Ten Tins to Try, and Why by Drew Mellon


Drew Mellon is a Sardine blogger at Mouth Full of Sardines and an esteemed member of The Royal Order of the Knights of Sardine.

  1. Minerva Sardines Skinless & Boneless in Olive Oil, If you’re hesitant about jumping into a sardine tin that possesses skin and bones, this is a great tin to start with. The freshness and clean taste of these plump and meaty fish are excellent. I enjoy these on toast with tomato.
  2. Riga Gold Smoked Sprats in Oil 10/12, 160g, A tin of smoked goodness that possesses a more robust smoke flavor. These fish explode with flavor. I enjoy these on a cracker build: cracker, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, sprat, tomato, onion, jalapeno. I’ve turned many non-sardine eaters into sardine eaters with these.
  3. Nissui Whole Sardines in Sweet Soy Sauce (Iwashi Ajitsuke), This tin from Japan, I enjoy them as a sweet treat; they are a sweet tin of fish with notes of fruitiness. These on a Hawaiian roll with tomato, a nice combo.
  4. King Oscar Cross-Pack Sardines (Sprats) in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, A tin of many small fish. I have more tins of these on hand than any other type or brand. They are a favorite amongst both my daughters. ( if it’s been ten years or more since you’ve tried K.O., their oil in which the fish are packed in no longer posses a “green, bitter taste” that most people would get turned off by) crackers, bread, toast, these little fish go with anything.
  5. José Gourmet Smoked Small Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, The art on the boxes and their story of the art drew me in. I stayed for the flavor and consistency. A clean-tasting fish and oil with no after-taste. They go great on a simple dry toast.
  6. Fangst Sprat no. 4 (Salted & Dried) Baltic Sea, A nonsmoked sprat, with its unique flavor of spices. This tin goes great with freshly baked bread. Tin always leaves me wanting more.
  7. Minerva Sardines in Olive Oil, A plump, meaty fish. A tin I always keep on hand. A clean-tasting fish with no strong aftertaste, these with sourdough toast are excellent!
  8. King Oscar Sardines (Sprats) in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, White Wine Vinegar and Capers, A newer flavor for King Oscar, I enjoy how the oil and vinegar pairs with the fish and the zest of flavor the capers add. It pairs well with a hunk of bread. I’ll add a splash of apple cider vinegar to the tin for an extra tangy-ness and pop.
  9. Wildfish Cannery Smoked Herring, It doesn’t matter if you drink Natty light, a microbrew IPA, or any and all in between. This tin of fish is made for the beer drinker! The saltiness and smoke flavor are bold yet don’t overpower the fish with a hint of sweetness. It may not appear attractive when first opened, but it makes up for it in personality and flavor! I enjoy this tin with beer, bread, and beer.
  10. Officer Smoked Cod Liver, Next to Sardines, this is my most consumed tin. Don’t let the word “Liver” scare you off. I like to refer to the cod liver as “Meat Butter” spread it on toast with a dash of salt and pepper! If you like meat and you like butter, well, even if you don’t like meat.

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