Ramón Peña Small Atlantic Horse Mackerel in Olive Oil, Gold Line


Mackerel belongs to the Scombridae family, while horse mackerel belongs to the Carangidae family. It is smaller than other mackerel and has a lighter flavor.

The name horse mackerel comes from the old Dutch word Horsmakreel. This means a mackerel that spawns on a ‘hors’, which is a shallow area in the sea or a bank. The English took the name and called the fish horse mackerel.

130g tin

Pictured in sri lankan stir fry with bell peppers, green beans, onions, and carrots.

In stock

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Ingredients: Atlantic horse mackerel (Trachurus trachurus), olive oil, salt


  1. Jeff (verified owner)

    At any given time I have just as many tins of mackerel on hand as I do sardines. I love mackerel – it’s my favorite sushi/sashimi and some of my favorite tins are mackerel. Before getting this tin, I had only had tinned mackerel filets, never the whole (small) fish.

    Some of the best sardines I’ve tried have come from Ramón Peña, so when I saw these horse mackerel from them I knew I had to try them.

    Opening the tin started the comparison journey to my experience with sardines and mackerel filets, well, maybe I should say jump started the journey, as immediately I caught a firm, unique aroma. Not unpleasant, not cloying, but new, different.

    Pulling the fish out found them to seem fairly stout, holding together fairly well despite the manhandling necessary to extract them from their tight quarters.

    Keeping with my tradition of always trying the first bite straight from the tin I dove right in. At first bite this horse mackerel is a bit firm, maybe it’s better to say dense, though the flesh does flake easily – it has a nice bite, a nice chew to it. I also noticed the spine a bit – which is often easy to miss in sardines – I wouldn’t say I noticed the spine at every bite, but it was there. On the palate, this has a somewhat forward taste – it is a bit more forward than many of the tinned mackerel filets I’ve tried. The rest of the tin is a bit of a blur – a bit more unadulterated bites, a bit of sourdough toast, some crackers, some Espinaler sauce…

    If you’re a tinned fish aficionado and want to check off another box, this should be on your list. If you want an experience in a tin, this one will give you that. If you’re going to spend a bit on a premium tin, Ramón Peña is one of the names to go with.

  2. josephraa (verified owner)

    Oh boy this tin was a treat. Most other tins I usually try to incorporate into some dish like a bowl of noodles/ramen, rice, pasta, or whatever. But I always try the first bite straight from the tin before deciding how to use it and every now and then that first bite leads to another, and another, until I’m just eating the whole tin straight with nothing but a Wasa sourdough crisp and maaaaaybe a bit of extra salt or something. This was one of those tins. I’m noticing a pattern here that I really like small whole fish like this. The two comparable tins I’ve had that come to mind are actually both sprats; this is the first small whole horse mackerel tin I’ve had but it looks/feels similarly to my favorite sprats. Very delicate buttery flavor; not super fishy. Firm texture, held together easily while skewering with a cocktail fork to get each fish out. I tried a variety of common toppings with them on the Wasa sourdough crisp (red onion, Espinaler sauce, chil crisp, etc.) but keeping it simple turned out to be the best for me and I really enjoyed them with just a tiny bit of coarse-ground sea salt.

    This tin is definitely a treat and worth giving it a try but unfortunately the price would make me hesitate to get it again. Both of the sprats tins I referred to are equally enjoyable and available for <=50% the price. For reference those tins are "Baltic Gold Smoked Riga Sprats in Oil" which has a bonus of being locally available to me, and "King Oscar Royal Selection Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Basil, Oregano, and Garlic" which is currently available on here for only $5.

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