by chicken bones which is why I haven’t yet posted about fried chicken but I think maybe I could do that now, too.

      Ahh, it’s nice to be a grown-up.

  8. Sara on August 29, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Love this! I am a huge fan of sardines (got into them while pregnant, never lost the taste for them). I usually buy your top 2 brands so it’s good to know that I was always getting the best. (They used to be available packed in mustard, sadly they have disapparead). However, I have recently been buying them from If you buy enough at a time the price can be pretty economical, and they are fantastically meaty!

    • Hilah on August 29, 2011 at 10:36 am

      Hi Sara!
      Thanks for the sardine tip! I’ll look and see if they carry those at my fancy Whole Foods or something. I’m very interested in trying different sardines now!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Ken Whelan on January 10, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Just tasted the “Wild Sardines” brand purchased at Costco. There from Viet concerned with polution. Are they ok? Which ones are farm free. Ken

    • Hilah on January 10, 2012 at 9:25 pm

      Hey Ken!
      It’s my understanding that sardines are always wild caught. I’m not sure about pollution, but I think that because they are so low on the ocean food chain, sardines are one of the safest fish to eat. Hope that helps!

      • Mike on May 21, 2014 at 9:04 am


        I read years ago the late great Jacques Cousteau world renowned for his work in the seas of the world said to be sure only to eat fish caught in northern waters because of pollution. Yes, they are higher on the food chain so I don’t know to what degree they have mercury, lead, arsenic, etc. but less is best as such pollution has a cumulative effect on our health and longevity.


        • Hilah on May 21, 2014 at 9:11 am

          Hey Mike!
          I don’t know about Northern waters being less polluted (haha, maybe they used to be in Cousteau’s time) but sardines and small fish like that are definitely cleaner than large fish! They are very low on the food chain and have very little mercury.

          • stephen pietrowski on November 22, 2015 at 5:23 am

            Japans nuclear radiation has gotten badly to the east coast usa and viet nam has too much agent orange hanging around.

      • Mike on May 21, 2014 at 9:22 am

        Hi Again!

        I should have mentioned… I also read that sardines are first steamed for 12 minutes at 208 degrees, then cooked sealed in the can at 250 degrees for 35 minutes. The problem there is the aluminum cans. Much of the old aluminum cookware has disappeared because something of the metal is released by I think oxidation. They even say not to store things in the original can in the refrigerator which I’m sure must be true for aluminum (even drinking pop from aluminum cans is bad). So sardines actually being cooked in them is terrible. I love sardines and thought I was having less of an environmental impact too… yet they over fish the already stressed sea life as there were once over 300 canneries in Maine alone at one time. If there were only a means to manage the population at the same time respecting the existing food chain, respecting the sea – not to take and take.

        Kindest Regards,

        • SKH on November 19, 2016 at 11:48 pm

          Aluminum is the third most abundant mineral on earth. If aluminum were biologically harmful there’d be no life on earth. As a metal, aluminum oxidizes easily. So there are no pure aluminum surfaces in air. What we see and touch is covered by a thin layer of very hard, transparent and impervious film of oxide of aluminum. They can withstand strong acids and high temperatures. Oxides of aluminum in crystalline form is sapphire and ruby. a

          When you drink soda from an aluminum can, be assured that the soda is in contact with the oxide and not the metal. Think of the can as having a thin liner of sapphire. Same goes for sardines cooked in aluminum cans.

          Yes, there are toxins in the environment, such as arsenic, mercury and lead. Aluminum is biologically inert.

        • I on February 26, 2017 at 6:25 pm

          Sad but true, yes Mike

  10. joe s on February 17, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    the bar harbor type are cheaper if you buy them under the looks of maine brand,wich is the whiting fish company of maine,packed in canada. the mustard sause ones are out of this world!

    • Hilah on February 21, 2012 at 12:45 pm

      Cool! Thank you for the tips!

  11. kik on March 4, 2012 at 6:59 am

    posting for posterity

    I want to be here when historians look back upon the invention of the word “fridgerator”

    • Hilah on March 4, 2012 at 5:25 pm

      Ha! They better give me credit for it in the annals of history.

  12. mervin on March 19, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Hi Hilah! Great post. I wonder if you would like to try the Gata (coconut flavor) Ligo sardines? They are really quite delicious. I actually import this product into the US and grew up eating these things. However, my more Americanized pallet finds the Gata flavor to be the best. I’d love to send you one and hear what you think.

    • Hilah on March 20, 2012 at 11:15 am

      I’d be open to trying them! Never heard of coconut sardines.

      • Monique on March 25, 2015 at 1:53 pm

        I love this post and I love sardines too! Ligo is my fave. By the way, Gata is Filipino for Coconut milk

  13. Dinobino on July 23, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Have you tried Nuri sardines? I love Nuri but a bit expensive.

    • Hilah on July 23, 2012 at 2:49 pm

      Ooh, no, I’ve never heard of them. I’ll look them up. Thanks!

  14. idiotgear on July 25, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    king oscar brisling sardines are the best. the lowest price i’ve seen is at walmart. i did research and brisling are the actual sardines while others just means small fish hence the different sizes in the above cans. it has a nice flavor and if they were like 99 cents a can i’d buy them by the cases!

    • Hilah on July 25, 2012 at 2:36 pm

      Thank you for the clarification!

    • Chuck on August 14, 2015 at 5:31 pm

      King Oscar Bristling Sardines in olive oil are excellent
      In July 2012 you say that they cost 99 cents now in
      August 2015 they are $2.52 per can…that’s quite a big difference

      • Hilah on August 17, 2015 at 10:28 am

        Wow! What a jump! I’m curious if other brands had similar increases.

      • Caroline Brannen on February 27, 2017 at 12:43 pm

        Yes – that is the cost now but they are simply the BEST and they are little nutritional powerhouses

        • Noel on March 14, 2017 at 11:04 pm

          I am in Australia and 76 now, but when I was a First year apprentice electrician in 1956, I had to stay in the city 2 nights a week for night classes. As I was only earning $4.90 a week I would buy half a loaf of bread and a tin of King Oscar Sardines for my evening meal. They were made in Norway then and must have been cheap if I could afford them.
          MODERATOR you can cut all the above if you feel it is off the subject”
          I am an age pensioner now and have to watch my pennies again but King Oscar are now made in Poland and a 3.8 Oz tin is about AUD$3.50. However both Aussie Woolworths and Aldi Australia have a home badged brand made in Poland but in Sunflower oil instead of Olive oil at AUD$1.35. I buy the Aldi Ocean Rise Brisling Sardines in oil, because sometimes their product is so different that I think they are King Oscar in disguise. When I find one of these I go back to both of the nearby outlets and buy them all. I have them twice a week and Alaskan red salmon twice a week. This stops me feeling guilty about the amount of beer I drink.

    • Al on January 22, 2021 at 5:38 pm

      The big ones are called pilchards but they are still in the sardine family. Same nutrition and taste.

  15. mike on August 13, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    I love sardines. Great review. I ran across another sardine site awhile back also. mouth full of sardines. They eat a lot of sardines. I look forward to your future reviews.

    • Hilah on August 14, 2012 at 4:24 pm

      Oh yeah, I’ve seen that site! They are WAY more into sardines than anyone else I’ve seen. Thanks for writing, Mike!

  16. Chloe on October 9, 2012 at 11:46 am

    The MOST moist, delicious, & sustainably caught sardines are, by and far, the Wild Planet Brand!

    I tried both the “Season” and “Crown Prince” brands and the difference in flavor and quality was light years away from the Wild Planet brand.

    I live in New England and can only find WILD PLANET brand in my local Stop and Shop.

    It’s amazing that we have 3 Whole Foods Markets in my state and not one carries the Wild Planet brand! They are only carry what I believe to be the inferior quality brands that I mentioned.

    I’m sure that the Hoffman and Manischewitz families that own Crown Prince and Season brands wouldn’t mind having the Wild Planet brand alongside their own, since they feel theirs are such great quality, right?

    Who knows, they just might figure out how to improve their own product someday.

    • Hilah on October 9, 2012 at 11:53 am

      Thank you for your passionate response, Chloe!
      I do like the Wild Planet a lot and I must say I’m very impressed with the stock at your local Stop and Shop! I consider WP to be a very high-end brand, not likely to be seen at convenience stores. I wonder, though, you might be able to put in a request to carry them at your closest Whole Foods?
      Thanks for writing. 🙂

  17. Chloe on October 13, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Hello Hilah! Yes, I was feeling very passionate about sardines that day! 🙂

    Actually, I have requested that Whole Foods carry the Wild Planet brand many times — they tell me I can only place a “special order” for them…..very odd ! They carry tuna and canned salmon by the Wild Planet brand, so there is no reason they can’t stock the sardines also.

    Really makes me wonder why the people who shop at Whole foods can’t get a taste of what I believe to be the best sardines ever!

    • Hilah on October 13, 2012 at 10:27 am

      That is very strange indeed!

    • Great Stone Face on October 13, 2012 at 10:55 am

      If you are near a Wegman’s, they carry Wild Planet sardines.

      • Burt Reynolds on December 13, 2012 at 4:02 pm

        Sardines are amazing! They taste the best when you’re deep into an all day mountain hike, it’s time for a protein packed snack, & you’ve got a tin of Brisling Sardines, made by King Oscar. These sardines are harvested in the cold, clean, oxygen rich, & fruitful waters of Northern Europe / are the best out there, albeit a bit expensive, around 3.50 here in Charlotte, NC. I’m a seafood fanatic and eat either sardines, smoked oysters, mussels, or tuna fish daily. You get what you pay for…The .99 cent trash that comes from Morroco, has filtered out piss/Doo Doo from the Mediterranean & Africa for thousands of years, it’s gross…I thought your review was very thorough & well put together! Good job Hilah!

        • Hilah on December 13, 2012 at 5:06 pm

          Thanks, Burt! I never expected this post would bring so many sardine-lovers out of the woodwork. 🙂

        • karen griffin on October 17, 2020 at 12:41 am

          I am 68 and my experience with sardines happened when I was 5 yrs old. My grandparents managed a small grocery and gas station on a two lane road outside of Raleigh NC. My grandpa was a quiet man and I was normally buzzing around him wherever he went. I would follow him outside at lunch time and sit on a concrete porch behind the station. He would place a sardine with a little vinegar on a saltine and pop it in his mouth whole then hand me one. Didnt matter to me what it was..if he ate it I would also. Over those young years we didnt talk much…but we shared a strong connection while munching on sardines. Your posts have brought back fond memories and a revival for sardine on a cracker. Thanks Grandpa ?

  18. Great Stone Face on December 13, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Burt, you can get a multipack of King Oscar at Costco for a good price. Even on Amazon you can get a 12-pack of the 3.75 oz in olive oil for $33.60 and get free super-saver shipping. See

  19. Patrick on December 28, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Is there such a thing as ‘sardine breath’?

    It’s my greatest fear when I think of eating those little fish.

    • Hilah on December 29, 2012 at 1:28 pm

      Oh Patrick. I think, yes, there must be such a thing. Though it never occurred to me before. *shudder*

  20. Chuck from Miami Florida on February 18, 2013 at 12:06 am

    The best sardines on the market are King Oscar Sardines in extra virgin olive oil
    In Florida we have wonderful fresh fish, actually I prefer the sardines because of the omega-3 content and the wonderful taste.

    • Hilah on February 18, 2013 at 11:45 am

      Thank you for chiming in on the discussion, Chuck! 🙂

      • Dustie on August 31, 2018 at 11:57 pm

        The best sardines are packed in Louisiana Hot Sauce. Then the ones packed in mustard sauce then the ones packed in tomato sauce. But be sure and sprinkle a generous amount of your own bottle of Louisiana Hot Sauce on all three types of Sardines and eat on top of a saltine cracker. Best snack ever!!! Yum! Yum!

  21. xander on February 26, 2013 at 9:45 am

    I may be in the wrong place, but I have been looking for info, prep, recipes, etc on sardines packed in coarse salt. I bought a half lb and clearly they are not meant to eat straight up. I love sardines.

    • Hilah on March 4, 2013 at 9:56 am

      Hi Xander,
      I’ve never seen salt-packed sardines, but I’d guess you’d need to treat them like salt-packed anchovies or even salt cod and soak them in water for a few hours before eating. You might even want to soak, drain, then soak again in fresh water. Let me know!

      • Dominique on April 20, 2018 at 8:42 am

        I eat sardines regularly. I like the Wild Planet with olive oil with lemon. The best sardines, I’ve had came from some village market in France, where I bought sardines packed in oil, basil and lemon. Ooh the basil, lemon blend is so magnificent! I typically have sardines for breakfast on toast with cream cheese.

  22. Bill on February 27, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Love King Oscar sardines in olive oil.I put them in salads or eat right out of the can.Will try these other suggestions. Theirs something about a woman with sardine breath. Ah. Cheers

    • Hilah on March 4, 2013 at 9:56 am

      Haha! I’ll remember that next time. 😉

  23. drice on April 10, 2013 at 10:13 pm


    • c on December 8, 2016 at 4:46 pm

      moosaeck – ah, what wonderful remembrances. i remember coming home at lunchtime from p.s.114 in belle harbor,queens,ny and having a moosabeck sardine sandwich while listening to the adventures of helen trent on the radio. (i am 77 yrs old).

      whatever you know about what happened to those delicious sardines, please let me know. thank you.

    • jimbo on August 18, 2022 at 8:31 pm

      My wife grew up in Brooklyn in the 1950s and raves about Mooseabec sardines. Wish i could try ’em, but they don’t can sardines in Maine any more.

      • Bill on April 22, 2024 at 9:31 am

        Mooseabec’s were the best ! I kept several cans in my dorm room at all times in the mid to late 1970s.

  24. Bob Zee on April 21, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Have enjoyed sardines ever since I can remember, which is quite a long time. Can remember them at a few cents a can up to now. They all taste good, but some are better than others. Have finally worked my way up to Seasons Brand. I prefer sardines to tuna any day of the week.
    As I write this I have my first can of the Seasons Brand prepared . Will try some of the other brands you have checked out. Like you web site. Bob Zee-Wind & Fire at

    • Hilah on April 22, 2013 at 12:31 pm

      Hi Bob! Thank you for writing. Hope you like these other ones I tried.

      • Terry on May 29, 2013 at 2:05 pm

        Whole Foods Market stores in Chicago have sold Wild Planet sardines for a long time. As for King Oscar, it sounds like a lot of PR people contributing. Just ate some Fantis sardines, 4 3/8 oz., from Spain. $1.89 from my local family owned produce market ( generally, higher prices) and quite delicious. My favorite is your #4 rated Season from WFM, truly amazing. Finding new sardines is such a journey but I have miles to swim before I rest.

        • Hilah on May 29, 2013 at 5:51 pm

          Thanks, Terry!
          I’ll look out for Fantis.

  25. Charlie Sommers on July 31, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    I have been an avid sardine eater all my life. I remember when Possum Brand Sardines were only 10 cents and along with a few saltines and a pickle made a great lunch when you were out on a hunting trip. Today the taste of the tiny Norwegian sild sardines has no competition.

    Several years ago I bought a tin of sardines that were packed in sardine oil. They were marvelous but unfortunately I can’t remember the packers name and can’t find such a product online. Can anyone help?

    • Hilah on August 1, 2013 at 11:58 am

      I’m sorry, I have never heard of sardines packed in sardine oil, but maybe someone else here will have.
      Thanks, Charlie, for sharing your “hunter’s lunch”. I love simple picnics like that.

      • Gary Jacobson on September 1, 2017 at 5:28 pm

        Very funny that I found this site by searching for sardines in sardine oil. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen them. Think they were King Oscar. When in Norway a few months ago I should have looked for them. Just bought some Millionaires brand bristling sardines when in Canada. Really would love to find sardines in sardine oil.

    • Hawkeye on April 6, 2016 at 9:55 pm

      I recall that “MOOSEBECK” or ” MOOSE a BECK” brand from Maine was packed in sild sardine oil – late ’40s

      • c on December 8, 2016 at 4:48 pm

        moosaeck – ah, what wonderful remembrances. i remember coming home at lunchtime from p.s.114 in belle harbor,queens,ny and having a moosabeck sardine sandwich while listening to the adventures of helen trent on the radio. (i am 77 yrs old).

        whatever you know about what happened to those delicious sardines, please let me know. thank you.

    • John on September 13, 2018 at 6:14 pm

      where online can i purchase sardines in sild oil?

  26. Great Stone Face on August 1, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    At the Hong Kong Supermarket in Austin, TX, they have sardines in coconut milk and with black beans.

  27. David on August 3, 2013 at 1:37 am

    I notice that some of the brands don’t have the skin. The skin is delicious! Why add expense by taking it off?

    • Hilah on August 3, 2013 at 10:11 am

      Agreed, David. The bones are good for you, too. Some people get kind of grossed out by the skin and bones. I used to, but I’m getting over that. Plus, you’re right, they are much more expensive with the extra processing. Thanks for writing!

  28. Gary on August 14, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    This article makes me think I should add sardines to my collection of survival food in case of emergencies. I will check out some exp. dates on them next time I go shopping.

    • Hilah on August 15, 2013 at 7:16 am

      Yes, Gary! They are great for hiking/camping, too.

  29. Will on August 23, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    If there are better sardines out there than the King Oscar brisling 2 or 3 layer (tiny) I haven’t had them. I have loved sardines for as long as I can remember.

    • Hilah on August 23, 2013 at 6:38 pm

      Thanks, Will! The tiny ones are usually the best.

  30. Judy Kerman on September 15, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    Fascinating thread. I loved King Oskar with bones (is that brisling) in oil when I was a kid, but they have been hard to find, especially when I lived in Michigan. Tried a variety of brands this year, and found them too fishy. So I thought maybe i mis-remembered. I guess I should try King Oskar again. But I just bought a pack of frozen, and found your site while looking for recipes. This could get interesting…

    • Hilah on September 16, 2013 at 9:15 am

      Hi Judy!
      I have never seen frozen sardines! You will have to report back on those. 🙂

      • Charlie Sommers on October 5, 2013 at 9:14 am

        One of my local Asian Markets usually stocks frozen sardines from Monterey, California. They are frozen whole so they must be gutted then boned and fried. They are rather large and would possibly be called pilchards by some but I just call them delicious.

        • Hilah on October 5, 2013 at 10:01 am

          Aha, thank you! I would not have thought to look there, but I’m sure our large Asian grocery would have them.

      • Sparkle on December 12, 2013 at 3:30 am

        You can buy frozen sardines at most bait shops. Great for catching Salmon.

      • william on December 12, 2014 at 12:31 pm

        They are probably frozen smelt from the great lakes. They are delicious too especially sauteed until crunchy like potato chips. They are freshwater trout fingerlings about the size of your little finger purchased all ready cleaned. I love both smelt and sardines.

  31. Rhonda on October 4, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Still the best I’ve ever had and NO BPA in the can linings…
    I know of NO other popular canned sardines that can say that!

    The only thing better than Wild Planet, is freshly caught:

    I wish people would be more aware of how their health is effected by the daily consumption of poisons, like BPA, since it’s all quite accumulative. It makes no sense to allow ourselves to become ill and then use useless, expensive medications to somehow survive, when we can prevent most illness through the avoidance of pesticides and chemicals such as BPA.

    Thanks for your blog.

    Happy Sardine eating! 🙂

    • Hilah on October 5, 2013 at 8:45 am

      Thank you! I am careful to watch out for that, too, but had not noticed on their package!

  32. Kelly on October 10, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Do you or anyone know if MOOSEBECK sardines are available at all anywhere. Thanks for any and all replies

    • Christopher on October 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      I haven’t heard of them, Kelly, but hopefully someone here has!

    • Bill Radetzky on November 15, 2013 at 11:11 am

      This is so funny. Just wrote my brother and sister and said, “I remember the kind of kippered snacks that Dad ate and you don’t! My brother didn’t remember and my sister said Crown Prince. They actually were Moosebeck or Moosebeac brand in a red box. Funny that Drice who replied remembered that brand. I think they were herring. For all I know a herring and a sardine are the same. I came to this site after googling for Moosebeck.

      • Hilah on November 15, 2013 at 7:05 pm

        I googled Moosebeck, too, and came up with nothing but an article written by another person who misses the Moosebeck!

        • Steven on December 26, 2013 at 12:24 pm

          I’m 69 so I very vividly remember Moosebeck sardines in the red box (hardly any other brands were boxed at that time). This was by far the best testing and best packed of all sardines. It had a unique flavor. To my knowledge based on previous investigation the brand just closed up and strangely, though it was the most popular brand and sold all over, no one purchased the recipe or name or the owners chose not to sell it. Until today no company has been able to reproduce that flavor (having tried many different brands).

          • Hilah on December 26, 2013 at 2:57 pm

            Oh man! That is so interesting. There has got to me a good story behind this brand! Thanks for writing, Steven.

          • Great Stone Face on December 26, 2013 at 4:03 pm

            Moosabec is an area on Beals Island in Maine. There used to be a thriving sardine industry there, but I believe it is no more. The “Moosabec” trademark for sardines is still co-owned by Clover Leaf Seafoods of Ontario, Canada, and Stinson Canning Co. of Prospect Harbor, Maine.

      • c on December 8, 2016 at 4:53 pm

        moosaeck – ah, what wonderful remembrances. i remember coming home at lunchtime from p.s.114 in belle harbor,queens,ny and having a moosabeck sardine sandwich while listening to the adventures of helen trent on the radio. (i am 77 yrs old).

        whatever you know about what happened to those delicious sardines, please let me know. thank you.

    • Ed Circusitch on November 26, 2014 at 11:31 pm

      Forty years ago I loved Moosebeac sardines. My memory says they were the best but knowing me, they were probably the cheapest. I used to have an empty box on the wall in my room. My dad and I would eat them with crackers. Ritz crackers were best. Now I eat sardines with my son!

  33. Jim Yost on November 14, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    I’ve heard that the best sardines are caught in cold water places. King Oscar brand sardines are packed in Poland which is on the Baltic Sea which is really cold water. Crown Prince brand are packed in Scotland which is on the North Sea which is also really cold water. Ligo brand are packed in the Philippines which is a warm water place. Brunswick brand are packed in Maine which is on the North Atlantic which is cold water.

    I eat more sardines than anyone I know personally (or ever have known). I’ve been eating them since I was a boy and now I’m 67 years old. I eat Brunswick brand most of the time, packed in water. Three or four times a month I eat a can of King Oscar packed in olive oil, or Crown Prince packed in olive oil (with skin and bones) if I can find them. I think I like the Crown Prince brand the best of all but I really do like the King Oscar brand also. I add a teaspoon of sesame oil to the Brunswick brand sardines which transforms the taste. I eat juice and all.

    • Hilah on November 14, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      Thanks for that, Jim!
      The “cold water is best” idea makes sense intuitively, now that you mention it. I love the sesame oil idea!

      • Anna on October 13, 2021 at 9:21 pm

        There is a Dalmatian brand of tiny sardines packed in layers in olive oil with a paper thin slice of lemon on top and I think the bottom too. They come in a slim can packed in a little box with a scene of the beautiful Dalmatian seaside on front. They are the most delicious I’ve ever tasted and I can’t recall the brand name. They are pricey at nearly $6 USD/tin. They still have a turnkey glued on back to open the tin with. We’re also Dalmatian and we ate sardines any day of the week at any meal with crackers, scallions, black Greek olives and mozzarella cheese.

        If anyone is familiar with the brand name please let me know via this blog comments.

    • V. Dargain on August 31, 2023 at 7:22 pm

      Crown Prince brand are my mom’s favorite . She started eating them when she was pregnant with me and introduced them to me and my siblings .
      I didn’t know they were Moroccan . Thought they Norwegian . Still yummy nevertheless .

  34. Jim Yost on November 15, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Herring are a lot bigger than sardines. I think a lot of fish that get passed off as sardines are actually something else. In 1998 I went deep sea fishing off the coast of San Diego and we used live ‘sardines’ for bait. They were almost a foot long and weighed over half a pound. The deck hands said they were sardines but I have an idea they were something else. The sardines I’ve seen travel in huge schools and most of the people who see those schools refer to them as minnows. But a lot of times they are actually sardines.

    Anchovies are a similar fish, a bit smaller and really tasty. I think the smaller sardines taste the best. Now there’s this big rave about krill. I haven’t seen it in the grocery stores, canned or any other way. I’d like to try some though.

    Sardines are really good for your skin. I live in Alabama and for those who spend much time outside the sun is brutal during the late summer. I eat a lot of sardines and my skin is really healthy. About twenty years ago I saw a documentary about a holistic practitioner in Africa who swore by this ‘like heals like’ approach to healing diseases. She said if someone had stomach problems she’d recommend that they eat a meal of cow’s stomach three times a week. Or if they had skin problems she recommended that the person eat animal skin. And so on.

    I’m 67 years old and most of my friends tell me I look ten years younger than that. I think it’s because I eat a lot of sardines and I take a lot of vitamin C.

    • Hilah on November 16, 2013 at 9:49 am

      I’ve heard that “like heals like” theory. Similar to an older medical theory I read about wherein doctors would prescribe patients to eat things that resembled the part of their body that was having problems, which is how kidney beans got their name. I’m pretty sure that is true, but I haven’t verified it.
      I should eat more sardines, anyway. I’ve been feeling a little wrinkly. 😉

    • FoodJunkie on April 26, 2014 at 9:16 pm

      Sardines packed in Canada and the US are juvenile Herring. If I understand correctly there is no such thing as a sardine fish species. It is a common name for a variety of small fish in the herring family.

  35. ann on November 19, 2013 at 12:17 am

    I like most sardines, but the ones with bones in are my favorites. As a child, these were a treat, something we didn’t have around often. I use Seasons a lot because Costco’s and BJ’s sells this brand in a multi-pack. If you don’t care for the oil, put in a colander and rinse it off. The Crown Prince I got from Big Lots and didn’t really care for those. I’ll have to see if I can get the Wild Planet on next trip to Wegman’s. One of my favorite cafes used to sell sardines with cole slaw and potato salad, yum! No one does that now.

    • Hilah on November 19, 2013 at 9:44 am

      I like the Seasons brand, too. The sardine “plate” with two salads sounds really good, Ann. Thanks!

  36. Raymond on November 24, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Funny, I was eating sardines when your twitter post showed up. I have been eating sardines for a very long time. My father ate them on crackers when I was a kid. I love them straight from the can. I have always bought the Brunswick brand packed in oil but have recently been experimenting with different brands and sauces. I have found that mustard sauce goes well with these little tasty guys and water packed is fine when you add them to other foods. Thanks for the post and interesting discussion.

    • Hilah on November 24, 2013 at 7:44 pm

      What a coincidence! Thanks for chiming in here, Raymond.

  37. Sarah on November 25, 2013 at 7:42 am

    Gotta chime in on the King Oscar brand. Love them. Never even tried any of the ones you tasted, mainly because King Oscar brand is everywhere here and you know, you go with what you like and are familiar with, I guess.

    • Hilah on November 25, 2013 at 10:09 am

      Thanks, Sarah!

    • V. Dargain on August 31, 2023 at 7:28 pm

      I gotta try the King Oscar brand . It has a lot of favorable reviews in this post .

  38. Great Stone Face on December 27, 2013 at 1:16 am

    More than you ever thought you’d know about U.S. production (now gone) of sardines is at the website and physical location of the Maine Sardine History Museum.

    • bill radetzky on December 27, 2013 at 10:40 am

      A Sardine History Museum and website; is there anything that is not on the internet? Thank you Stone Face for the info.

  39. skagit on January 21, 2014 at 4:31 am

    I just ate some king oscar tiny tots… i adore them! I buy a least 4 tins a month at walmart, i eat them with saltines. Sardines and crackers, lip smackers! I also love pickled herring

  40. Tim H. on January 23, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Wild Planet for certain.. Also I find it noteworthy that Wild Planet cans are BPA free.

    • Hilah on January 24, 2014 at 2:29 pm

      That is good to note. Thanks, Tim!

  41. david on February 20, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    I love sardines and often eat them for lunch with Ak-Mak brand wheat crackers. My fav sardine brands are “Nuri” (hard to find check asian markets) which come spiced with a pickle, a carrot slice, a whole clove, and a hot pepper inside, and Crown Prince packed in olive oil. It’s olive oil or nothing for me, no water or seed oils for packing. A lot of people are squeamish about sardines but are perfectly fine with other fish. Not sure why…

    • Hilah on February 20, 2014 at 9:05 pm

      Thanks, David! That Nuri brand sounds AWESOME! I love the idea of a pepper in the can. I’d eat that, too. 🙂

  42. MamaSue on March 12, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Having read all the great comments, I am drooling so much I am gonna have to go out to the kitchen and make my fav sardine sandwich — packed on good rye, maybe marble rye, with a thin slice of sweet raw onion and mayo!

  43. Richie Bee on March 16, 2014 at 6:18 am

    Great reading about great eating!
    I, too, have eaten sardines all my life. Like many, my dad ate them so it was a natural part of life.
    IMHO, cold-water product is superior. In fact, i will not eat ANY fish processed in Asia.
    Canada, Poland, Scandnavian and Maine are the safest bet.
    An interesting factoid: when Italians settled into Monterey, CA in the late 19th c. they were so efficient at fishing the stocks were completely decimated in less tan 20 years. You can visit “Cannery Row” there today for a great history lesson!

    • Hilah on March 17, 2014 at 8:33 am

      Thanks, Richie! I’d never heard about Cannery Row, but will try to check it out next time we are in California.

      • Hugo Lahera on March 25, 2016 at 2:42 pm

        You should first check out the book and the 1982 film “Cannery Row”. The book is by John Steinbeck. The movie stars Nick Nolte and Debra Winger.

  44. David on April 6, 2014 at 5:16 pm


    I think you need to update and redo this review. Now that you have gotten over the appearance of sardines and don’t need to bread and fry any of the brands, you can give a real review and not a rather novice look at an important and sustainable food source. Not knowing of Cannery Row in Monterey is just a little disappointing but I truly hope you’ve heard of the Monterey Bay Aquarium and their Sea Food Watch. If I sound a little condensing that is not my intention. Your a food expert and need to be a little more informed before you do reviews. You can’t review boneless in water with smoked oil packed or tomato sauce packed. Your #1 wasn’t even sardines. Bar Harbor does do sardines so why wouldn’t you find their sardines before you did this review? By the way, Bar Harbor Wild Herring Fillet with Cracked Pepper is very very good; One of the best canned fish products I’ve ever eaten.

    • Hilah on April 7, 2014 at 8:52 am

      You make a good point about updating the review and honestly I’ve got a collection of about 6 new brands in the pantry I’ve been meaning to taste and review.
      As for your other comments about what I should or should not know, I’m afraid I can’t respond without feeling as if I’m defending myself from attack. Whether you meant to or not, you do sound very condescending.
      It’s good to know that Bar Harbor also cans sardines. I’ve never once seen BH brand sardines in any of the 3 grocery stores I frequent, which may explain my ignorance on that fact.
      Good day.

  45. John K on April 12, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    I have to say that I initially thought this too–about Hilah maybe needing to know more about sardines and sardines vs. herring–but as I read the whole string I really liked Hilah’s transformation over time! Anyway, it is interesting how so many people seem to re-discover sardines and how their taste and sophistication changes/grows. I think that’s great and, honestly, even for experts like Hilah, there is no way any one person could know everything about everything! I would love to see periodic updates on Hilah’s list, even if it includes herring along with sardines–I love both! Also, it’s funny but I have been eating the occasional can of sardines over the years, and my son (who is now 16) loves them too! My wife, though, still will not eat them. It is the perfect quick snack for those times when you want something tasty and nutritious too.

  46. Kevin on May 19, 2014 at 12:16 am

    Take 4 tablespoons of mild chopped onion, shallot….etc, 1/4 cup portabella mushrooms, 2 tablespoons butter and set to simmer.add one can sardines in olive oil, remove from heat and add garlic powder and parmesan. Place in the middle of a fluffy omelet and add one piece of American cheese or velveeta (sorry but nothing flows like American cheese. Best omelet ever.

    • Hilah on May 19, 2014 at 11:03 am

      Wowee that sounds great, Kevin! (And you’re right about American cheese 🙂 I love it on a cheeseburger for that reason, too.)

  47. Don Oatman on June 14, 2014 at 7:52 am

    Sardines in the tin were once very small. Now they are large, sometimes only four to a can. Why has that changed?

    • Hilah on June 14, 2014 at 10:01 am

      Hey Don! I’m not sure why so many sardines are larger now, but you can still get small sardines. They are labeled Brisling or sometimes “double layer”.

      • Charlie Sommers on June 14, 2014 at 10:45 am

        I have been getting Riga Gold from Estonia. They are labeled “sprats” which I think are the same thing as Baltic Sea Brislings. I order them through Walmart and they are mailed to my address at a very reasonable price. Both my son-in-law and myself are in love with these tiny little taste delights.

  48. Visitor on July 9, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    King Oscar Brisling Sardines in olive oil are the best I’ve had.

  49. Laney on September 8, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    After reading a number of favorable reviews, I finally tried Wild Planet sardines in extra virgin olive oil. Fish were firm, but not nearly as flavorful as those from Morocco or Portugal. Even less flavorful than brislings from northern Europe. Potential buyers should be aware that they are packed, not in olive oil, but in a combination of oil and water. A bad idea. And the “lightly smoked” turns out to be a heavy dose of liquid smoke which tastes like it was made by burning a pine knot. They certainly are not worth a premium price. I won’t be buying again.

  50. AnthonyG on October 29, 2014 at 8:10 am

    King Oscar’s Tiny Tots. Hands down the best.

    • pappyinpa on December 14, 2016 at 12:03 pm

      Hi, AnthonyG,
      I’m with you! The small size of Tiny Tots negates any bones/skin issues some folks can’t get past. They are small enough you can eat them with a cocktail fork, which somehow improves the aesthetic of the snack, and seemingly the flavor! They are brislings, which I believe connotes real sardines as opposed to other small fish posing as sardines; obviously affecting flavor! And the small size is probably indicative of their youth, which produces a milder tasting product. (To wit: the difference in flavor between a filet from a 10lb. bluefish and a 2lb. “snapper blue”).

  51. Atticus on November 6, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Thanks for your post. I too had recently wondered about canned sardines and why I never tried them before, especially as an alternative to tuna. I used your recommendation and tried a few different brands, but none from your list. I did try Crown Prince Kippers which seemed to have a very different flavor than actual sardines, but were equally tasty.

    So far, I think that the Royal Oscar brand two layer brisling in oil seems to rate the best on taste to me, but I do plan on trying some the ones from your list.

  52. Atticus on November 6, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Correction! I meant “King” Oscar not “Royal” Oscar.

  53. The Mighty Kage on January 18, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    So far, I have to go with the Crown Prince Brisling in EVOO. The Royal Oscars are pretty good too. But Crown Prince edges them for me because their box clearly states BPA Free and Sustainably Wild Caught. Thanks for a great and useful website/blog.

  54. cordell on January 23, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    best sardines by far is Titus, get to know folks

    • Sardean martin on January 28, 2015 at 9:18 pm

      These were very scaley with roe inside.

  55. Zhang on January 29, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    The bones contain all the calcium! Great for building stronger bones, just think of the spines of the sardines becoming your own bones! Awesome non-diary alternative for that Ca.

  56. Kit on February 8, 2015 at 6:20 am

    After searching the web for safest fish… Sardines, sardines, sardines! I ate my first ever sardines on february 1. I bought lightly smoked in olive oil- 2 brands, 1 can skinless, boneless, the other with skin and bones. Although I cannot get past the mouth-feel of canned salmon with bones or fried smelt I was happily surprised that the ‘bone-in’ sardines were excellent. These were single layer so quite large but nothing crunchy about them. Eyes closed I don’t think I could have discerned the difference. The cost savings of bone in makes me happy.

    I’m 54 and I’m now a confirmed sardine enthusiast. Two cans in and I can’t wait to get back to the grocery store. My little brother (53) could not believe I had never eaten a sardine.

    Thank you for putting together your website! My thanks to posters for all of the information.

    Of note, I’ve cross referenced lots of ‘scientific’ information re sardines and find repeated that Asian and Mediterranean sardines are not considered safe. Here is a helpful link for seafood safety information from the Monterey Bay aquarium. They rate seafood on different aspects, contamination, sustainability, etc.

    I personally don’t eat any IQF seafood from china, Vietnam, etc. I wouldn’t consider eating anything canned! Farmed fish is an unappealing idea but I’ve learned that farmed tilapia and catfish are considered completely safe.

    Yay sardines!

    • Hilah on February 11, 2015 at 8:27 am

      I’m so glad to hear that, Kit! Yes, sardines do take the cake for the safest fish out there. Enjoy!

  57. william on February 11, 2015 at 10:49 am

    What I appreciate about sardines is their heart healthiness. If you eat sardines with bones, they are loaded with calcium too. But most of all, I appreciate that there is no sodiumtripolyphoshates (STPP) present. I am a heart patient and I can’t eat that much sodium. In the USA, STPP is in every fresh or frozen fish that you can find.

  58. Mihir on February 12, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    I have a question about cooking sardins.
    How to cook it? I bought a can of King Oscar Sardines in olive oil. Are they cooked or smoked. The can does not say anything about it.
    So what is the best way to eat them? cook them over skillet? in the same oil they were preserved?
    Bake them or steam them?
    Also can you suggest few recipes for sardines?

    • Hilah on February 13, 2015 at 7:54 am

      Hi Mihir,
      Canned sardines are always cooked and ready to eat right out of the can. You do not need to cook them before eating. Most people enjoy them on crackers or on top of a salad, unheated.
      Some people like to make a pasta sauce with sardines in olive oil, plus garlic and red pepper flakes heated together and tossed with spaghetti. Sardines can also be drained, rolled in breadcrumbs and fried in oil until crisp and browned.

    • william on February 13, 2015 at 8:10 am

      Anything canned is cooked for a long time.

  59. Monika on February 28, 2015 at 9:32 am

    I eat them from the can on crackers. Bumble Bee 3.7 oz seems to be what I see in Maryland. I will eat the can and try to stay away from speaking to my class of little children.


  60. Emily on March 24, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    I had no idea what I was getting into when I clicked this link. Who knew there were so many types of sardines or passionate sardine lovers?! Now I definitely have to try them!

  61. Mike the Sardine Eater on March 26, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    King Oscar , Bridling Sardines , the Tiny ones in the cross pack …… The best by far from my perspective they definitely are pricey compared to some…. What I have to do now is try a can of the Tiny Tots which are made by King Oscar come in cross pack look identical and are about 1/3 the cost. Olive Oil is in my opinion the best way to enjoy the delicate taste of the tiny brisling which could easily be overpowered by other types of packings…..

  62. lynda on March 31, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    I was recently researching the anti-inflammatory diet to try and cure a recent personal health issue and sardines were recommended – so very glad to have found your post and this thread! I grew up eating canned mackerel with the skin and bones (cooked in spicy stews) but have never had a canned sardine before. I imagine the taste to be similar but maybe less fishy? Either way, I look forward to it! Thanks for this.

    • Charlie Sommers on April 1, 2015 at 5:42 pm

      At the risk of an off subject comment canned mackerel is wonderful. Back in the days I had just left the military and money was scarce I bought many a can of Jack Mackerel to provide protein for my wife and two kids. Mackerel patties are every bit as good as salmon patties and then they were much cheaper. They got us through some hard times, I even made mackerel loaves.

  63. joan spoerndle on May 10, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    King Oscar Mediterranean Sardines – delicious! i do squeeze out some olive oil and seasonings and put in on KO plain ones in water, squeezing out the water…great way to get calcium, olive oil, omega-3s and great taste – i eat them everyday for breakfast – (no wonder i’m not married! hah! i’ll take the little fish any day 🙂 enjoy… joan

  64. Jamie H. on June 14, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Been trying to find out the place of canning or manufacturing of the brand Sol-Mex. The stores only seem to carry this brand in tomato sauce only. I am wanting to know if it comes with just oil and if there are other sauces available. I thought I found the email address, but i have no gotten a response from that.

  65. Tim on July 2, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    King Oscar, a few pieces of guyere cheese, some black cured salty olives, pita chips and glass of white wine….pure, unadulterated, delicious, decadence.

    • Charlie Sommers on July 7, 2015 at 8:31 am

      Make sure the guyere is cave aged, use kalamata olives and don’t forget to invite me!

      • Tim on November 28, 2015 at 11:34 am

        Sorry Charlie (a little tuna lingo there), I just read your reply which means I forgot to invite you to, like, the last 30 times I’ve had the above-mentioned snack. Don’t worry though, the guyere wasn’t always cave-aged, the olives weren’t always kalamata and the wine wasn’t always white! (but the sardines were ALWAYS King Oscar)

  66. Alex on July 7, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    Amazing how long ago this post started. Is there any difference between sardines from China vs sardines from Canada? Mercury, omega 3s, or anything to look out for?

    • Hilah on July 8, 2015 at 9:37 am

      Hi Alex,
      As I understand it, sardines are so low on the food chain that mercury doesn’t build up in them so anywhere should be okay for that. I think cold-water fish are generally thought to taste better, though.

  67. kattia on July 8, 2015 at 4:51 pm


    You don’t strike me as the ‘expert’ some posters have labeled you as much as a foodie enthusiast intent on gleaning all the little tidbits about sardines that you can. Because of this ever-evolving post, and your on-going pursuit of knowledge about them, I’m trying my first sardine today. Thank you!! 😀

    • Hilah on July 13, 2015 at 5:44 pm

      Thank you, Kattia! I hope you liked your first sardine 🙂

  68. Bess Heitner on July 11, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Too much of a good thing can be harmful. I don’t like meat or poultry and for a long time was eating fish 7 days a week. A few months ago I started to get peripheral neuropathy in my toes and fingers and I innocently asked my MD if it could be mercury from the fish. Sure enough the test came back with very high mercury levels – below 12 is OK, 60 is toxic, my number was 28. I even got a letter from the NYC Dept of Health about high levels of mercury in my test which they track.

    Turns out all my favorite fish-grouper, tilefish, spanish mackeral, and black sea bass are all dangerously high in mercury. The lowest are wild salmon, scallops, and sardines. So I’ve been eating these three a few times a week. Then I began to get concerned about eating canned sardines and there IS cause for alarm. One column says
    ‘With canned food, the risk is greater if the food inside the can is either watery and acidic (like canned tomatoes or canned tomato sauce) or if it is oily (like canned sardines and salmon). The risk is also greater when heating is involved. In general, we would place oily, canned fish like canned sardines and salmon in a higher-than-average risk category since there is often “double-cooking” involved (cooking prior to canning, and then heating in the can for sterilization purposes), and oils in and surrounding the fish can allow contaminants in the packaging to migrate from the can into the food.”

    The main toxin which is just as dangerous as too much mercury is BPA so unless the cans are BPA free and most aren’t, the only safe solution is fresh sardines which is obviously not as easy to find.

    And one last bit of info, the bones in sardines are an excellent source of calcium.

    Sardine Lover in the Big Apple

    • Bess Heitner on July 13, 2015 at 6:15 pm

      Well the Seasons sardines claim on the cans that they are BPA free for what it’s worth

      • Rick on July 13, 2015 at 6:34 pm

        Hi Bess,
        King Oscars cans are made in Denmark and are also BPA free. This info is on their Facebook page.

    • Bess Heitner on March 16, 2016 at 7:57 am

      Can anyone comment on the safety of the heating packing process even if the cans are BPA free? Having just recovered from mercury poisoning from eating fish every day my choices are now limited. I’d prefer fresh sardines but haven’t found any place in NY that sells them. I eat bones, skin, and all having lived in Japan for many years.

  69. WLL on July 15, 2015 at 11:44 am

    King Oscar is a Norwegian company, not Danish. Main packing plant is in Poland. There is also a plant in Norway. None in Denmark.

    • Rick on July 15, 2015 at 5:02 pm

      I am not sure but I think the plant in Norway has closed as well. The cans are manufactured in Denmark for king Oscar . Much like the fish are processed in Poland. From K.Os Facebook page ”
      Only the cans are made in Denmark. I think the plant in Norway has also closed. From K.Os Face book page “ARE KING OSCAR’S CANS BPA-FREE?
      From time to time, we get the question…and are happy to say YES!…we hand-pack the world’s finest sardines in BPA-free, recyclable aluminum cans. All part of bringing you the best of the ocean in the best way possible. For more about our commitment, please visit here…

      King Oscar Seafood

      January 27, 2013 ·

      • Rick on July 15, 2015 at 5:08 pm

        Kind of messed that post up. Although the text in quotes is from K.Os Facebook page. Sorry for the confusion. Cheers!

  70. Rick on July 15, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    More on this topic.

    King Oscar Seafood At King Oscar, we obtain our cans from certified suppliers who assure no BPA. We also do our own lab analyses. Our brisling sardine cans come from a supplier in Denmark. Thanks for your interest and loyal support! I think I am done with this subject LOL.

  71. Ronnie on August 23, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    I have only found one brand that I actually enjoy eating. Seasons Boneless and Skinless packed in Water. Taste great. No bones. Skinless. Baltic Sea. What more could you want?

  72. Gretchen on August 26, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    Neat that this comment thread is still active!
    I love sardines! I was recently dismayed to find out that many companies first harvest the fishes’ oil to sell to companies that make fish oil supplements, before packing them in cans. Wild Planet advertises that they don’t strip their fish of the natural oils, but I haven’t found info on any other company. I haven’t done an exhaustive search, but maybe someone has? Does anyone know of a list of companies that do/don’t participate in the supplement industry? Or even other brands that definitely don’t? I’d love to try them!

    • Hilah on August 29, 2015 at 7:10 am

      Hi Gretchen!
      I have never heard that! Can you post a link where you read it? I can’t find anything online about it.

  73. Atticus on August 30, 2015 at 12:11 am

    I just wanted to give an update on a brand that I just tried came back from a local specialty shop hoping to pick up some of the heralded Portuguese canned sardines.

    Unfortunately they were sold out of all Portuguese stock, so I decided to experiment on a few different brands. I bought one Flower Brand to try out. They were the spiced sardines in pure olive oil (hot sauce) chili pepper, laurel clove, peeper corn and salt.

    Flower Brand is out of Morrocco, and they are very very tasty. They are not the brisling type; they are the larger ones that come four to five in a tin. They are salty, very meaty and firm, with skin and bones. Hopefully the next time I go back they have more of this brand in stock because I was very impressed.

  74. Gladys M. Lein on August 31, 2015 at 12:41 am

    I love sardines, I have loved since I was just a little girl,
    My mouth is already watering, where can I find these wonderful sardines?
    I live very close to Portland, OR any suggestions?

    • Hilah on August 31, 2015 at 7:15 am

      You should be able to find sardines in every grocery store, Gladys! Look by the canned tuna.

  75. Bobby on September 16, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    Hi there. If you can find Montano Sardines from Dipolog City in the Phlippines, I suggest you try them out. They do not export, thus, any stuff being brought out are probably gifts or for personal consumption. These sardines is the king of Philippine Spanish Sardines. They are also the most expensive among all the locals. They have a “secret recipe” that has been handed down from generation to generation.

    Why don’t you try googling them. If you have friends in the Phlippines, maybe you can ask them to send you a couple of boxes (6 x 228 gms) . These are bottled sardines.

    There are many ways to eat them but my favorite is just mix them with pasta and some plain pesto. They come in 3 variants, olive oil, corn oil and tomato sauce.

    Just wanted to let you know.

    • Hilah on September 17, 2015 at 7:39 am

      Thanks for the tip, Bobby!

  76. Tommy on September 27, 2015 at 8:54 am

    I loved the review. Btw, how do you eat your sardines? like do you just eat it on top of a saltine cracker? I eat it with a pandesal or newly cooked rice, it’s very good, you have to try it, it will give you a different perpective in doing your trial, I love to have a freshly slice onion lightlysalted and sprinkled with spicy vinegar on the side. you have to try this way!

    • Hilah on September 28, 2015 at 7:32 am

      Hi Tommy! That sounds good! Yes, I just eat them on crackers usually. Love the idea of sardines with a little onion and vinegar, though.

  77. Carl Hammel on October 19, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Just tried the King Oscar’s in Extra Virgin Olive Oil. These absolutely beat the pants off other brands I have tried, including Trader Joe’s. My search for great sardines ends here. BTW, they look ever so much more appetizing than the other brands I have tried. Instead of opening the lid and finding an unappealing mess of brown mush, I found about about 25 beautiful little sardines, skin on, all neatly lined up in oil. MUCH more appetizing!!

  78. Remi on October 25, 2015 at 10:40 am

    I grew up on Titus canned sardines. Love them!! But I’m going to have to switch to a different non-BPA brand. Thanks for your blog!!

    • Littlejohn on October 25, 2015 at 4:42 pm

      Titus sardines are among the best. Keep eating them. The whole BPA scare is nonsense on stilts.

      • Hilah on October 26, 2015 at 11:52 am

        Hi Littlejohn,
        If you have any articles or research to link to about BPA being nonsense, please share. I’ve read extensively on the subject and both BPA and its “safer” replacement BPS have been shown to be severe endocrine disruptors.

  79. rebecca on October 31, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    My favorite way lately to eat sardines are to add them to a fresh Thai cucumber salad.

    • Charlie Sommers on November 1, 2015 at 12:21 pm

      Rebecca, if you can get canned smoked octopus try that in your Thai cucumber salad sometime. Delicious!

  80. Tim on November 28, 2015 at 11:51 am

    I just tried a brand of sardines called Matiz Gallego from Spain. They are large, three filets to a 4.2 oz container (the package says it’s two servings, but I polished them off for lunch, no problem!). They are packed in olive oil. They were very good. Nice flavor and texture. Their packaging material talks all about their “artisan” and environmentally friendly methods. I can’t attest to that, but they are part of a group called the “cullinary collective” which can be found at the website of the same name. They don’t sell them there but do point you to retailers. Lot’s of other interesting products from Spain there also. Bon Appetite!

  81. Ana Lisa on December 24, 2015 at 6:00 am

    Hello, I just fond your blog and I realy liked it.
    I’m from Portugal and my family had canned fish factorys. So I feel that I can help you undertand a litle more about the sardines.
    Normaly if they are produced fresh and right away from the fish boats they have many scales. They start loosing them as they get old, so having lots of scales is considered very good.
    I you dont like scales the is skinless and boneless sardines that are my favorite, it is more dificult to find and more expensive because it must be hand made, there is no machines for that.
    By the way I’m a designer and thank you very much for liking my work. I work with several sardine factorys and I wone many design awards for canned fish packaging.

    • Hilah on December 26, 2015 at 8:40 am

      Thank you, Ana Lisa! That is really good information, straight from the source 🙂 Congratulations on your design awards. That is so cool!

    • Robert on May 22, 2016 at 9:26 pm

      @Ana Lisa: Did you design the Bela sardine can, which is shown at the beginning of this article? I have not encountered a can of sardines with many scales … you indicate this means fresh & good fish. Are the scales difficult to remove? If I can find fresh (but frozen) sardines at the fish market …. are they difficult to clean? Do you prefer fresh sardines instead of can sardines?

      • Ana Lisa Luças on May 23, 2016 at 11:17 am

        Hello Robert yes I did the design for bela sardines. It is easy to clean the sardines. In the cannde ones we eat all do not take the bones or the scales but if you whant they came out very easy with fork and nife. For the frosen ones you just take out the inside of the belly and cook it then wen you eat you can take the skin out.
        The skin and skales will protect the fish meat and natural.

        • Ovlov90 on February 9, 2017 at 5:43 pm

          Ah yes ,I remember well! In the early ’80s I would go to my ex father in laws mobile home that he was trying to make habitable. Mid January, 25 degrees out and for lunch we would start a campfire and throw whole frozen sardines directly on the coals along w/ a bunch of potatoes. Add Portuguese rolls or “pops” and drizzle all w/ olive oil. Maybe some salt and type of olives I’ve never seen since. Very crude but it can’t be beat. My ex family came from Portugal and Mozambique, and all was available at the local Portuguese store in Danbury,Ct. If only they were available here in New York(upstste) I’d still be eating them that way.

  82. Kevin on January 8, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    After reading all of the posts (Whew! That took a while!) I decided to try a can of Tiny Tots in extra virgin olive oil. I’ve often eaten the King Oscar two layer brisling sardines in extra virgin olive oil, which is my personal favorite, and wanted to see how the Tiny Tots compared. I went to the nearby Walmart and picked up a can of each. Interestingly, I couldn’t find a difference between the two when reading the packaging. Both cans said they were Finest Brisling Sardines in extra virgin olive oil, Two Layer 12-22 Fish. Both wrappers stated they were “A Norwegian Tradition Since 1902 – Wild Caught – Wood Smoked – Hand Packed – Kosher Certified”. They both had the exact ingredients, nutritional info, and even the same photo of an ocean inlet on the back! I opened both packages and removed the cans, being careful to keep each with their wrappers since the cans looked identical once unwrapped. Opening both, the sardines inside looked exactly the same in size and color. I carefully teased one fish out from each can and set them on plates. The sardines from each can had the same firmness, and the oil had the same color and consistency. Finally (yeah I was going to eventually get around to actually tasting them!) I tried the King Oscar first. It was as I remembered, delicately smoked with a very light olive oil flavor. I then tried the Tiny Tot. It had the same consistency, and light olive oil taste, but it had a very slightly stronger smoked flavor. The difference was so slight I had to sample several of each to convince myself there was in fact a tiny difference in taste. I will, however, need to pick up a few more cans of each to confirm my observation and ensure the slight difference isn’t merely due to normal can to can or lot to lot variation. In the end, there really wasn’t enough of a difference for me to choose one over the other, and since they were also the same price, I’d be just as happy with either one.

    • Hilah on January 8, 2016 at 8:31 pm

      Thanks for the detailed report, Kevin! How interesting that they are outwardly almost identical.

  83. Benafe Araña on February 10, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Try to taste the YOUNG’S TOWN SARDINES it has a different variety of sardines, it was made from Philippines and it has been awarded as Food and Beverage Quality Award from Madrid Spain, this last January 25, 2016. Hope you try it..

  84. Atticus on March 14, 2016 at 8:10 am

    I have to take back my recommendation for the Flower Brand, the spiced sardines in pure olive oil (hot sauce) chili pepper, laurel clove, peeper corn and salt. While they are tasty, I found the processing is not up to par as some of the fish still have bits of fins and scales. I bought a few more after I liked the first one and had a bad eating experience. Yuck!

  85. Pamela Burnough on March 15, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    I eat Prince Albert sardines packed in water all the time. I stir fry cabbage, onions and whatever other veggie I like. Remove my sardines from can and place on plate and put warm veggies on top and allow to sit a minute or two. Delicious!

    • Hilah on March 16, 2016 at 7:45 am

      That sounds good, Pamela! Thanks! On a related note, I just read a new study that said the government guidelines for eating high-mercury fish like tuna are still too lenient, especially for kids and pregnant women. Good thing we have our sardines instead!

  86. Mike on April 7, 2016 at 1:16 am

    I read most of the above comments. Firstly I don’t like to eat whole sardines. I clean them by slowly running water from the faucet into the sink as I hold them in my hand. I get rid of the abdominal contents skin and bones. Then I blot them them with paper towels to dry them. I then put them in the original oil. They are delicious on rye bread. (The filets sometimes break apart and there may be some loss of the product, but that’s OK. ) This process is more difficult and time consuming with smaller sardines, but this has never yielded a result inferior to any skinless and boneless sardines straight from any can.
    I used to clean Moosebec sardines years ago and sadly I discovered that they’re no longer available. A few years ago, I found 12-15 cans in my attic (yes, in the original red box ) where my thoughtless contractor put them in the process of finishing my basement.

    • ana Lisa on April 7, 2016 at 8:17 am

      Hello try skineless boneless sardines, look for Luças brand, ut is dificult to find

  87. Charles on May 9, 2016 at 7:22 am

    Hi, where can I get hold of canned Boe silk sardines

  88. Katherine Loizos on July 7, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Hi Hilah — Love your efforts in trying to like Sardines. I too am in that boat. I like fish but haven’t ever warmed up to sardines in a can. My parents used to eat fresh sardines deep-fried. Not sure if that is better or worse. I’m sure it nullified the healthiness of eating them. Right now I’m on a quest to learn what I can do to avoid or prolong Alzheimer’s Disease. Sardines fit in there with the high Omega3s Anyhow Here is my question:

    What did the shorthand you wrote in your blog mean? (below)

    “I am partial to B/S sardines”

    Somehow I missed where you mentioned B/S?


    • Hilah on July 7, 2016 at 2:28 pm

      Whoops! Sorry Katherine. I mean boneless/skinless 🙂 I’ll eat bone-in ones sometimes because I know they have more calcium, but it still kind of bothers me.

  89. Katherine on July 7, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    Thanks — as now I know there is a choice. I’ll be shopping for some sardines this weekend

  90. RockoSockoJocko on August 17, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    You are 100-percent correct about the Bar Harbor sardines! A few days ago I was at the grocery store. I was hungry, and when I’m hungry I am more likely to buy sardines. Basically, the Bar Harbor Brand is a lot more expensive than the others, but it was also really, really good!

    I have been a fan of King Oscar for a long time. Many years ago, my uncle, who is a doctor, read a report about the benefits of sardines (packed in water). He sent a case of Kind Oscar sardines to my mother, who would rather eat glass than a can of sardines. I gladly took them off her hands and enjoyed them over the next few months. My wife, however, made me go outside to eat them. They were yummy. I like to eat them with my homemade hot sauce and Ritz crackers.

    • Hilah on August 18, 2016 at 7:30 pm

      I think you must have crackers with sardines! It’s really the best way 🙂

      • Charlie Sommers on February 18, 2018 at 8:56 am

        I have recently discovered the joy of plantains and sardines for lunch. Cut a very ripe plantain in half (so it will fit in a bowl) and microwave for about three minutes, shake it out of its skin and dump on a can of Lego or Iberia Sardines in tomato sauce. The plantain is relatively low on the glycemic index and doesn’t spike my blood sugar.

  91. Dave on August 24, 2016 at 10:52 am

    recommends wild-caught Pacific sardines.
    Does anyone know the cheapest source? amazon/WalMart/Aldi for wild Pacific sardines.

    • jenn on September 30, 2016 at 1:10 am

      Costco in No Cal sells Wild Planet and Seasons boneless, skinless in oo. Not sure which WP as I just happened to see it when I grabbed Seasons tonight. They were $3 off, for final of $6.99, for 6 x 4.375 oz cans so I stocked up.

    • jenn on September 30, 2016 at 1:14 am

      Forgot the crucial info that I saw the Wild Planet at Costco says on label it’s fished in California.

    • William on December 5, 2016 at 8:18 am

      I think the reason they recommend Pacific sardines is because they are American packaged and more “sustainable”, NOT because they are better for you. I don’t eat anything from the Pacific anymore after Fukushima. King Oscars from the cold North Atlantic seem a lot healthier to me.

  92. jeff pizel on September 26, 2016 at 4:04 am

    Hi Everyone, Love Sardines But haven’t had them in a long time “i’m 75” will be going too WalMart soon.. I do most of the cooking and have not served up sardines Yet,to my lovely Wife . Loved Your Article and the Many comments from So Many wonderful People from all over .

    • Hilah on September 30, 2016 at 9:25 am

      Hope your wife likes the sardines, Jeff! 🙂

  93. Mark Z on October 3, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    I just had a snack of King Oscar S&B Sardines in Olive Oil. I got hooked on Sardines while in the Navy 30 years ago. Packed in Olive Oil is my favorite.

  94. Dale Calder on November 20, 2016 at 5:56 am

    I’m nearly 76 and have eaten sardines all my life. My first job, at age 14 way back in 1955, was in the village sardine factory on an island in the Bay of Fundy, Canada, and I worked in that factory several summers thereafter. The industry was the cornerstone of our economy, and my mom and dad both worked there. The old factory is gone now, but equivalent sardines are packed nearby in Black’s Harbour, New Brunswick…prepared under the “Brunswick” brand.

    In being a frugal person, I usually buy those Brunswick brand sardines, but acknowledge that King Oscar sardines are better quality (but at twice the price). I like Portuguese sardines also. As for Brunswick sardines, they are prepared from small herring harvested in cold waters of the Bay of Fundy region, northeastern North America. If I grew up familiar with the operations of and cleanliness of a sardine factory and have always eaten the fish, even when I worked in the plant, it says something about how safe I consider them to be. Brunswick sardines are also in a BPA-free can nowadays, so that is reassuring.

    Here is a site that answers some questions and may be of interest to some:

  95. William on December 5, 2016 at 8:26 am

    Factoid: King Oscar is now owned by the Thai Union Group, a Thailand-based producer of seafood-based food products. They also own the Chicken of the Sea brand.


  96. Bess Heitner on December 9, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    I have been following the sardine topic for quite a long time – About a year ago I had peripheral neuropathy in all my fingers and toes and it turned out to be mercury poisoning from eating fish 7 days a week and I had to give up almost all my favorite fish that I ate every day and limit myself to salmon, scallops, smaller fish and sardines. My concern is not the cans which I believe are now safer than they were many years ago but the preprocessing before they are packed. What does that heating process involve and how safe is that? Wish I could get fresh sardines but there are certainly none available I know of in Manhattan and I don’t get to Portugal or Spain ever.

    • Hilah on December 9, 2016 at 5:18 pm

      Hi Bess!
      Fresh sardines are in season in the cooler months. Might need to visit a fish market to find them, though.

    • Hilah on December 9, 2016 at 5:28 pm

      PS I just looked at your website and your jewelry is gorgeous!

    • Charlie Sommers on December 9, 2016 at 6:18 pm

      I live in Tennessee which is far from any source of fresh sardines but I can find them regularly in Asian Markets in both Nashville and Knoxville, They are frozen but they are magnificent when thawed and fried. The majority I buy were frozen in Monterey, California.

  97. Mark on January 16, 2017 at 11:32 am

    Sorry to bust on everyone’s selections. But Conservas Ortiz sardines are easily the best sardines on Earth. It’s no contest! They are not cheap, but you will not be able to eat another brand after you’ve had them. Unfortunately they are rather difficult to find as well. I get them from a specialty store. Check out their website to find them near you.

  98. bette dinardo on January 25, 2017 at 9:52 am

    scalfani is the best sardine but priacey cant find them anymore

  99. Noel on March 28, 2017 at 12:22 am

    Hi Hilah, It’s Noel again. One supermarket had King Oscar Double Layer sardines on special for AU$2.00 this week so I bought a can for the old times. When I took it out of it’s cellophane wrap, the tin looked very familiar. I opened a packet of Aldi’s Ocean Rise Brisling Sardines and YES the cans were identical so that now I am convinced that Aldi is sourcing their brand from the same factory as King Oscar.
    I think that Aldi have quite a presence in the U.S. now, but I don’t know if they stock the same lines as in Australia.

  100. RC on July 16, 2017 at 1:24 am

    Hilah – this thread will last forever because of all of us sardine lovers out here! I have tried many, but in my not so humble opinion, if it’s not a Brisling, I’m not interested. Tiny Tots or Crown Prince Brislings in extra virgin olive oil are both incredible. The Crown Prince has a sweet taste profile. Most other sardines remind me of dry tuna fish in texture. Anyway, nice thought provoking article…still relevant after all these years!

  101. Fishboy01 on August 14, 2017 at 8:50 am

    Hi Hilah,
    It seems that many of your bloggers are still spinning their wheels by mixing the apples with the pears when comparing “sardines”. That’s why the scientific appellation (latin name) is important for those in the sardine canning and trading business, as well as in marketing. Maybe the consumers could better be more explicit and find out the scientific name of the brand they enjoy. Then we could really nail it down on which is the best in that category. That should appear on the blurb on the label. If it doesn’t, then there is something wrong.
    “Pacific sardine” (generally, but not always “sardinops sagax”), isn’t the same as “brisling” or Norwegian style sardine. Or the Bay of Fundy sardine, which in fact is a herring! These are the ones marketed under the Bumble Bee “Beachcliff” brand.
    So if one person likes, and tries to convince others, that they are the “best”, such as Ortiz or Matiz brands from Spain, or others like Beachcliff or Wild Planet, then that’s great!
    But I suggest that you stick with it yourself and don’t necessarily try to convince others that your choice is the best.
    Just enjoy eating a very healthy fish and excellent source of protein, but don’t tell everyone they’re the “best”….Sample them all, choose the one you prefer. Everyone to their own taste preference.

  102. Roger on August 15, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    My opinion,20 years eating canned sardines.
    The best ever is Reese Skinless and Boneless Sardines in 100% Olive Oil.

  103. omar nuri on August 22, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    Hey, Nuri is my last name! Where can I buy/order some Nuri Sardins?

    • Hilah on August 23, 2017 at 7:10 am

      Hi Omar! I think I got those at World Market but they are also on Amazon

    • Amy on July 6, 2020 at 5:31 pm


  104. Nancy Campbell on February 2, 2018 at 10:52 am

    I too have eaten sardines all my life, I am a New Brunswicker, & ate Brunswick sardines. We were called “Herring Chokers”, as Maritimers have various nick names. I am close to your age, Dale, so I remember the sardine factory well & Black’s Harbour too. I still buy them today. There are a number of brands that are mentioned on this site that we don’t get in Canada so next time I go across the border I will check for them. All fish have some mercury in them but because the sardines are so small, they have the least amount, that’s why they are recommended to us for eating. I like them on a cracker with a tad of mustard, good on toast as well with some chopped spring onions. So many ways to eat them. Bon Appetit!

  105. Mandy on February 9, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    We are in New Zealand and just discovered Riga Gold brisling sardines from Latvia. Beautiful

    • Charlie Sommers on February 10, 2018 at 9:58 am

      Yes Mandy, I agree…Riga Gold beats all the competition. :))

  106. Anna Hess on February 17, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    This is a question for Bess! How is the mercury level now? Are you doing better after switching your seafood choices?

  107. Jojo C. on March 26, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    I visited the Philippines last December 2017 and I found this sardines in tomato sauce quite delicious. The brand is Rose Bowl Gold Sardines in Tomato Sauce. There is a lesser quality (and cheaper) can of sardines from this brand…just Rose Bowl Sardines in Tomato Sauce. I didn’t like it as much as the Gold. I tried looking for it here in Michigan and in Chicago but I was unable to find one. Maybe this is available in cities with huge Filipino population like LA/San Diego and New York City metropolitan area. I hope you would be able to try it as I find it better than sardines in oil, even olive oil.

    • Charlie Sommers on March 28, 2018 at 3:36 am

      The Philippines has many brands of tasty sardines. I purchase the Ligo brand in tomato sauce with chili onto a baked plantain for a quick, cheap, and nutritious lunch.

  108. Friedrich W O Vonostrowo on May 26, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    Are sprats sardines?? Well, regardless they are my favourite canned small fish. Riga Gold Sprats are a small, wild caught Baltic sardine. Lightly smoked and ready to eat. They don’t seem to be gutted, skinned or boneless, even the tail is still on but “zee fish, she is very small” and delicious. About125gm and about less than $2.00CAD per can. My second favourite is “MEGA Spanish style sardines” 155gm can for ~$1.25 per can. Not only we of Prussian descent love these but so do the Russians

  109. Ann on July 3, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    Try these: Flower Brand Moroccan Spiced Sardines and Nuri Brand Portuguese Sardines in Pure Olive Oil. I love them!

  110. Yair on August 15, 2018 at 7:12 am

    Last month I got two pieces of Connetable sardines and it was absolutely delicious.

    • Hilah on August 15, 2018 at 7:29 am

      Thanks! I had not heard of those before

  111. Heywod on August 19, 2018 at 7:30 am

    I can’t believe this site. And I thought I was a relic of the past because I’ve always liked sardines, and eat at least two cans a week. I now buy the Season brand skinless and boneless. I searched for this site because although they say caught in the atlantic, I’ve been to Morocco and distrust anything edible that comes from there. The Season brand are, who knows what species , and the fish are two toned. I won’t eat tilapia because of questionable origins, and in spite of liking Season brand from BJs I will try others that come from the NORTH atlantic.

  112. Douglas on August 30, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    This site is great! Thanks for it. I just read every comment. Sheesh. So my turn: I eat two cans of sardines every day. I break my 18 hour fast with a can of King Oscar (Mediterranean style) around 3pm and then I eat another can of the same with my dinner salad around 7pm. That may sound a little overkill, but dang, I’ve been doing this for two months and I’ve never felt healthier in my life. I’m 42 and I’ve lost fifteen pounds in these two months since taking this diet (or rather lifestyle) on. The King Oscar (Mediterranean) is easily my favorite. So damn yummy!!!

  113. Great Stone Face on August 31, 2018 at 5:49 pm
  114. Rosemary Detskas on November 5, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    Best sardines we ever had were last Saturday night in a French restaurant called Atelier by Radex in Denver. As an appetizer they were actually served in the can with the lid peeled back. The chef used several oils including tomatoe infused oil along with micro greens and miniature peppers as garnish served with toasted baguette slices. They were outstanding. The sardines were in an unmarked can and they were a larger than usual size. Did not find anything comparable to these sardines in reading the suggestions in this blog. Would love to know the manufacturer. Excellent restaurant find in Denver.

    • Hilah on November 5, 2018 at 3:11 pm

      Interesting, Rosemary! Sounds good. I wonder if you called the restaurant would they tell you what type they are

  115. John Desilets on December 30, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    Blackwood Sardines from the Baltic. Incredible. I bought a can at a Grocery Outlet in Portland Oregon. Tried them when I got home then immediately went back and bought everything they had. Those sardines turned people that dont like sardines into fans and I have never located those again.

  116. Francesco Valls on January 25, 2019 at 3:09 am

    Hello, nice article and investigation. Tasty congratulations.
    Unfortunatelly missed out the tastiest of them all, the NURI Spiced Sardines in Olive Oil.
    Worthy of a trip to Portugal to it’s original artisanal factory.

    It’s so famous, fresh and differentiative that cheap copycat imitations (like the Philipino Master sardines) can fool the less aware of gastro addicts with a similar design but veeeeeeeery different quality/price. But once you try the real Nuri, you’ll surelly realize the sardine universe changes 🙂

    Love your text. Cheers!

  117. D. Hof on February 20, 2019 at 11:40 am

    Canned Sild sardines packed in sild sardine oil and lightly smoked, usually from Norway, used to be commonplace, but I cannot seem to find even any mention of them now. The closest I can find has been Latvian heavily smoked Baltic Sprats in shallow round cans, and I’ve seen a similar product from Scotland.

    Am I overlooking something or did Sild sardines drop off the face of the Earth?

    • Rick West on February 25, 2019 at 1:12 pm

      A few years ago I contacted King Oscar about a can of sild sardines and included a photo. Here is their response. “King Oscar Seafood wrote: “We loved this trip down memory lane too. King Oscar no longer produces brisling sardines in sild oil. We are dedicated to staying on top of popular taste trends as well as to our uncompromising standard of excellence. Unfortunately, it became too expensive to obtain sild oil that consistently met our quality standards…the product became too expensive to meet broad demand. In any case, we would not eat these collector’s items either, though we would be very tempted!”

  118. Gavin on April 6, 2019 at 10:48 pm

    Can someone comment on the best BPA free brands of canned sardines? Thanks.

  119. ann on May 18, 2019 at 3:51 am

    You need to try Flower Brand Moroccan Spiced Sardines. They’re spiced just right in olive oil. They are my favorite!

  120. Jim on June 6, 2019 at 7:00 am

    I’ve been eating sardines for a long time, and I have to say that my favorite are King Oscar in olive oil. The two layer variety have very small fish that I think you would probably enjoy. I like them on toasted Dave’s Killer Power Seed bread with avocado.

    Beach Cliff brand aren’t bad. Very mild. I recently tried Bumble Bee. I’ve always liked their tuna, so I figured they would probably do sardines well too. Wow, was I wrong. Huge tasteless fish.

  121. Alex Vizcarra on September 17, 2019 at 10:59 am

    I bought a can of sardines (Sol-Mex brand sold at Walmart) and it had a fine print on the label regarding “California Proposition 65: lead warning” so I’ve been researching it all morning and am not sure if it’s due to the can having lead traces, the sardines themselves or both (due to the cans). I did stumble upon this site which scores all of the canned sardines for safety.

    Any thoughts on the California Prop 65 warning for lead on the can label?

    • Hilah on September 18, 2019 at 4:21 am

      Great question, Alex! I haven’t seen that warning on sardines before, but I would guess it may be due to where the sardines are caught? As far as I know, lead hasn’t been used in cans since 1995. I saw that Sol-Mex are imported from China and I’ve read reports of very polluted waters around China.

  122. Bill-bo on September 18, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    I too have been eating sardines for a life time. My favorite are King Oscar in olive oil. The two layer variety. I like to pop open a tin, mash them up slightly with a fork in the olive oil, and eat. Oh Boy. And yes, ther’e the best on a trail hike.

  123. Mike on September 19, 2019 at 5:55 am

    I have tried most of the brands available in typical U.S. stores, and I keep going back to the Aldi Northern Catch Sardines, which are about $ .89 a can. They are delicious and just the right firmness. I tried the King Oscar, which cost 3x as much, and was not impressed. So many other brands are disgustingly mushy, lack flavor or are fishy smelling. In a pinch recently I bought a can of the Bumblebee sardines in oil, and I thought they tasted awful — I ate half a sardine and threw the rest of the can out. Inside the Aldi box, the can says “Maroc,” so I assume that the Aldi sardines are from Morocco.

  124. Patricia Machado on September 19, 2019 at 7:38 am

    I commented on this post years ago, when it was still on Google + and I still receive updates about it, which is fortunate because the other day I wanted to tell here that I made “sushi” (homemade version) with canned sardines, apricot and avocado and it was delicious!!!

  125. Chris on October 18, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    Partial to the water packed – then drain and put my own hot sauce on them. Kiiiind of addicting. No real brand preference at this point, just buy what’s available-affordable.

  126. Joe Vallejo on January 13, 2020 at 11:21 am

    I try to eat sardines that are fished in open water.
    I recently watched a documentary as to the fact that marine biologists were testing the situation with fishing in the Baltic Sea, which is kind of land locked, the neighboring countries have contaminated this sea in a very bad way, mostly through the proliferation of salmon farming caused by the pellets they feed their farmed fish in pens that are located in coastal waters. So the Baltic Sea is now polluted.
    I have visited San Sebastian, Spanish Basque Country, their sardines as well as the Spanish Galician, (Gallego) sardines were the best I have ever had.
    They are fresh catch of the day and consumed everywhere in their “pintxos”, it is pronounced “pinchos” in Spanish. They are eaten mostly grilled with a drizzle of olive oil and course salt and as far as taste and texture they are to die for!
    I hear that the Portuguese products are also very good, but I have not had them fresh.

  127. Sapna on April 7, 2020 at 10:23 am

    Canned sardines are underappreciated. Really tasty and very healthy!

  128. donny on April 9, 2020 at 7:39 pm

    It’s crazy that people are still commenting on this I get updates in my email I commented on this years ago I still love tiny tots!

  129. Stu on July 15, 2020 at 7:53 pm

    Pinhais sardines from Portugal are incredible but about $8 a can! The best though – King Oscar used to sell Sardines in Sild Oil, a natural oil from a tiny sardinelike fish – the flavor was incredibly deep and profound but they are no longer available. And I used to love my Riga Sprats but now pollution there is an issue

  130. Michigan Guy on November 6, 2020 at 10:35 pm

    The comments were even better than the reviews – which I thought were great! I have some King Oscars – new to me – in olive oil with jalapeno, and I just enjoyed some inexpensive Ocean Prince in hot sauce (I bought a 10 pack on Amazon) on multigrain bread thins with mayo, lol. Not the healthiest choice, but I enjoyed.

  131. Eclipse on November 27, 2020 at 6:11 am

    Conservas ortiz from Spain and pinhais nuri from Portugal are the best canned sardines that you can buy.

    • Vive on March 15, 2021 at 7:35 pm

      I’ve been eating California Girl sardines in tomato sauce, and have been liking them.

  132. Liz P. on September 4, 2021 at 10:48 am

    So glad I found a post that appreciates sardines as much as I do! They’re definitely underrated for how healthy they are!! I figured I’d share a newer brand of sardines that I recently came across that are ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! I highly recommend you give Atlantic Brand sardines a try! They’re already blanched, very meaty and flavorful and BPA free (recommended the olive oil). Dropping a link for you to try:

    • MICHAEL on November 29, 2021 at 3:09 pm

      Does anyone know if Iberia brand sardines canned in Equador are farmed or wild caught? The can does not say. they are big and it makes me wonder

  133. Scott Nelson on December 9, 2021 at 10:33 am

    I personally prefer Polar Brisling Sardines hardwood smoked in olive oil. Very tasty and healthy. Comes from Latvia. Great flavor and texture. Simply the best in my book. Surprised they aren’t on the “best” list. Why? I am sure some companies pay to have their brand on “best” lists.

    • Hilah on December 12, 2021 at 6:49 am

      Oh Scott, lose the cynicism, dude! 🙂 I’ll take it as a compliment that you think my site is important enough for companies to pay me for a link. I chose these brands to try because they were the ones that were available from my local grocery stores over ten years ago. Anyway, thanks for the Polar sardines suggestion!

  134. Quinn (wa state) on January 2, 2022 at 2:20 am

    Happy New Year sardine lovers…
    Found this thread by accident and just kept reading… about just over half scrolled to bottom to add a can I found few months ago and do adore, it’s huge and different from the ones I grew up with.. very tasty I do a Sardinia pasta style sardine recipe with a brand I have only seen at Bartells drug store in my area/region. Finally started researching the reviews they aren’t Greg but it landed me on this site.. La perla Pacifica 2 types tomatoe picante & chilli yummmy
    Large red oval cans but none of the list on line mentioned these in the top..
    it’s super cool this thread has gone on for so long
    Great job Hillah !!

  135. Patricia L. on February 24, 2022 at 12:11 pm

    I believe Crown Prince sardines now come from China. Some sardines from China have been found to be contaminated with bacteria and even parasites. Crown Prince claims theirs are fine.

  136. Max West on March 8, 2022 at 6:22 pm

    I only recently started eating sardines, namely the Chicken of the Sea brand. My brother likes the Wild Planet brand and a friend swears by King Oscar. I might try those.

    • Dan C on March 21, 2022 at 7:24 am

      King Oscar used to be packed in sild sardine oil.
      All the KO sold in Western Australia is packed in soya oil, which is only fit for feeding to pigs. I recommend John West in springwater, add butter, onions, garlic, green chilli and Indian lime juice to make sandwich spread, mum used to use the sild sardine oil from the KO can, butter is a substitute, could use dripping.

  137. Dan C on March 21, 2022 at 7:25 am

    King Oscar used to be packed in sild sardine oil.
    All the KO sold in Western Australia is packed in soya oil, which is only fit for feeding to pigs. I recommend John West in springwater, add butter, onions, garlic, green chilli and Indian lime juice to make sandwich spread, mum used to use the sild sardine oil from the KO can, butter is a substitute, could use dripping.

  138. Hank on April 17, 2022 at 3:35 pm

    I’ve found none better than King Oscar two layer in olive oil. $3 a tin now in my area so I eat them less. Beach Cliff, Starkist, Brunswick is chum.

  139. Camila Gregoire on July 21, 2022 at 12:11 am

    Canned sardines are underappreciated. Really tasty and very healthy!

  140. mark rosenstand on March 14, 2023 at 5:28 pm

    These masters of sardines coming from Portugal rarely find the export less than $10 a can,some go as high as $20 a can-in a class above the others,mainly from the 100’s years of packing practice in a perfect brine.

  141. Sam Cutler on August 12, 2023 at 1:12 pm

    My late father served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He loved Mooseabec sardines, but of course, these were not part of the Army’s rations. He put out the word to everyone in his unit that he would shave his head for a can of Mooseabec sardines. Months later, someone was able to produce a can and my father let his friends shave his head, after which he was given the sardines, which he told me was about the only enjoyable experience he had during his service.

  142. Dave on October 28, 2023 at 12:20 pm

    The best sardines are the King Oscar Double Layer Cross Pack. True Wild Caught, tiny sardines 24-38 tin.

  143. steve on November 26, 2023 at 12:42 pm

    Wow, The writer and most of these post are wrong. I encourage you to do the opposite of most of the recommended. If you have tried any variety of sardines you know what i am talking about. This as well as many of the so called recommended sardines post do not even qualify as basic sardine taste or knowledge. Some of the recommended ones my dog will not eat and he loves sardines.

  144. Chris on January 11, 2024 at 9:39 am

    Just finding this in Jan 2024 when a short lunch window and a lack of time to do a quick cook found me speculating on canned sardines on toast (hey if avocado can do it, anything can). Used a can of CotS sardines in lemon sauce and a can of KO with jalapenos. drained them a bit, added a few briny capers, and mixed them gently (but separately) together. One toast slice of the lemon mix, one of the jalapeno, both with a fresh grind of black pepper, and both were outstanding. The right amount of citric kick with the lemon and the same level of kick from the jalapeno. Hello new favorite quick lunch!

  145. Kristofer Habbas on February 21, 2024 at 1:21 pm

    I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe! Let me know how your friend likes it!

  146. Kristofer Habbas on February 21, 2024 at 1:22 pm

    I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe! Let me know how your friend likes it!…

  147. steve on March 6, 2024 at 6:46 pm

    These are some of the worst sardines on the market as anyone who likes sardines. Must be a shill for the crappy el cheapo sardine companies.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.