Conservas de Cambados Garfish (Agujas) in Olive Oil 4/6


Garfish, aka needlefish, are a small fish similar to, but distinct from, sardines and anchovies. In cross-section they are more like a pencil, whereas we see sardines as being more like an inverted teardrop. The chew is different, as well, but not so different as to be off-putting. I think the best way to appreciate garfish is to taste them side-by-side with sardines. Many people who do this find they prefer the garfish to sardines. We like them both equally.

115g tin

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Ingredients: Garfish (Scomberesox saurus and Belone belone), olive oil, salt

Check out SlowJabroni exploring this tin of garfish and other tins selected by Dan in his Omakase.


  1. Jeff (verified owner)

    With an interest in trying something different than my standard mix of sardines and mackerel, I thought it would be good to try something from a brand known for quality conservas, Conservas de Cambados.

    The contrast between these and standard sardines starts with first crack of the tin. Instead of laying on their sides, these are lined up side-by-side with their smooth black skin shimmering in a pool of light olive oil. The skin was mostly undisturbed but there were a few spots showcasing the firm tan flesh underneath.

    Furthering the contrast against a standard sardine these pulled easily out of the tin while holding their form with no bending and minimal breaking. The firm texture is confirmed at first bite, they start with a firm bite, though flake fairly easily. The flavor is very mild for my palate, so though they may be enjoyed on their own, I think they benefit from some condiments.

    I think these garfish can provide both a nice contrast when sampling an array of tinned fish, and also a nice introduction to folks who may feel a bit of trepidation in trying whole fish in a tin or who don’t love a strong fishy taste. For the tinned fish aficionado who wants to check something new off on their list, you can’t go wrong with Conservas de Cambados, though have some condiments handy.

  2. zacablaster (verified owner)

    Everything Jeff said is spot on, these are intriguing even for the experienced deen diner. I personally love the very firm texture and thin, slender shape of these fish. Definitely going to stock up on them when available again.

  3. kholthaus1 (verified owner)

    This tin was a nice change from sardines.this is my second tin of Garfish. I plan on ordering. This fish on a regular basi. The flesh is firm and the taste is great. These stand on there’re own without an additions. These are good with a plain old saltine.

  4. Hream McDan (verified owner)

    A perfect introduction tin to garfish. The fish is mild yet flavorful, dense but not dry. Texturally halfway between sardines and canned tuna, you’ll like this if you prefer a firm bite. Beautiful fish that were clearly high quality. I didn’t find that Espinaler sauce improved them much, but did enjoy them with a few shakes of Tabasco. I will be happy to return to this tin when I’m in need of that wildcard, unique tin in my pantry.

  5. Greg L (verified owner)

    These were interesting. They grew on me as I progressed through the tin. I don’t care much for canned tuna. That is where my brain went as soon as I tried a bite of these Garfish. The texture skewed more tuna than sardine. I thought I’d be disappointed, but I was wrong. I took a moment and finished the tin. The flavor is mild, but still good. I came to appreciate the texture after a few bites. There was little odor from these fish (compared to other tinned fish) and the oil wasn’t particularly impressive to me. With some hot sauce and served on a cracker, they made a great lunch. But overall, these were a welcome diversion from sardines. If you haven’t tried them, you really should.

  6. Lauren Giunta (verified owner)

    It’s hard to take your eyes off these intriguing beauties! My tin-sharing partner & I found ourselves leaning into the tin very closely while eating to observe the behavior of this fish in the oil. They’re just elegant af. Longish tubular bodies that shatter into the finest flake-pattern I’ve ever seen. Like, consider grabbing a magnifying glass when you crack this tin to fully appreciate their mille-feuille-esque flesh (thousand leaves). Such a delicate flavor too. So good. I think these are best eaten with accompaniments that won’t overwhelm.

  7. Joe Warren (verified owner)

    Long, and slender iridescent beauties. Really firm and stiff, as well as uniformly tubular. The flavor is uniquely different from sardines, and feels reminiscent of tuna surprisingly. This tin is chock full of oil. Minimal bone crunch/presence. The skin was surprisingly quite flaky. A fun endeavor!

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