Ingredients: Garfish (Belone belone) (70.8%), Olive Oil (26.5%), Chilli (1.7%), and Salt.
The terms “spiced” and “spicy” are used pretty much interchangeably in the tinned fish world, to mean two different things: with a hot pepper (or hot pepper flavor), and with cloves/bay/carrot/hot pepper. There are many examples of both terms being used to mean both things.
We are so frustrated by how widespread this confusing inconsistent usage is that we’ve gone through our entire product line to correct the incorrect ones such that our description of “spiced” or “spicy” will always indicate which it really is, regardless of the packaging. “Spicy” = with hot pepper flavor. “Spiced” = with the cloves/bay/carrot/hot pepper flavors.
nrobinson (verified owner) –
I was super excited for this tin as part of my journey in trying canned fish other than your standard grocery store fare. These were a delight
Whole fish, less heads and tails. Looks like something between a sardine and a mackerel. Wide range of sizes in the tin… one was twice as big or larger than others.
Firm, almost dry but not quite. Holds together well. Toothsome, doesn’t fall apart easily when bitten into, kind of like chunked tuna.
Flavor and Eating Experience
Very rich and umami. Not a ton of spice flavor until you build up a bit of oil on the tongue… then you feel the capcasin and taste a bit of pepper. Not at all fishy. Not too spicy, though my tolerance is high. Spine gives a bit of crunch on the big ones but dissolves quickly. Pepper included has a nice jammy texture. Very nice on a cracked wheat cracker with dijon.
Delicious! These might become a staple in the pantry. The price isn’t too bad as well.
Hream McDan (verified owner) –
Liked these a little better than the regular Ati Manel garfish in olive oil, the spiced oil really brings a lot to the table. I’d say it would rank as a mild-medium heat that you notice but it definitely won’t make you sweat. Firm like non-salt-cured anchovies, texture very similar to the Patagonia anchovies (e.g. hybrid of sardine and canned tuna). They are more dry but again, not actually dry … didn’t mind the moisture level at all. Felt like the oil permeated these a little better than the non-spiced, but maybe it was just because I enjoyed the flavor more? Didn’t notice the crunchy spine as much this time but I can really appreciate the differences here between sardines and garfish.
Will I convert over to only eating garfish? No. But are these worth getting every other month for a change of pace? YES, absolutely. Pretty darn good and unique tin at a solid price.
Sarah Voorhees (verified owner) –
First time trying garfish and I am a fan! Opened the tin to 7 long skinny fish that were silvery and black and firmly intact. Fish was very firm and easily came out of the tin in one piece. Agree with other reviewers that the firmness/density of the fish could be interpreted as dryness but the fish is not actually dry tasting at all.
The flavor was great, there is something different about the fish flavor profile itself vs sardines, mackerel, etc that I cannot put into words. The garfish in this tin was absolutely a mild and not fishy flavor and was very delicious.
The heat from the pepper was minimal so I added some hot sauce myself and enjoyed on toasted bread. I will definitely order this tin again!