Pollastrini di Anzio Spicy Sardines in Olive Oil 4/6


We first explored carrying this brand after seeing several people say they were their favorite spiced sardine. It is a universal complaint in the sardine-loving universe that there are no spicy sardines that are really spicy. These aren’t either, but, they’re among the spiciest of the sardines called spicy.

Ranked #98 on the worldbestfish.com Overall list.

100g (3.5 oz) tin

In stock

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Ingredients: sardines (Sardina pilchardus), olive oil, red pepper and salt.

Check out SlowJabroni exploring this tin of spicy sardines.

See what Matthew Carlson has to say about these spiced sardines.

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.


  1. jfeyes (verified owner)

    These sardines were the spiciest one I have had yet: with that said on a heat scale of 1-10, I’ll give ’em a 6.5. They were very tasty and firm but small and loosely packed. I will select elsewhere for $7.50 a tin! High quality sardines if price is not a consideration.

  2. Pat Hachey (verified owner)

    That’s a spicy ‘dine! Love the presentation with the can, love the lasting tingle of the spice here. A little dry at first but subsequent bites were more pleasant. Nice spine texture and salt level as well. Sorry, a little drunk and these were my first pick to crush from the can. I feel bad because I didn’t do them justice right now but highly recommended for anyone looking to throw some pizzazz into their routine.

  3. Hream McDan (verified owner)

    Impressive and legit. For whatever reason, I wasn’t expecting greatness here (perhaps because the Pollastrini tomato didn’t blow me away?) … but I was happily wrong. I loved the texture, it’s an ideal blend of firmness with great moisture and flake. Salt levels were perfect, nothing else needed for a room temp eating-from-the-tin experience. The throat burn level surprised me, it’s actually there and notably a 3+ out of 5 on spice.

    In the world of spicy oil sardines, these are one of the best if not possibly my favorite. It might be just as good as the Ferrigno La Bonne Mer Sardines with Organic Pepper and Chili (which I loved). Maybe a little more expensive than I’d have hoped but I walked away feeling like I got what I paid for with this Pollastrini spiced tin. I’ll be ordering it again.

  4. twa101 (verified owner)

    Five smaller sardines loosely packed in a darker colored oil that had a slight orange tint to it. A very nice deen scent. They were able to stay mostly intact getting them out of the tin, but all of the tails had already fallen off. There were six tiny chiles in this tin which got my attention as I like heat. These were love at first bite. Soft, moist, but still with some chew. Really well seasoned with salt and the chile flavor. Gives a bit of a tingle on your lips, tongue and throat that will linger. The oil is very silky, unctuous, and lush. I drank it straight from the tin and regret nothing. Not a thing. Do not waste this oil. At least save it for a dressing or to sauté something later. Yes, you will wish that there were more fish in the tin, but you won’t feel cheated on value. You will feel bad that you only bought one tin. There’s nothing complex here, just a good and simple tin with great ingredients and a balanced flavor. Not pretty, but lip smacking. I wouldn’t recommend these for making a spiffy, composed plate. However, if you want something to really enjoy straight from the tin with a chunk of bread for mopping and a good drink, this is your tin.

  5. Matt (verified owner)

    Forward flavor and spice! Fish is nice and firm. Definitely agree with the other reviewer about saving the oil for a dressing or marinade even. Great tin for the price.

  6. Lawrence Kalinowski (verified owner)

    i was looking forward to these. recommended to me.

    loved them. yummy salty umami. great spiciness. clean tasting. firm small fish.

    glad i bought two.

  7. Peter Kupchick (verified owner)

    These were the first sardines I tried from my order and I absolutely loved them. They were excellent on their own but the spice level is balanced if you add them to bread or crackers with some lemon and maybe a base. Could easily eat the entire tin without accoutrements but drinking the oil on its own may cause some heart burn lol. Would absolutely order again.

  8. Sarah Voorhees (verified owner)

    These have to be one of my top 3 spicy tins to date and I have already reordered a few times without reviewing so here it is!

    The sardines are loosely packed in the tin, my most recent had 5 mid sized fish. The appearance is a little rough I assume because they are free to move around in their spicy oil bath. And they are spicy, a nice heat to the oil that really permeates the fish themselves. The fish have a delicious umami flavor and are not at all fishy. They are lean towards a firm bite and are very moist.

    I have enjoyed this server many ways but is is excellent with warm pasta.

  9. Nigel Behrens (verified owner)

    I could eat a tin of these almost every day. Nice oil and good texture on the fish. Spice flavor is done well. I ate this with a crusty roll.

  10. nrobinson (verified owner)

    Oh boy were these some spicy bois! Not the prettiest fish… Skin was a bit beat up, but that doesn’t matter because these deenz are delicious. Firm flesh rivaling Nuri but the smaller size is nice. Clean flavor, lower salt level. The oil is more robust than French tins, but not super rich. Two or three small but mighty peppers, my hottest tin to date. This might be my favorite sardine tin. I love that they’re Italian too, delizioso!

  11. Joshua Radicke (verified owner)

    The fantastic art on the tin matches the fantastic art in the tin. The spice builds pleasantly to a glowing warmth, but never reaches an uncomfortable level. A meaty flavor and texture pair well with the red pepper that adds subtle, rich undertones and not just heat. My tin came with a slip explaining that the sardines are loosely packed to help them absorb flavor and, having tasted them, I cannot argue with that premise. Complex and interesting enough to be enjoyed by themselves and assertive enough to hold their own when paired with other strong flavors in a dish or sandwich, this is a versatile tin that’s as pleasing to eat as it is to look at.

  12. UncleOscar (verified owner)

    The flavor of the fish was excellent. The texture was pleasantly firm, not at all dry. Good tasting oil. I found them to be mildly spicy, certainly not overwhelming. I ate them straight from the can. Very enjoyable.

    I suppose the downside is that you get small, loosely packed fish in an already smallish can. There could be worse problems then wishing you had more, though.

  13. straw.new.0g (verified owner)

    I ate the non spiced version and loved it so much I immediately opened the spiced version. Both were very good, but the spiced was saltier. I prefer the non spiced. You won’t be disappointed by either. At $7.50 this was comparable to tins priced in the 11-13 dollar range. Amazing tins.

  14. Greg L (verified owner)

    Spiced sardines are one of my top categories to eat straight from the tin. And Pollastrini’s plain sardines in olive oil might be my favorite tin of that class. This is a great tin, make no mistake. However, I don’t think it brings enough to the table to draw me away from the not-spicy version. These sardines were ever-so-slightly drier. Great texture and seasoning, though. It’s worth a try, but I’ll stick with the standard.

  15. neilseim12 (verified owner)

    These are very good. They seemed on the spicier end of the spectrum for canned fish which I really liked and at least to me they seemed fairly salty. I don’t have a lot to say about them besides the fact that me and my wife really enjoyed them and I’ll probably be buying them again.

  16. Grace Olson (verified owner)

    This was my second time trying tinned sardines and was a much better experience than the first. I love for things to be on the spicier side, and the spice level was great. It tried them on their own first, then ended up eating them on crispbread, with a lemon mayo and a radish and fennel salad. It was delicious!

  17. emosberger (verified owner)

    Wow these are one of the best spicy sardines that I’ve ever had! I had four slender fish swimming in orange-hued olive oil. The fish, although “rustic” looking were nice and firm. The spice level was very noticeable and left a lingering impression on the palate. In my experience, only the Nuri Extra Spicy is hotter. The salt level hit a perfect balance too, and I’m one who is normally adverse to highly salted foods.
    This is one of my favorites of the spicy sardine genre and is worthy of having a spot in the pantry.

  18. Robert Brown (verified owner)

    I had been hearing these were on the spicier end of the spectrum for sardines so was excited to try it. My order came just in time for lunch, and I cracked into this tin. I am fairly new to sardines but these were amazing. Compared to the spiced Nuri sardines, these have much more heat and less of the clove-type spice. This tin is also a great salt level in my opinion, and very moist. Probably my favorite thus far.

  19. marshallprather (verified owner)

    I love the slight spiciness. These are not blazing hot. The chilis give the sardines a little bite without overdoing it. The fish are very high quality with a nice, firm texture. But it’s the flavor that makes this a pleasure. Part comes from the high quality olive oil used in packing, and part from the fact that there are no chemicals of preservatives. Aside from the five sardines per can you are getting hot peppers, olive oil and salt. Simple and delicious. Personally I would repurchase the Nuri Extra Spicy as these were much more mild.

  20. Mike Turpie (verified owner)

    Upon opening the tin, it seemed neither under nor overfilled. I’ve had tightly packed tins from other brands that seemed under sauced to me, so maybe I just like the looser pack. 6 smaller dines. Some were bent to fit into the tin, but otherwise they were in good shape (intact skin). Some have reported many chilies in their tins, but there were only two in mine, and the oil was a standard yellow color, not orange. I had the first on a cracker. Nice flavor. A hint of heat, but really not much. It was meaty and not dry at all. Salt was just right. I had the rest with some creole mustard on more crackers. A wonderful snack, but I’ve finally come to the realization that if I want spicy deens, I need to recruit a bottle or two from the hot sauce stash before I sit down with a tin. All the same, these are my favorite tin of dines so far. I plan to get these regularly.

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