Les Mouettes d’Arvor Sardines in EVOO w/ Lemon Confit and Chili Pepper


A clever mixture of lemon confit and chili pepper that can be enjoyed all year round. Pretty much all of the sardines out there use the piri-piri pepper for their heat, and it just isn’t that hot. But there’s something about this particular tin that makes it seem like the hottest of the not very hots.

115g tin

In stock


Les Mouettes D’Arvor Concarneau, France

The Brittany coast is home to the Gonidec family and their cannery, named after the native seagulls, Les Mouettes d’Arvor. Their early focus on tuna and mackerel preservation in 1959 has expanded to a broader range of offerings
with the same dedication with which the family began. Be sure not to miss the selection of seafood rillettes.

Check out SlowJabroni exploring this tin and more of his Surprise Me selected by Dan.


  1. fibersides (verified owner)

    These are in my top three all time favorites, and here’s why…..

    Consider the spiced sardines we all like with the piri-piri, pickle, peppercorn, et. al. Now consider that there’s usually a lemon variation, and a tomato sauce style also available from almost all our favorite canneries.

    This tin brings together a bit of heat and some nice acid in the oil bringing the tangy zip of lemon pepper to these deens, but… there’s more….

    These are Les Mouettes d’Arvor Sardines… They’re your gateway to the sexy French sardine scene. You just gotta love French sardines. They have a firm texture, they’re always clean as a whistle, and the multitude of styles and flavors available will always leave you wanting more.

    These are no exception and they really deliver a bright yet spicy flavor in the tin. I’ve had this and other Les Mouettes d’Arvor Sardine styles, and I highly recommend you add these to your cart regularly.

  2. William Kennedy (verified owner)

    Just excellent! Not overly spicy with a subtle hint of heat. In a similar way, the lemon flavor is a bit muted. The pepper and lemon make a very pleasant combination without covering up the sardine flavor. The fish were plump and mostly firm.

    The flavors come together so nicely. I couldn’t help but think that whoever developed this recipe was talented. My first batch of French sardines. These go right up in the top of my list.

  3. Fisheye (verified owner)

    Hands down, one of my favorite French tins. The sardines are beautiful and plump, 3-4/can, and nary a scale in sight. The peppers have a little bit of heat, somewhat of a slow burn, and the lemon brightens up the oily goodness of the fish and olive oil. These are easy to eat straight and would improve many a salad, pasta, or bowl of rice. I think these would be good fried too.

  4. CAleb TEnenbaum (verified owner)

    These are really fantastic sardines. If you’re worried about the spice level – don’t be. When I buy spiced tins, I’m always a bit hesitant, worried that it may be too spicy, or that the spice may taste un-natural (even when it often is natural). The spice level here is very mild, and very natural. The sardines themselves are really high quality with great texture (soft but still with good substance) and fantastic flavor. We ate them on a piece of fresh bread with a small squeeze of lemon juice & pickled red onions and couldn’t get enough!! Can’t wait to buy these again and explore more from this brand.

  5. Matt (verified owner)

    This tin is an awesome change of pace! It’s a bit of a splurge, but totally worth it. Fish is firm. Lemon confit is a really nice way to cut through the richness. Not super spicy but you can tell the chili is there. These are easy to enjoy simply on crackers.

  6. jslaton009 (verified owner)

    In the middle of enjoying this tin and thought I’d give a review while still fresh in my mind.

    Worth it. I had a not as favorable run in with this brands thyme and basil offering that just came down to me not preferring the heavy dose of herbs. This tin is much better, I love the combo or pepper and lemon, perfect.

    4 fish, all nice sized and firm. Excellent chew to them, good oil, great flavours. Will def buy again.

    Tried solo, with bread / crackers , with pickled onion, with mustard. All were fantastic.

  7. eliz (verified owner)

    Wow! I wish I’d had the willpower to whip up some pasta to put this gorgeous can over, but I ended up eating it heathen-style right out of the can. The lemon is right on! And the spice, perfect. Total winner here, and another great recommendation from Dan.

  8. Daniel Herskovic (verified owner)

    I really liked these. It was a nice combination of Lemon and Chiles. The quality of the sardines were very nice as well. I will order again!

  9. Hream McDan (verified owner)

    Shockingly good. True lemon flavor that’s easy to notice and appreciate, plus the little bit of chili pepper makes this lemon tin unlike any other I’ve had. It’s not turbo-lemon but the acidity is great with no fake lemon essence. And then you get a little 1.5 out of 5 spicyness to bring some flavor depth and sneakily build up in your throat? Wow. The texture and moisture is fantastic as well, both above average and extremely satisfying. Straight from the tin (at room temp) made for an awesome lunch.

    To be totally honest, I’d all but written off Mouettes d’Arvor sardines based on two early underwhelming experiences … but this tin makes me think I was a complete idiot for doing that. Between their brilliant mackerel tins and now this … Mouettes d’Arvor has totally won me back and I can’t wait for another of their tins to surprise me again.

  10. zach.bauman (verified owner)

    I was sitting in a beach chair just south of St.-Nazaire when this strange little man strolled up to me and said, “want to change your life?”

    Or at least I assume that’s what he said. I don’t speak French.

    I lowered my Persols and glanced at him from above the frames. He looked like the stereotype of a Frenchman. Striped blue shirt. Beret. Wee little moustache. An upper lip curled from a persistent disdainful sneer. It seemed odd that he was only about three feet tall, but — when in Rome.

    He was holding in his palm this cheerful looking little tin of sardines. Now, I knew it was a bad idea to take food from a stranger, but I figured since it was in a sealed can, it probably wasn’t too risky. As soon as my fingers touched the tin, there was a bright flash of light and the overwhelmingly loud first bar of La Marseillaise shattered the quiet of the Biscayne shore.

    Odd. But I’m not one to look gift sardines in the mouth, so I cracked the can open. Talk about a delight. Four happy little sardines of just the right firmness, swimming down in there with some lemon and a cheerful little pepper bobbing along in the oil. There was just enough flavor from the chili to be noticeable, which accentuated the acidity from the lemon nicely, while helping that acid balance the richness of the fish.

    As I finished the can, the sum of the preceding events hit me like Charles de Gaulle slapping a Vichyite. The strange little man. The lights and sounds. What did it all mean? Was it all just my imagination? Perhaps it was all just a fever dream brought on by the sublime French sardines I’d just enjoyed.

    Ready to move on with my day, I frowned at my now-oily fingers, stood, and turned away from the ocean. As I took my first step, I felt my foot catch something on the beach.

    A tiny beret.

  11. Ryan Printy (verified owner)

    The SlowJabroni video brought me here. I will be upfront and honest in saying that I am not a fan of lemon sardines. However, I wanted to give them a try. The quality is there, a very good sardine. The chili pepper spice that is there is ever so subtle. It’s just a touch – not at all overpowering. It provides a nice change of pace from other lemon sardines. Despite my tastes, I thought they were pretty good, though I doubt I will be ordering them again anytime soon. I’m just not a lemon dine guy. If you are like me, and you don’t care for lemon sardines, then you will probably not like these either. They’re unlikely to change your mind about lemon sardines.

  12. josephraa (verified owner)

    I don’t like lemon with my fish, but my partner does so I mainly got this for her. I tried it and predictably was not a fan of the lemon, but did note and enjoy the small amount of heat. My partner really enjoyed the flavor but said she didn’t notice the lemon as much. She also enjoyed the kick from the heat. The sardines themselves are on the larger side with about 5-6 tightly packed fish. They had a firm texture and maybe a little bit dry. Overall my partner enjoyed this tin, so I suspect others who like a bit of citrus and heat with their fish will also enjoy it. After having a couple fish on their own, she paired the rest with some cold farfalle whole wheat pasta dressed in the oil from the tin and some olives from an antipasto mix.

  13. LA (verified owner)

    My missteps with French sardines continue. I’d hesitated to try again, but lemon confit–lemon anything–is a major attractor for me. Opened the tin, & a lovely glob of confit was right on top, luring me on. Forked out the first fish…well, tried. Scooped out the tatters & tasted: meh. Very meh. The confit had a turpentineish edge, the oil was pretty tasteless, & the other fish, while firmer, were definitely on the crumbly side. Ooh la non for this one.

  14. Mike Turpie (verified owner)

    7 medium sized sardines in the tin. The oil is lightly but distinctly spicy on first taste. No hint of lemon detected. The fish are neither dry nor soft. Salt is on the low end of properly salted. Including bits of the confited lemon adds citrus flavor to bites. Slightly fishier than my preference. These are fine, but not among my favorite tins.

  15. fibersides (verified owner)

    Back again. Second review after finishing another tin from my recent order. The tin I just ate had five pilchards in there. Definitely the French style where you have a nice firm cook on the deens.

    The lemon and pepper were doing their subtle job keeping the fish first.

    I’ll repeat from my last review, this is a great gateway into all the fine French flavors. Enjoy!

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