A Free Lunch aka The First Taste is Free


It is often said that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. We disagree. Tinned fish makes a perfect lunch, whether straight from the tin or with crackers and your favorite condiments. We are so sure that you will love tinned fish and be back for more that we’re willing to send you your first tin for free.

All we require is:

  1. tell us you’ve been wanting to try tinned fish (in the order notes as you check out).
  2. share what you think may be at the root of your hesitancy, by which we mean: where do you think you came by the notion that tinned fish is something to be afraid of, that it’s “slimy” or “gross”; because neither is true but the perception is widespread, and part of the reason we’re doing this promotion is so that we can try and learn why so many people have these inaccurate preconceptions (also in the notes as you check out).
  3. if you enjoy the tin we send you, come back here and leave a comment to let others know how it went.

This is a special promotion intended to offer a no-risk, no cost way for people who have never tried tinned fish, and who want to try tinned fish, but are facing a barrier of hesitancy of some kind. It is for the tin-curious but afraid. It cannot be used to add a free tin to an order for other tins, and cannot be used to gift tins to others, &c. This offer also cannot be used to try out tins better than or of a different type of fish than you’ve been eating (if that’s you, please check out our Upgrade Me option).

Interestingly, we have learned that it does not go without saying, and needs to be said, that if you have had canned tuna you have, in fact, had tinned fish, and are not eligible for this offer.

One free tin per person.

US addresses only, unless you’ll spring for the shipping.

If you would like like some instruction and don’t mind paying for the tin(s), you may be interested in our Combo Pack: The Absolute Beginner, instead.


Sprats are small fish, with heads and innards removed. They are small enough that you won’t be able to detect any bones.

Sardines are a little bit larger, also have the heads and innards removed, but are large enough that if you pull the fish apart you may see larger bones, but those (high in calcium) bones are softened to the point that they’re completely edible, and if they retain any texture at all it will be about the same as a few grains of salt.

Boneless and skinless mackerel fillets are just as described. Mackerel is a little stronger in flavor than sardines.

Boneless and skinless sardine fillets are just as described. Sardines are a little milder in flavor than mackerel.

If you prefer that we choose for you, we are happy to do so.

We would like to gratefully acknowledge the support of Angelo Parodi and King Oscar who have supplied a portion (but by no means all) of the tins for this promotion.

Additional information

I'd like:

smaller whole fish (sprats), bigger whole fish (sardines), boneless skinless full-flavored fish (mackerel), boneless skinless mild-flavored fish (sardines), no preference, you choose (chef's choice)


  1. Lauren Pyle (verified owner)

    Wow! I was really surprised by how pleasant my sardines were. I let Dan pick for me and I recieved the King Oscar skinless 🅱️oneless sardines in olive oil. I enjoyed them on saltines and also with avocado toast. They were mildly “fishy” tasting but no more so than basic canned tuna would be in a tuna salad or something.

    I’m very opposed to weird gritty textures in food so I’m still hesitant to try anything with bones in, but I’m really interested in branching out and trying a few different fish or different treatments next. Thanks for having this option available! It’s great for “picky eaters” like me who are maybe afraid to spend money on something they’re unsure about.

  2. khaleahsi (verified owner)

    I’ve been wanting to try sardines or something similar for a while now, especially as they have been slowly gaining more and more popularity. I love fish in general, but I’ve worried about canned fish being too “fishy.” Dan (who has been wonderful to chat with and is very prompt with his replies) chose the perfect option for me: King Oscar’s “Tiny Tots” Brisling Sardines. What a pleasant surprise they were! I loved the subtle smokey, saltiness. I tried them on their own, but would love to get them again to try on/with other things. Thank you very much for this Free Lunch option on your website. It has opened up a brand new world for me!

  3. Robert Stanford (verified owner)

    WOW! I’d never been brave enough to try sardines and I recently stumbled across a youtube channel where a guy reviews different canned seafood, mostly sardines. His name is Matthew, his enthusiasm and Dan’s faith in the products is why I (very hesitantly) decided to try sardines. That and goading from my sardine friendly friends. I believe my apprehension stemmed from bad experiences with foul seafood and I was frankly just afraid sardines would be gross, for lack of a better term. Boy was I wrong! The King Oscar’s “Tiny Tots” Brisling Sardines Dan graciously sent me were delicious! I enjoyed them on Ritz vegetable crackers with hot sauce. All my fears were proven unfounded. I wanted to be wrong and I’m glad that I was. Thank you for the generosity, Dan. I’ll be placing an order soon, you should too.

  4. Amber Wojcek (verified owner)

    This was such a cool way to try sardines! I’ve always been intrigued by them but find it overwhelming to know where to start. My order was shipped almost immediately, and Dan picked out the king Oscar sardines in chili oil. I’m still not sure if I’ll be adding sardines to my regular rotation, but I really appreciated having someone choose my can so I knew they’d be high quality and palatable for a first try.

  5. cheapmiami (verified owner)

    Had a great experience with this. Its a fun way to introduce a newcomer to canned sardines, and it feels personal since the can is specially chosen for you based on your answers to the various questions.

    I received the King Oscar Tiny Tots. Small beautiful lightly smoked brisling sardines in olive oil. The texture was beautiful. Like a small fish fillet. They had both the skin and bones in and let me tell y’all they are 100% NOT noticeable at ALL! That was my only true apprehension and fear. To my limited knowledge this is typical in the “brisling” family so I’ll be sticking to these types for now until i build up to full sized sardines.

    Looking forward to trying different varieties now!

    Thanks Dan and the RTG team

  6. cwilder819 (verified owner)

    The Tiny Tots were delightful. The packaging & design were charming (I’m partial to read a tin by its cover, ha). I sautéed them over some lemony red pepper pasta– so delicious! Really lovely experience all around, will be buying more tinned fish. Hot girl tinned fish summer baby xxx

  7. jgo2328 (verified owner)

    Much better than I expected. I am very apprehensive about the idea skin and bones and fish from a can. I was also very nervous about the texture of bones. Fortunately, the tin Dan picked for me was more delicious than I love expected, and I was able to enjoy it and ignore the visuals that gave me discomfort. I don’t think I will ever enjoy eating fish by themselves straight from the can but with bread or crackers and some other ingredients on the side I can see myself enjoying the occasional tin as a change of pace. The bones were less of an issue for me than I thought it would be! If I closed my eyes I wouldn’t have anything to complain about.

  8. Patrick Hachey (verified owner)

    What a great initiative! Like another reviewer, I came here by way of youtuber Matthew Carlson. My friends that have worked in the food industry have spoken the praises of tinned fish and after watching plenty of Matthew’s videos I had to make the dive. The can of “Tiny Tots” I received was decadent and satisfying – eaten straight out of the can with chopsticks! My biggest concern was the texture, expecting bones and guts to be distinguishable aspects of each bite. To my surprise, an entire sardine eaten in one bite was very uniform in texture. The second biggest concern was the “fishiness” in smell and taste. Growing up my mom would eat salads topped with bumblebee tuna and the scent wafting from the kitchen always turned me away from fish in a can. These weren’t even remotely close to that same pungent smell and, thanks to the combination of a light smoke and the olive oil, smelled rather pleasant. The smaller size also made it more appealing and is definitely recommended for those that are texture averse. Looking forward to trying many of the other offerings available!

  9. Amanda Golay (verified owner)

    I received a package of the Tiny Tots and I was incredibly surprised at just how buttery those little guys were. Just ate them with some club crackers and a dab of hot Chinese mustard on a few. I must admit, the little tail fins freaked me out so I did remove them, but this test made me much more comfortable with trying whole fish, as small as they were. I look forward to trying more brislings and will be seeking them out. Thanks for the opportunity to try these guys!

  10. Nancy Booth (verified owner)

    Like others, tinned fish was scary territory for reasons that are hard to explain. Then I stumbled across this website from Reddit and the result? I’m in love!! Dan sent the Angelo Parodi Mackerel Filets in Olive Oil, and wow!! The fishy taste is not overwhelming at all, texture has a good bite- not slimy, gross or off- putting. I tried mine on a saltine first, ended up topping with kewpie mayo and pickled ginger and I’m already craving for more!!! Thank you for this opportunity to get me hooked, I don’t think I would’ve taken the plunge otherwise!

  11. ChikkyChikkyParmParm (verified owner)

    Thank you, Dan! Like many others, I discovered RTG through Matt at Canned Fish Files on YouTube. I’ve always been intimidated by tinned fish, but I found myself spending countless hours exploring the vast selection on this site.

    I decided to take the leap as soon as I discovered the Free Lunch deal — what an awesome idea. After a friendly back-n-forth with Dan, I received my Tiny Tots in the mail a few days later.

    Dan’s serving suggestions were spot-on. I enjoyed the can of KO’s on toast — experimenting with mustard, cornichons, mayo, and hot sauce. To anyone on the fence about eatin’ ‘deenz — this is the perfect opportunity — (do it!)

    Thanks again, Dan! Now I just need some tomatoes.

  12. Jonathan Barker (verified owner)

    Just ordered today and explained my concerns. Dan emailed so quickly and addressed my concerns. This level of service is amazing! Can’t wait to try what rtg send my way.

  13. Sarah Key (verified owner)

    TikTok made me interested in tinned fish and Reddit sent me here to RTG for their great selection. I thought the Free Lunch deal was too good to be true, but it’s not! Dan emailed me almost immediately and we chatted a little about my expectations and hesitancies with tinned fish. (Texture, taste, bones, etc.) He selected the Angelo Parodi mackeral tin for me and it shipped quickly. The tin itself is beautiful, but the fish was even better. The taste and texture was approachable and familiar with a deeper and more indulgent feel. Dan sent tasting recommendations that were on point. I had the fish with buttered bread and some mustard-y, vinegar-y things. It was a perfect experience that was way more personal than expected, and I’ll definitely be ordering more!!

  14. sjvmi87 (verified owner)

    I have eaten only things that clucked, mooed, or oinked my entire life. I have wanted to try fish for a number of years but was put off by the smell and the taste I imagined it had. I just needed a catalyst to get my courage up to try it. And that courage was provided with this free tin of canned fish offer.

    I was sent a tin of King Oscar Spanish Style sardines and am happy to say I liked them! It took me a few minutes to get past the fishy smell, but once I calmed down I realized it didn’t really bother me as I thought it would. The first bite was tainted with my fear and thinking “this could go bad pretty quick.” But it was good. It was very good! The flavored oil mellowed out the fish taste but I could still tell I was eating fish.

    I ended up eating the entire tin in one setting and am coming back for more. I want to try a few more tins of something before getting the tinned fish sweatshirt and hat that a fan needs. I will say, though, I’m pretty much over my fear and I am very pleasantly surprised!

    Thank you for holding my hand through this, Dan, and thank you RainbowTomatoesGarden for giving me this experience!

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.