* Prices may differ from that shown
For the past months or so, I have been on a bit of an economy drive and have been getting a bit fed up with eating potatoes, so after scrounging around the back of the cupboard I found a stock pile of tinned John West Mackerel Fillets (in tomato sauce) along with half a loaf of bread which was on the turn. You don't have to be Gordon Ramsay to figure out this one, but I decided to have Mackerel fillets on toast.
John West Mackerel fillets come in an easy open ring pull type can which means no more trips to the local accident and emergency with bad cuts resulting from the old razor sharp lids and fiddly keys that were sometimes missing. It was always a good laugh watching dad cursing at a can whist trying to open it with a pair of pliers. The only drawback with these ring pull lids are that they sometimes snap off quick at the last seconds and shower you with the contents on the lid; never a good idea with Mackerel fillets unless you want all the cats in the neighbourhood as your best friend next time you go out.
For me there is nothing worse than tucking into a fish meal and discovering a bone; it has you feeling a little apprehensive and unsure as to whether your next mouthful will have another one, it's a bit like discovering egg shell in scrambled egg or in a sandwich. The good news is that I have rarely found a single bone in any of John West's mackerel fillets which seem to be cram packed with just quality chunky fish; apparently there are plenty of 'omegas' in it too which are good for you, but I didn't see any in mine.
The mackerel fillets that I had today contained tomato sauce. The sauce was not too salty and worked well with the fish and made good mopping up with the toast. The quality of the fish doesn't seem to vary from tin to tin, but the amount of sauce does, which is never a big problem because the fish is so tasty that you don't really need a lot of sauce. The texture of the fish is really meaty and doesn't seem to have any nasty bits thrown in just to make up the weight.
There is one particular drawback with eating mackerel fillets and that's the after breath and fishy burps. It's a no brainer really but don't go eating these any time before socialising, going for an interview or going on a date.
All in all, I would definitely buy this particular brand over any other tinned fish as right from the moment that you tip it onto the plate, the meat holds together nice and chunky like a quality steak, with no unsightly bits of skin and bones, and a smell of fresh fish rather than a fishy smell.
Asda have the 125g tins for 93p, they are a little more expensive than a shops own brand, but in my opinion are definitely worth the extra because you are almost guaranteed to receive a quality product.
Each 125g tin contains -
13.9g fat (2.8g saturated fats)
And of course lots of health boosting Omega 3 fish oils.
Mackerel Fillets in Brine.
A snacky type food that is extremely healthy for you.
It comes in a small Blue tin with the obligatory ring pull. Be careful the top is devilishly sharp. I usually have a tin in my bag when working nights. Great when you want something easy and quick.
They have that real sea air smell to them and once on toast are simply delicious to eat. My wife and I sometimes have a tin for lunch.
Empty the tin into a bowl and a bit of pepper, mash up a bit and serve on hot toast. Very filling and healthy.
If your trying to keep a balanced and healthy diet then you can't go wrong here. The are packed with natural Omega 3.
Other ways to be eaten are chopped up and mixed in with a salad or my favourite for nights is simply put onto plain white bread and made into a sandwich. De-lish.
Don't expect a kiss of the wife afterwards as even with giving your teeth a good scrub your breath will still smell. Although the cat might give you a lick.
Oh one more thing I am glad to say that I have never found any bones in the tins, I now there shouldn't be any, with them being fillets, but you never know.
Current prices have rocketed and a tin now costs round £1.28 in my local Tesco extra.
Other Varieties from the John west range include, the Mackerel Fillets in Tomato sauce and sunflower oil (my favourite).
I like to make sure that I have a nice balanced diet and I eat quite a bit of fish as fish oils are very good for your heart and general circulation and should form part of a balanced diet, also I like to vary what I eat so I always like to have a couple of tins of tuna and mackeral in the kitchen cabinets for those oocasions where I need a quick lunch and do not have time to cook some fresh fish.
These mackeral fillets by John West are ideal as a small tin is just right to either eat with some salad or to have on some wholemeal bread as a sandwich. They are packed tightly in the tin with either sunflower oil or brine, I prefer the sunflower oil as the brine is too salty for me.
The tin is easy to open as it has a ring pull on the top howeer the edge is quite sharp so you have to be careful when opening and disposing of the lid.
This mackeral has quite a strong taste and these are no different so I must admit I would not eat these before going out and you always need to brush your teeth afterwards. They are a light brown mostly with the odd dark area, I find them much nicer and less fiddly than tinned sardines which I never buy, if I want sardines I only eat them when holidaying in the mediterranean.
These are great value and a tin is about sixty nine pence in Tesco.
John West Mackerel Fillets
John West Food Company began trading in 1969 and specialise in fish products.
The company sell fresh, tinned, packaged and jarred food and seafood's. Their range contains products such as Tuna, Sardines, Muscles, Oysters, Herring, Yellowtail and Blue Grenadier.
Mackerel Fillets are one of John West's tinned products. This product is available in small 125g tins and contains mackerel fillets in brine. Mackerel is a small oily fish that can be found anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere and can be fished in most waters around the British Isles.
The Mackerel in Brine tastes really great. It is a very strong tasty tasty food. My description would be oily, salty and very strong tasting fish, it is generally very soft and almost melts in your mouth. The fish is versatile and be served with toast or salad or chopped through pasta etc. They are very convenient and can be served cold or heated in just a couple of minutes in the microwave.
The small tin is small and colourful with a ring pull to ensure easy opening. The tinned is suitable for recycling and can be washed easily to prevent any smells in the bin.
Nutritiously mackerel is very good for you as it is high in good fats like Omega3 that is essential for a healthy heart. Each 125g tin contains only 125 kcals.
Overall this is a really tasty convenient and healthy food
The first time I got a taste for the humble mackerel was on a trip to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland when I was only a teenager. I spent the night in Ullapool, waiting for the morning ferry to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, and decided to take a short fishing trip on one of the many small vessels that ply for hire at the quayside. Using simple hand lines, we reeled in herring and mackerel literally by the score, and I'm sure that the boat owners made a tidy pile of extra profit from all the fish that were left behind by the amateur anglers!
Anyways, myself and a friend kept back a few for our evening meal, and fried them up in an old frying pan on a wood fire on the beach. Mackerel is an oily fish, and we simply skinned them and then fried them in their own natural juices. It was a meal fit for royalty, and totally scrumptious, and ever since that experience mackerel has been a particular favourite of mine.
But the mackerel you buy in your local supermarket or fishmonger is highly unlikely to taste as good as a fish that you cook straight from the sea, unless you are fortunate enough to live near to a fishing port. That's why these days I tend to go for the tinned variety, and especially fish by the manufacturers John West, their sardines and Mackerel Fillets being firm favourites.
Most of you will have probably be aware of the long standing slogan that the company use in their advertising.
"It's the fish that John West reject that make John West the best."
I can't personally vouch for the veracity or otherwise of that statement, but what I can say is that I eat their products regularly as part of my weekly diet, and find that the flavour and quality is universally good and never seems to vary.
John West Mackerel Fillets come in a small tin containing 125g, with a peel back lid. (Just like their sardines) You can buy them preserved in brine, or in a tomato sauce flavour. Both are very tasty, and I like them both equally well, depending on my mood at the time. As the name itself suggests, the fish is filleted before it is canned, so you don't have to concern yourself about wee nasty fish bones catching in your throat.
My own favourite way of eating them is just as they come, on a couple of freshly buttered slices of toast. Yummy, and just the business when I fancy a change from another of my all-time favourite snacks, baked beans on toast. I often eat them as a late supper after my wife and teenage daughter have gone off to bed, which is when I usually watch a DVD. (Less distractions!)
If I'm in the humour, I'll occasionally have them lightly grilled, although this won't be to everyone's taste, as it tends to dry out the fish a little, and make the skin crunchy. But each to their own, and I *LIKE* them this way! They're also delicious with a fresh salad for your evening meal on a pleasant summer's evening on the patio.
The ingredients are totally natural, and only salt, water, and sugar are added. As well as concentrated tomato puree if you are eating the flavoured variety. And they are supposedly *VERY* good for you, and in particular for the old ticker, (heart) as they are rich in 'Omega 3', which is found in abundance in oily fish. In fact, doctors recommend that you should eat at least one meal of oily fish a week to keep your heart in good trim.
At just over the 1 Euro mark for a 125g tin, (as ever, shop around) they are hardly likely to put to big a hole in the weekly shopping budget.
April 2008. Review edited for posting here at dooyoo.