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Friday, May 03, 2013

King Oscar Brand Brisling Sardines

I have been saying for a while how sardines are such an underrated fish. Here in Australia, sardines are seen as cat food, and most people tend to not want to eat it. Me, I've grown up eating sardines and I love them. Most Asian countries and many European ones treat sardines as a beautiful source of food. As it's hard to buy fresh sardines here, all my sardine consumption is from the canned variety. I like to add things to the sardines to make it even tastier sometimes.

I was approached by King Oscars to review their new range of sardines. I had never tried their brand before as I usually get the Asian brands from the Asian grocers. I was definitely willing to try out some different sardines to see how they all compared. I noticed on the King Oscar sardine cans that their sardines were labeled as brisling. I had no idea what this meant, so it was off to Google to learn some more. As it turns out, sardines ain't sardines. I had always assumed that sardines were synonymous with herring. That basically it was a canned herring. However, it turns out that 11 different species of fish can be classified as sardines. They include herring, sild, pilchard, and brisling, also known as sprats. As I've noticed personally, the fish range in sizes and I now know they're from all over the world. Nordic brisling are fished from the Norwegian fjords and are rather small when fully mature. They're caught when the fish are mature, which is claimed to give them a better more delicate taste. The fish are also high in Omega-3 I read.

With all this new knowledge, it was time to put these brisling to the ultimate test, my mouth and stomach. Firstly, I noticed that the packaging was really beautiful, but that it also had this year on it. It turns out the actual vintage of the sardines is captured. That was something I had never seen before. I think it's a great idea. If wines have vintages so people can gauge which year's was better, why not other things. Surely the weather conditions causes changes in taste from year to year, so it's good to know if you liked a particular year's produce.

Upon opening the can, I found the sardines were packed beautifully. They were all so uniform in size. When I buy the Asian style sardines, they usually all different sizes and broken into many pieces inside the can. The smell from the sardines was very nice, a slightly smokey smell.

I took each sardine carefully out of the can as I didn't want to break these little beauties. To start off with, I wanted to taste them as they were to get a feel for the flavour. So I put some sardines onto my homemade wholemeal bread with some capsicum. The sardine flavour was really delicious. The flavour was quite delicate and the texture really nice, a slight firmness that gave away as you started to bite into them.

Next up, I decided to try them in a dish that I normally use tuna for. I made a simple spaghetti where I mixed the oil from the sardine can into the spaghetti, added some sliced Spanish onion, coriander and the sardine pieces. It was absolutely delicious. The olive oil the sardine had been marinated in had such a wonderful flavour. The fish paired beautifully with the onion and coriander. It was such a simple lunch made in well under 30 minutes, Jamie Oliver eat your heart out. I really loved this dish, even more than when using tuna. I love the texture of the sardines way more than tuna, which I find a bit more "chunky" and dry sometimes. Flavour wise, again I really enjoy the sardines flavour. Maybe it's because I've grown up eating sardines and only started eating tuna not too long ago or maybe sardines are just the poor cousin to tuna and not respected enough. Either way, I really loved this dish more with sardines than tuna.

From my own personal experience, I highly recommend you try out sardines, especially these beautiful King Oscars sardines. These King Oscar sardines are like the "high-end" of sardines, yet are still extremely affordable. The sardines can be eaten in so many ways, but are also great just out of the can. Be adventurous and try them in place of other fish. They work great in salads, with pasta, anything to do with eggs, and in a multitude of sandwich combinations. I will definitely be buying and eating these King Oscar sardines again as I really loved the taste. An added benefit is that they're a healthy food source as well. Winning.

This is a sponsored post.

15 comments:

  1. They do look very beautifully packaged! Your spaghetti dish looks so tasty, too.

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    1. They're so beautiful in the packets. The spaghetti was so good.

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  2. Small oily fishes are so underrated, yet have such a beautiful flavour. The pic of the sardines in the can is just gorgeous. Sometimes if I have leftover rice I make a nice lunch by frying it up with an egg, some sardines and oil from the sardine can. Yum!

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    1. I love sardines. I must try frying it with an egg and adding some of the oil.

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  3. I love sardines! I grew up with the tomato tinned sardines so any other version has always been a treat and a surprised to me.. love them!

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    1. I'm used to eating the tomato version too, which is also great.

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    2. This is one of the best things i have ever eat wanted to share it with everyone.

      http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/sherried-sardine-toast-recipe/index.html

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    3. Awesome. Thanks for that Bob.

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  4. I just tried some King Oscars for the first time today. In the past I'd always just bought the Santa Maria branded Portuguese sardines, because they were cheap and I figured the Portuguese know a thing or two about sardines, so they must be decent. Anyway surely sardines are all pretty much the same right?

    NO. Not all tinned sardines were created equal. King Oscars, as you have noted, are the creme de la creme of sardines. They are amazing ... Like a gourmet product. The flavour is far, far superior to any other brand. They have just the right amount of salt, a lovely soft and not gristly texture, and the light smoking gives it a unique flavour profile quite unlike any other sardines out there.

    Anyway, I stumbled on your blog cos I was so blown away that I went Googling them. Great post and I agree 100%!!!

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    1. I used to think sardines are all the same too. But not only are there different brands, there are different fish used as well. Who knew.

      The King Oscars sardines have a really delicate flavour and the texture is, as you say, not gristly.

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

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  5. yes we had some today and notice the difference after eating the cheaper end brands - I also will fly the King Oscar brisling flag !

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  6. Wow! I been looking for something different to eat for lunch, or just as a snack, as I've become so tired of fast foods, pizza, burgers, Chinese, sandwich, even hot dogs. I remember having sardines in the past. But never remembered It tasting like this, I realized now It's because they where not this brand. King Oscar, You have blown me away. I truly have to tell you, where have you been all my life. lol... All kidding aside you make an incredible product. Mind you I just had them straight out of the can, with saltine crackers. and believe it or not very cold milk. again, WOW! what a flavor. as with everything in life, Two things I would also like to say, Please! 1- don't ever go out of business, and, 2- And I really mean this, Please don't let all this positive feedback's lid you to Rise the price. I've never done drugs in my life, and I'm 62 yrs. old. but this product you make has got to be a very dangerous drug, cause I got hooked after only ONE TRY. lol.

    Thank you. for such a good, and well packaged product.

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  7. Went Walmart today and came home with $65 worth of King Oscar sardines, it was a small bag......lol

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  8. I'm 63 and cannot imagine life without my dual layer, King Oscar sardines. I've been eating them since I was 5 years old yummy!
    Now being proven to be extremely healthy for you, in so many ways.

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    1. They're great aren't they Phil. A great healthy snack.

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