Les Mouettes d’Arvor Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Sichuan Pepper


One of my personal beliefs is that the overlap between people who love sardines and the people who love spicy food is an almost complete overlap, and that none of the sardine makers have figured out that they could go huge with bigger flavors. Jenny doesn’t even like sardines and she said, “I’ll try those.” because she’s a big fan of the numb-tingly of the Sichuan peppercorn.

The tingle on these is subtle, not strong at all.

115g tin

Pictured on thai lemongrass salad.

In stock

Gift Wrap This Tin!


Ingredients: Sardines (Sardina pilchardus), extra virgin olive oil, Sichuan pepper, salt


  1. Hream McDan (verified owner)

    Let’s get weird. You see, I hiccup when I eat certain dry foods (e.g. hardboiled eggs) without sauce or a drink. It’s odd but, hey, it’s whatever. I mention this because I’ve never EVER in my life had a tin of sardines make me hiccup. Not even sardines in water have triggered this. But … this tin did.

    Les Mouettes d’Arvor sardines are so, so very dry. Overall, I’m much more disappointed in Les Mouettes d’Arvor than I am at this tin in particular. This being my second tin from them (the first was yuzu/grapefruit which I liked less than this one), there’s a very clear pattern in the texture of the sardines and … I truly dislike it so much. How a sardine *in oil* can be this dense, almost chalky, dry and hiccup-inducing, I have absolutely no idea.

    With that said, let’s talk about this tin. Exciting concept! But the sardine quality makes it just an average tin for my taste. Tons of Sichuan peppercorns in there. Upon opening, you get a wonderful fruity Sichuan aroma. You don’t get a lot of that flavor in the sardines by themselves, but since there are so many peppercorns then it’s very very easy to add as many as you want to each bite. The numbing effect is mild as stated in the description, but happy to say that it does exist a little if you eat the peppercorns. I did like that part of it.

    I can imagine a scenario where this could be a 4 star tin if it was in the right dish, but I simply cannot recommend this as an eat-from-the-tin room temperature option. And as far as Les Mouettes d’Arvor goes … well … 2 strikes, you’re out. It’s clearly not the brand for me and that’s ok. Ferrigno for the French sardine win.

  2. Michael Greenberg (verified owner)

    My first tin of sardines from Mouettes d’Arvor, chosen to go on a bowl of rice (with a few other things—hard-boiled egg, cucumber, Korean filefish banchan, and a scallion). I heated it up gently in water before putting it on the steaming rice.

    The texture was good for me—meaty but not dry, with gentle but pleasant contrast from bones and tails. One other textural note: after heating, the fish were quite fragile, falling apart a bit as I moved them from the tin to the rice with my chopsticks. Not a problem per se, but something to watch out for if you’re going for fancy plating.

    The oil is good, mild olive oil—not a ton of flavor. I got little to no Sichuan peppercorn flavor, though. I ate several whole peppercorns out of the tin, and a few more with the fish and rice, and… nothing. No numbing, no pine-y aroma. I’m not a particularly sensitive instrument, so others might get more out of it.

    Next time I would decant the oil into a pan, heat it up nice and hot, and sizzle the whole bowl with it (as though I were cooking whole fish, Chinese style). As is, these were good sardines and I enjoyed the meal. But I’d probably be happier with a plainer tin that I doctored up myself… not just with peppercorns, but with chili and ginger and garlic, too.

  3. Devyn Scott (verified owner)

    I wish these would have had a bit more flavor! Overall, I liked these, but only after I had put an extra scoop of chili crisp on them. I ate these with sticky rice and enjoyed them, but I think there are other tins I enjoy a bit more.

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.