Ati Manel Sardines in Spicy Olive Oil


Big Portuguese sardines with some cucumber, carrot, and chili pepper. Is it spiced, is it spicy? We’re going with spicy, because it lacks the bay and clove notes. And in the original it’s referred to as “picantes” which we believe translates more accurately as spicy than spiced.

120g (4.2oz) tin

In stock


Ingredients: Sardines (Sardina pilchardus ) (70.8%), Olive Oil with 20% Extra Virgin (22.3%), Carrots (2.5%), Cucumber (1.7%), Chili pepper (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.

This particular tin doesn’t exactly fit either definition. It has the vegetables, but not the bay or clove. So we’re calling it spicy.


  1. Sarah Voorhees (verified owner)

    My third Ari Manel tin, but first sardine tin from them (garfish and octopus were my prior experiences).

    Opened the tin to find extremely 3 plump sardines that had intact silvery skin, a carrot and cucumber slice and a pepper. The oil had a golden orange color.

    The fish was an in between firmness. Not mushy but not super firm and almost had a melt in your mouth texture. The spiciness is very mild, enough that it was noticeable but not intense.

    I enjoyed these over a warm bed of rice and enjoyed them. Good value, will order again.

  2. Matt (verified owner)

    If you’re looking to mix things up from other spiced sardine brands, I highly recommend giving these a shot! These deens were nice and salty, just the way I like ‘em and had a nice kick. Ate them over some rice and almost considered opening my second tin of these cause I was having such a nice time.

  3. Hream McDan (verified owner)

    Really, really excellent texture & moisture, more than many other sardines in this spiced/spicy style. Extra room in the tin between the sardines, almost felt like Pollastrini where you get a little more oil penetrating the fish. The fillets were smaller than Nuri spiced’s massive fillets but still squarely in the ‘large’ range. I’d say these were a 2 out of 5 on the spicy scale, slightly less than Nuri but still enough to notice and enjoy. A perfect eat-straight-from-the-tin experience without any need for salt or additional flavors. Ati Manel has a winner here that is just different enough from competitors that it makes it really worth mixing into the rotation.

  4. Caleb Tenenbaum (verified owner)

    Delicious! Great spice level. Not too subtle that you don’t notice it, but not too overwhelming or tasting like it was just dipped in something spicy. The spicy flavor is perfectly integrated into the fish. We ate it with butter on bread paired with eggplants in tomato sauce & salad. Great value. Definitely ordering again

  5. Chris Therrien (verified owner)

    This is an interesting tin of fish.

    First impression: I really like the low-key mid-century modern inspired graphics on the box. It depicts a fish strolling along holding with three colorful banners: one is orange (for carrot), one is green (for cucumber), and one is red (for chili pepper). But it’s what’s inside the tin that’s most important = four beautiful, medium sized succulent pilchards packed in a pleasant medium spicy olive oil. Along with the sardines were some vegetable accompaniments: a slice of carrot, a slice of cucumber and a red chili pepper.

    Of the “spiced” sardines I’ve tried so far, this tin has the best vegetables in that they were intact and colorful. What’s not in the tin, however, are the spices (clove bay leaf and black peppercorns) typically found in “spiced” sardine brands such as Nuri. And this, for me, is a dealbreaker as I prefer the flavor these spices impart to the oil and fish. I like to finely mince the vegetables and cloves into a paste, and spread this on some toast or cracker with the sardine.

    If the spices were in this tin, I’d give it a higher rating.

    4.65 fish out of five ????????????????13/20

  6. ahoehler (verified owner)

    The Ati Manel Garfish in Spicy Olive Oil are one of my favorite tins, so I had to give these a shot as well.

    Inside, there were two big boys and one absolute unit of a sardine soaking in the invitingly spicy oil. The fish was super tender and delicious, but I think because of their size, they didn’t get as much flavor penetration as the garfish seem to do.

    Still an excellent tin and a good alternative for a little hit of spiciness if you really prefer sardines over garfish. I’ll still be sticking with their garfish tin as my daily driver.

  7. Derrek Chu (verified owner)

    Not sure if I am in the minority, but I enjoyed these more than Nuri Spiced Sardines! These were equivalently plump and firm, but I found both the saltiness and the accompanying oil to be more agreeable to my tastes. There is a lack of cloves which I personally don’t miss, and I thought this oil was spicier (in terms of more heat) than the Nuris. The actual sardines were less salty (still plenty flavorful) with less forward fishy aroma, but with a pleasant fishiness to taste in the mouth.

    I also absolutely adore the artwork on the box and wish I could get a poster of it!

  8. deenzandgreenz (verified owner)

    This tin is special! I don’t enjoy dry dines, but no fear as that’s definitely not a concern with this tin. I love a good oil that I can drizzle over the dish after the fines are removed, and this delivers. Moist, meaty dines with a lingering spice. These aren’t quite hot enough to satisfy a hot pepper fiend, but will definitely add that kick most of us are looking for in a spicy tin!

  9. Karsten (verified owner)

    These are big boys. They may be spice but they certainly aren’t spicy. I ate a few bites straight from the tin and they were good. Mixed them up with a pasta and tomato dish that had turned out a bit bland. They really elevated everything and made it significantly tastier.

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