Sardines are a type of oily forage fish. They are extremely nutrient-rich and are also delectable if you prepare them in a proper manner. But, the most important part is choosing the best sardine brand for freshness and taste.
Currently, sardines are available in cans from various brands. You may feel confused due to the plenty of sardine cans available online. Moreover, a bad can of sardines can certainly cause turmoil in your tummy and even ruin your dish!
So, what is the best sardine brand? The best sardine brand offers wild-caught, fresh, and clean sardines. It also offers a variety of flavors to choose from. It doesn’t contain extra preservatives and GMO ingredients that could affect your health. It offers quality and quantity in accordance with the price.
Well, we have got you covered! In this guide, we will guide you through the best sardine brands that offer high-quality and healthy sardines.
How To Choose The Best Sardine Brand
There are certain things common in almost every sardine brand. Yet, some factors can place one brand over the other. These are the factors that you need to consider while choosing the best sardine brand. Let’s take a look at them:
Type Of Sardine Used
Whenever you’re choosing a sardine brand or even a particular can, look out for the type of sardine used.
Different brands offer different varieties of sardines. For instance, you can find small-sized sardines (brisling) or large-sized ones. You may also find filleted or whole sardines.
Some brands also offer skin-free and bone-free sardines so you can choose them too for more convenience. But, keep in mind that sardines with bones and skin offer better calcium and omega-3 nutrients.
Every brand offers a specific nutritional value for sardines. Make sure you check it out on their label before purchasing a can.
The nutritional value can let you know about the various nutrients, like proteins and minerals present in the sardines. It can also help you gauge the sodium and fat content if you’re diet-conscious.
Moreover, it’s essential to check for any allergic contents in the sardine cans of brands so you can avoid those if required.
Medium Type Or Flavors
Sardine brands store sardines in different liquids or mediums in the can. The most common sardine mediums include a water-based medium or even an oil-based medium.
In the water-based medium, the fat content is less. Hence, it becomes suitable for people who don’t want any extra calories. But, it may make the sardines taste a bit bland.
In the oil-based medium, you can find olive oil or vegetable oil medium. An olive oil medium is excellent as it enhances and improves the taste of sardines.
Apart from water and oil, you can also get sardines inside tomato sauce or Tapatio sauce.
Almost every sardine brand makes use of preservatives to keep the sardines fresh. Yet, you may find some brands that offer preservative-free options or at least fewer preservatives than the rest.
So, we recommend checking out the ingredients to make sure how many preservatives are used and if you’re okay with them.
The 9 Best Sardine Brands Of 2021
Keeping in mind all the above factors, we have compiled a list of the 9 best sardine brands in 2021. These include:
|King Oscar Sardines
|Olive oil-packed brisling sardines
|Wild Planet Wild Sardines
|Available in various flavors
|Comes with skin and bones still intact
|Crown Prince Sardines
|Beach Cliff Sardines
|Come packed in tomato sauce
|Packed in spring water
|NURI Portuguese Sardines
|Come packed with added spices and vegetables
1. King Oscar Sardines
If you are looking for the best sardine brand, then King Oscar sardines won’t disappoint you.
They are one of the most popular sardine brands today owing to their excellent product, service, and customer reviews.
King Oscar brand provides brisling sardines. As we read above, these sardines are smaller in size. But, this brand makes sure to pack it with the best of nutrients such as proteins, omega-3, calcium, and iron.
Moreover, the sardines are extremely fresh as they are caught in the clean waters of Norway. After that, they are wood-smoked which gives them a unique and enhanced flavor as well as a crisp look.
From a health point of view, King Oscar sardines are low in carbs and contain no GMO ingredients.
Apart from extra virgin olive oil, you have many options to choose from, such as water, tomato sauce, mustard, etc.
The only drawback here is that the King Oscar sardines may have a slightly overpowering smell. This brand is also more expensive than other brands.
2. Wild Planet Wild Sardines
Wild Planet is also a well-known and established brand. After all, it has everything that you would want in your sardines!
Wild Planet sources sardines from the clean waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
This adds to the freshness of the sardines! Moreover, the sardines are also sourced sustainably unlike the harsh practices of other local brands.
If you’re looking for both filleted and skin-free sardines, then you’re in luck as Wild Planet offers those.
They are available in various flavors and mediums including water, olive oil, lemon, marinara, and many more! You get many options for the quantity too.
As Wild Planet offers a wood-smoked flavor to the sardines, they taste a lot better than a random sardine that can be bought from a local store. They contain many useful nutrients too, including proteins, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids.
The best part is that Wild Planet sardines somewhat smell like smoked salmon instead of having a typical fishy smell. This is ideal for people who want to try sardines for the first time.
Again, one major drawback here is that the price may be too high for some people.
3. Matiz Sardines
You almost can’t ever go wrong with the Matiz brand for sardines!
It offers the absolute best sardines caught from the coast of Spain. So, if you don’t mind sardines with skin and bones, Matiz should definitely be on the top of your list.
Here’s why: Matiz sardines have a unique and more seasoned taste due to the presence of Spanish olive oil. You can also go for other flavors, like smoked, natural lemon, or extra virgin olive oil.
Moreover, the size of the sardines is also bigger than usual if you’re particularly looking for that.
Matiz sardines have fleshy and dense meat which is surely a delight to the taste buds! The taste isn’t too fishy and is good enough for first-timers too.
These sardines are non-GMO and packed with only healthy nutrients. So, you can wolf down these without worrying about extra calories or fat!
Matiz won’t be a suitable brand for you if you are looking for skinless and boneless sardines. They may also offer less quantity due to the bigger size of sardines.
4. Crown Prince Sardines
Crown Prince sardines are surely an affordable buy with great quantity.
So, if you don’t want to opt for the expensive options we have listed above, then this one is the perfect match!
Crown Prince sardines are sustainably sourced from the coasts of Mexico. They are non-GMO and make for a healthy meal packed with omega-3, proteins, vitamin D, and iron too.
They are also skinless and boneless for added convenience.
You get unique flavors in these sardines such as – soybean oil, mustard, Louisiana hot sauce, water, and tomato.
When it comes to the taste, these sardines are packed with flavor and meaty texture. In fact, you may even be able to use these as a substitute for tuna.
However, keep in mind that Crown Prince sardines aren’t BPA-free, unlike King Oscar and Wild Planet sardines. These sardines are also a bit huge and may contain high mercury content, unlike smaller sardines.
5. Beach Cliff Sardines
Beach Cliff sardines may offer a different and exotic taste due to the presence of crustaceans.
So, if you are tired of the same old taste of sardines, you may want to try Beach Cliff!
Beach Cliff sardines are sourced from clean water and have a certain standard of freshness. They’re also filled with protein-rich substances.
These sardines are GMO-free but keep in mind that they are not BPA-free.
The taste of Beach Cliff sardines is excellent as it has a slightly smoky flavor. These sardines also don’t have a strong fishy smell or taste that can ruin your experience. The size is suitable for dishes like pasta and salads.
You can get multiple flavors ranging from mustard, tomato, water, soybean oil, and many more.
However, there have been some complaints about too many bones in the sardines.
You may also want to steer clear if you want pure sardine flavor only as these may contain crustaceans too.
6. Ligo Sardines
Do you want sardines that are spicier and more flavorful than the usual American-style ones? Well, then Ligo sardines can add a bit of spice to your meal for sure!
Ligo sardines are sourced from the fresh and clean waters of the Philippines. They are GMO-free and contain great nutrients to keep you both healthy and happy.
But, the one thing that sets Ligo sardines apart from its competitors is the unique taste. These sardines come in tomato sauce with spicy and extra spicy options.
They also have a soupy texture which makes them perfect to eat with rice or even without anything.
However, some people may not like the soupy and creamy texture.
Ligo sardines don’t contain any bones so you can eat them straight from the can without any effort. They’re also quite affordable in comparison to other sardine brands.
Bear in mind that users have complained about the discrepancies in the prices and weight. So, double-check the prices to avoid paying more!
7. Season Sardines
Season sardines are as old as time. They have been in the industry for over 50 years now due to their authentic taste, quality, and nutritional benefits.
Sourced from the clean and pure waters of the Atlantic, Season sardines provide freshness and unique flavors. They are also skinless and boneless which makes them easier to eat and tastier too.
The flavor of these sardines is on the mild side. It is because they don’t contain any added spices that overpower the taste of the sardines.
They also contain the best nutrients like proteins and omega-3.
As the sardines used are brisling sardines, you can expect small-sized fish. This makes it suitable for salads, soups, or even stews.
The ingredients used in Season sardines are organically sourced and gluten-free. The packaging is BPA-free as well.
Currently, the prices of Season sardines have increased but nonetheless, they are still affordable. They may also taste bland if you are looking for spicier or tangier sardines.
8. Brunswick Sardines
Brunswick sardines offer extraordinary sardines. These sardines are sourced from clean and pure waters and packed in spring water.
This definitely sets the Brunswick brand apart from its competitors.
The clean spring water helps in retaining the original flavor of sardines. Moreover, these sardines are extremely tender and a treat to the palate.
The availability of unique flavors such as spring water, mustard and dill sauce, tomato and basil sauce, and olive oil make this product worth buying.
Brunswick sardines come with no bones or skin. This makes it perfect for those who want a skinless or boneless option.
From the price point of view, Brunswick sardines are one of the most affordable wild-caught sardines available today.
The only major drawback here is that the brand markets its sardines with a ‘no salt’ tagline yet there’s a high amount of sodium/salt present. So, avoid it if you don’t want more salt in your diet.
9. NURI Portuguese Sardines
The last on our list today is the NURI Portuguese Sardines.
If you’re looking for sardines in sauces that don’t smell too fishy or taste too awful, then NURI sardines won’t disappoint you!
These sardines are sourced from clean seawater and packed on the same day to avoid the fish from becoming stale.
The flavors are lovely with added spices and vegetables. Yet, these flavors don’t overpower the tender taste of the sardines.
Moreover, these sardines also lack a strong fishy smell or taste. Hence, they are suitable if you’re eating sardines for the first time.
NURI sardines are typically larger than American ones. So, you might want to keep this in mind before buying.
These sardines are non-GMO and contain fewer preservatives. They mainly contain olive oil for preservation which enhances the taste too.
Currently, you can get four packs of NURI sardines in flavors like olive oil, spiced olive oil, tomato and olive oil, and spiced tomato and olive oil!
NURI sardines are a bit on the expensive side. Some people may also not like the texture and taste of these sardines as they are slightly different from the others.
As you can see, almost all of the sardine brands that we have named have excellent taste, freshness, and health standards. Yet, the final decision is entirely up to you.
For instance, if you want an expensive but non-BPA option then go for King Oscar or Wild Planet sardines. But, if you want sardines that are flavorful and spicy, then you can opt for Ligo or NURI sardines.
Crown, Season, and Brunswick sardine brands are great for an affordable buy! Matiz sardines and Beach Cliff sardines offer sardines with bones and skin.
So, when picking out your sardines, know your requirements, consider this buying guide, and make a well-informed choice to find the most delicious sardines that suit your taste buds!
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