I like to save money. And I also like to eat healthy. Sometimes, these two goals conflict with one another. But with canned sardines, you can have you cake and eat it too. Well, you can have your sardines and eat them too. Hmm, it sounded better the first time.
Sardines are small ocean-dwelling fish that live along the coastline and eat plankton. These small oily fish are rich in nutrients are are widely considered one of the healthiest food sources on the planet. The only more nutrient-dense food I can thing of is canned cod liver.
Are Canned Sardines Good To Eat?
Canned sardines have a reputation for being oily, slimy, and fishy. And while that’s true in general, I’d like to make the case the there are huge differences in quality between the various products on the market.
At my local grocery store, the cheapest canned sardines are made by Chicken of the Sea. They’re available packed in oil, water, and a variety of flavors. They are routinely on sale for only 80 cents a can! That’s an amazing deal, but unfortunately they simply don’t taste as good as the more expensive sardines. They are big and you can kind of feel the bones (which are softened by the canning process). Sometimes you get a sardine that has eggs, which leads to an undesirable texture. And they’re just kind of fishy tasting.
So I tried some other brands of canned sardines. And I quickly realized that the King Oscar is simply superior. The fish are small and bite-sized. They are packed in densely so you know you get your money’s worth. The texture is pleasant. And the flavor is mild and delicious: It tastes like a delicacy, not a cheap budget food.
How To Eat King Oscar Canned Sardines
The nice thing about quality name-brand sardines is that they’re good enough to stand on their own, without any need to cover up the flavor. I like to add just a bit of flavor:
- Put some hot sauce or salsa on it. Frank’s Red Hot or Crystal. My favorite!
- Drizzle them in mustard. Good especially with a spicy brown mustard.
- Some people like tomato sauce. I don’t, but it’s worth trying.
- Put them on crackers with some cheese.
- Mix in some peppers, capers, or other flavorful garnishes.
- Use them to make a cream cheese and sardines dip.
- Eat canned sardines directly out of the can.
Interested in other recipes? Read this forum post for the most complete list of canned sardine recipes I’ve ever found!
What Kind Of Canned Sardines To Get
King Oscar sardines are available packed in olive oil, soybean oil, water, and with a variety of flavorings added. I always get the kind that come in olive oil. I think that olive oil is healthier than soybean oil, and it adds a nice taste. I can always add any flavoring that I want.
If you buy the cheaper sardines, you may notice that they only come in water or soybean oil. That’s because soybean oil is much cheaper than olive oil. If those are my only options, I always go for water. The fish are filled with healthy oils already. Why ruin a good thing?
I have noticed that some ultra-premium brands sell sardines that are gutted and have the skin removed. So all you get is the meat. These look very attractive on a plate. I’ve tried a few of these and find them to be inconsistent in flavor. Flavor is more important than appearance and King Oscar is king of flavor.
King Oscar Canned Sardines Nutrition
Canned sardines are a great source of protein, vitamin D, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. And like most seafood, they have all those trace minerals that humans need in small amounts.
Owing to their smaller size and short lifecycle, sardines are typically lower in mercury and other contaminates that impact so much of our food chain.
King Oscar: Best Canned Sardines
So why not buy the cheaper off brand sardines at the grocery store? I contend that the cheap stuff offers excellent bang-for-your-buck nutrition. And it lasts a long time in the pantry, making it a good item to stow away for a rainy day. But the cheap sardines simply do not taste as good as King Oscar sardines.
King Oscar sardines taste good! They have less of that fishiness and sliminess and more of a hearty flavor. They are good enough to be the centerpiece of a dish instead of something on the side.
Sardines are good for you, but you can only benefit if you actually consume them. It’s worthwhile to seek out sardines that you will eat again and again.