“ Brand: Sainsbury's / Type: Fish „
I try and eat a healthy diet whenever possible and part of that is to eat fish at least twice a week and sometimes more and while sardines are not my favourite fish in the world they are rich in oils and as such are good for you, having said that having eaten sardines in Portugal while on holiday I at least do know what excellent sardines look and taste like.
In the Sainsbury's ran ge there are three types of tinned sardines, either in tomato sauce which I dislike, olive oil which are nice and now spring water which seems a bit gimicky but they are about 20p cheaper than the other varieties so I thought I would give them a try however in future I think I will stick to the olive oil variety.
They come in a nice easy ring pull can that allows yu to drain the water after you have just started to lift the lid, you do have to watch out as the edges are sharp and it is easy to get a cut from the lid if you are not careful.
The sardines are quite small and tightly packed in, there are about three sardines to a can most of the time but occasionally four if you are lucky however the weight is the same so it makes no odds, in fact I prefer three as they tend to be larger fish and hence less bones.
The sardines themselves did not have as much flavour as when they are in the olive oil and I found this to be disappointing as usually they have a stronger taste, these were almost diluted whcih I guess is the impact of the water. They were also quite loose and almost flakey as they fell apart easily and I was not impressed by the consistency of the product.
This was a one off purchase for me, sardines are a very occasional purchase for me and in future I will be sticking with the ones in oil.
Sainsbury have three types of canned sardine on their shelves which include sardines in Olive oil, sardines in Tomato sauce and sardines in Spring water.
The Sainsbury sardines in oil and rich tomato sauce are both over seventy pence for 100g can and the sardines in Spring water are under fifty pence for the same sized can.
In all honesty I think that a lot of the new ways of canning foodstuffs ( i.e.-in spring water) is a little bit gimmicky. There are going to be thousands who completely disagree with me but I think that bottled water is a bit of a racket too.
Are they Goodlooking?
Sainsbury have canned the Portuguese sardines in Spring water, 90% of the can comprises of Portuguese sardines and the remaining 10% is Spring water. The can has the standard ring pull and once you have emptied the can then you can wash it out and stick it into the recycling bin.
I found one minor difference when I opened my can of Sainsbury's sardines in Spring water, the water does tend to spill out fairly quickly so you need to ensure that you keep the can in a level position when you are using the ring pull.
Inside of the can the sardines look ...well , like...sardines! But I have to say that they do look a little lack lustre, if the sardines have been canned in olive oil then they look glossy and alluring, if they have been covered in a rich thick tomato sauce then they look and smell very appetising too.
The Spring water is only there to preserve the sardines inside of the can and once you tip it away you are left with half a dozen silvery skinned sardines that have quite a strong odour.
The Sainsbury's Portuguese sardines look clean and I usually eat them loaded onto the top of hot toast. The Other Half is no sardine lover so I can make a pig of myself and split the can of mashed sardine between two slices of toast.
If you really felt that you wanted to you could semi- skin and bone the sardines but I never bother, I empty the contents of the can into a dish, season them well and then load them onto the top of the hot toast - placing the sardine laden toast back underneath the hot grill to sizzle for a minute or two. I have to say that I find that once the sardines have been well mashed the soft bones and skin are really neither here nor there and present no problem.
Sardines can be used in many different ways, I have tried eating them in a salad and a sandwich ( not for me!) and I find that the powerful taste just cancels out any other flavour so I stick to enjoying them on toast.
If I want a change then I add some grated cheese to the top of the mashed sardines and then brown it off, that is really delicious.
Olive oil, Tomato sauce or Spring water ?
The Sainsbury's sardines in Spring water are good, the fishy taste may well be an acquired one but I enjoy them.
I saved about 20 pence by changing tactics and buying the sardines in Spring water as opposed to Olive oil or Tomato sauce but I am not totally convinced that it was money well saved.
I know that the Olive oil is rinsed off before we use the sardines but I feel that the rich oil penetrates the flesh of the sardine and enhances the overall flavour, the fish seems to be far more moist when it has been canned in Olive oil.
The sardines that have been canned in tomato sauce are very tasty, I find there is one small hiccup with those though - you can still taste them for hours afterwards!
But again the rich tomato sauce is welcome and it works magic on the humble sardine.
Sardines are an excellent source of Omega 3 and protein and a can of the Sainsbury's sardines in Spring water contain about 220 calories and sardines are known as an oily fish so for every 100g you have 10.3g of fat.
In conclusion I would certainly buy the Sainsbury's sardines in Spring water again, they are very good value for money. But having said that I feel that the sardines in olive oil comes tops for me, closely followed by the sardines in tomato sauce.
*Not so much a white month as a white week*
My girlfriend are I are off to Germany, the land of red meat and quaffing, in ten days and are behaving ourself by abstaining from alcohol and red meat in the interim. It's our version of a white month, only in miniature. The downside of diets, or saying that you're not going to eat anything with a blanket proscription, is that you start to crave the thing you're not having almost as soon as you decide not to!
In my case, I've been hankering after some protein and so decided to pick up a can of Sainsbury's sardine fillets in spring water to fill my rumbling tum.
*Availability and cost*
Somewhat unsurprisingly, these are only available from Sainsbury's stores, or by home delivery for those of you who purchase your groceries at www.sainsburys.co.uk.
The sardines cost £0.34, which is an absolute bargain for 90g drained weight of sardines (perfect for two slices of toast).
*A fishy treat, just don't look while you're eating them!*
Tinned sardines are very easy to prepare, in that you only need to take off the scales, any small fins etc. and the backbone if required. In all honesty I just mash the whole things onto toast and never find myself gagging or getting bones stuck in my throat. If you are the sort of person who does, however, a few minutes spent 'sanitising' the sardines may be a good idea.
These sardines taste very good - light and fishy, with an agreeably soft texture and no additional overtones from the spring water. I've never been a fan of sardines served in heavy tomato sauce or oil, as I find that these detract from the main event and make them far less palatable. Also, if you like to grill your sardines on bread/toast, the extra oil can lead to them becoming a little burnt, which isn't nice.
Very much so - a tasty snack rich in protein and naturally low in salt and fairly low in fat. Sardines contain a range of fish oils which are good for the human body (eyesight, healthy nervous system etc.) and they are also sustainable as they are actually immature pilchards (a fast growing and very common fish). The tin they come in is recyclable, too, so you don't need to feel guilty about throwing away lots of packaging either.
*What would they go with?*
Personally I like my sardines mashed directly onto wholemeal toast and then grilled lightly with a little pepper and chilli flakes. They're also fantastic grilled lightly and served with green beans, a little aioli and steamed or boiled potatoes. Sainsbury's suggest that they also make a good salad ingredient, although I'm not entirely sure I'd fancy a sardine salad that often.
For a little more on sardines, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/food_matters/sustainablefish.shtml#sardines