Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Conservas Pinhas- 152

CONSERVAS PINHAIS: IN TOMATO SAUCE



 APPEARANCE:





NUTRITION:
N/A


PRODUCT OF:
Portugal


INGREDIENTS:
Sardines, Pure Olive Oil, Tomato Sauce, Salt



PRICE:
Thanks to Happiness is Portuguese Made for these tins. 

OVER ALL:
A faint tomato aroma upon opening. Four plump, tightly packed fish to the tin. A mild tomato sauce flavor hits you on first bite, a flavorful sauce. A nice textured fish, the fish holds their shape well while removing from tin. Not a spiny fish, no strong taste or after. A clean tasting fish with good flavor. I consumed the entire tin with out even bringing out any crackers. I would and will eat again. 5 sardines.




CONSERVAS PINHAIS:IN OLIVE OIL



APPEARANCE:


NUTRITION:
N/A


PRODUCT OF:
Portugal


INGREDIENTS:
Sardines, Pure Olive Oil, Salt



PRICE:
Thanks to Happiness is Portuguese Made for these tins. 

OVER ALL:
I'm met with a very faint olive Oil aroma upon opening. Five meaty fish to trhe tin. A mild tasting fish, Olive oil leaves no strong after taste, nor are there any fish after taste. A good even texture throughout the fish, no soft spots. Not a spiny fish.
I've tasted this tin before... Then it hit me, this tin is my childhood! This tin of fish taste exactly the same as the sardines I use to eat with my father as a boy. I would eat again. 5 sardines.




CONSERVAS PINHAIS: SPICED IN OLIVE OIL 125 GRS




APPEARANCE:

NUTRITION:
N/A


PRODUCT OF:
Portugal


INGREDIENTS:
Sardines, Pure Olive Oil, Piri-Piri, Cucumber, Cloves, Black Pepper, Carrot, Laurel, Salt



PRICE:
Thanks to Happiness is Portuguese Made for these tins. 

OVER ALL:
A nice subtle peppery aroma upon opening. Six medium sized fish to the tin, a beautiful amber hue to the oil. A medium textured fish, a faint flavor of clove makes it self known, spice is second row that slowly creeps up; not over powering the blend of flavors this tin possess. A extremely clean tasting fish and oil.The flavors of this tin is superb. if you eat crackers or the sorts with this tin, you are doing an injustice to the fish. The tin leaves me craving more. I will eat again. 5 sardines.





CONSERVAS PINHAIS: SPPICED IN OLIVE OIL 90 GRS



APPEARANCE:

NUTRITION:
N/A


PRODUCT OF:
Portugal


INGREDIENTS:
Sardines,  Pure Olive Oil, Piri-Piri, Cucumber, Cloves, Black Pepper, Carrot, Laurel, Salt



PRICE:
Thanks to Happiness is Portuguese Made for these tins. 


OVER ALL:
 My craving another tin was met with this tin. Being  labeled the same with identical ingredients, I was expecting an identical experience. This tin is more shallow than the one before it, with smaller sized fish. Six small  fish to the tin, spice heat does not take a 2nd row to this tin. A nice heat hits you on first bite, followed by the balance of flavors the tin possess. Another tin of great tasting fish as above. This tin is my favorite to date, mouth orgasm. Not a spiny fish, a great textured fish, no after taste present; just a even spice after tone. A great tin of fish. This must be what happy Sardines taste like. 5 strong sardines!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Vintage King Oscar



King Oscar Vintage. I never knew such a thing existed other than the tin of King Oscars' that I occasionally find  in the back of a cubbard. That is until this past December, when King Oscar ran their annual Haiku contest. Select winners were awarded a tin of Vintage 1999 King Oscar Sardines. I was fortunate enough to win such a tin. I was also fortunate enough to receive three tins from other sardine Eaters that could not bring themselves to eat a tin of vintage sardines.  Up until then, I thought only the French aged their sardines. It seems Norwegians have their little fish secrets--at least starting in 1993, when King Oscar first started aging Sardines. From KO Facebook:
 "Every year since 1993 when the tradition began, King Oscar produces a small batch of "Vintage Bristling Sardines" from what is considered the best catch of any particular year. This short run is sold in select stores in Norway, otherwise we store small quantities for special occasions".

King Oscar Vintage Sardines come in a set of three in a gift box that includes a certificate with information about the fishing boat, along with the place and date of the catch. Only receiving one tin, I did not receive a box or certificate. I would of like to, honestly. I wonder what they did with all the empty boxes? 



Photo: Via King Oscar product page. http://www.kingoscar.no/produkt/argangssardiner/

I've always been a fan of wrapped label tinned sardines, which is more popular in Portugal. Many sardine canneries are using plastic wrapped tins.
label from the 2013 year. Photo via King Oscar Facebook.



Only having aged sardines from France, I was curious as to what to expect from King Oscar. My first thought was how are they ageing them? Setting them in a dark warehouse somewhere perhaps... are they being flipped periodically throughout the years? I'm a huge fan of aged sardines, especially French ones. 

Popping open the tin, I am met with an aroma of olive oil. In King Oscar fashion, they are a tin of two layers. All else in appearance is what you would expect from a tin of King Oscar. 








    Removing the fish from the tin, using the server, they held their shape well.  Pretty little fish.









Being a tin of "Vintage" King Oscar, I found it only suiting to break out the vintage King Oscar sardine prong. (Being made in Germany, I'm curious about the year this device was made?)


These sardines were softer in texture compared to the ones not aged. The little fish broke apart pretty easily while attempting to impale the little fish. 






It was time to go back to the Sardine Server to get these little tender fish out of the tin. 



The fish themselves had a very mild flavor. The olive oil balanced out nicely. Like wine, olive oil in any given year can make or break a can of sardines, sometimes contributing to a bitter taste or some may even call it a green taste. I took my time to consume the tin. It was a very good treat indeed. While a tin from 1999 may seem like an old tin, I've had tins much older. The quality of the these fish and tin remains great. I would like to see these offered in the States, but I'm sure it would be based on consumer wants or willingness. 

Bottom of tin: Norway



Sadly, most Americans live by that expiration date printed on food packages . A day before or after, and people trash it. Aged sardines may be a hard sale to the mass public. If you have never tried aged sardines, as I've said numerous times, "You owe it to yourself." While you may not be able to find some vintage King Oscars nearby, you should be able to locate some aged French sardines at a specialty store or even online. Or, you can age your own. I always have some tins on hand that's ageing. I flip them about every 6 months. Just store them in a dark, cool location. 


I like to keep sardines for ageing in old military ammo cans. The size will determine how many tins they will hold. (Olive oil seems to be medium of choice for aging sardines.) I use a medium sized ammo can. Each ammo can holds 27 tins of sardines.



vintage, King Oscar, 1999. Vintage Stanley thermos around 1913.

With the Vintage Sardines, who could resist some photo ops. Sardine food porn at it's finest.

For more info on King Oscars aged sardines click HERE

King Oscar offers different variety of flavors of little fish in different areas.

Check out their other sites for more info.


Click HERE to see what is offered in other countries. 


Rather it's aged sardines or a tin fresh off the shipping truck, keep popping those tins, Sardine Eaters!








Wednesday, September 23, 2015

New Tins on the block

King Oscar is at it again. More flavors are being tested for their bristling sardines.



I was able to give two new test products a taste test. I can't disclose too much info at the moment since the products are still hush hush. I am curious to see which one or if both will make it to market.
Both tins were good in their own way. I ate both tins alone for half the tin. I finished off the tins with light bread. I can see one tin really resonating with the older generation, and the second tin just being for every one. The 2nd tin holds a high place in the flavor category amongst similar flavors of other sardines.
  I will release more info about these two tins once I'm cleared.

           

I must admit, I have forgotten how good just a couple of little fish wrapped in a slice of bread truly is. It takes me back to my child hood. My father had this orange/reddish oblong plastic dish he would place on the table. Whenever this dish was placed on the table I knew we would be eating one of two things: egg salad or sardines. That was all this dish was ever used for. He would open up two tins and dump them in the dish, he'd bring out a loaf of light bread, and we'd dig in. I recall him spooning out the oil from the dish and spreading it on his bread before placing the sardines onto the bread. I would just put sardines on a slice of bread, roll it up and squeeze the bread, making sort of a tightly wrapped fish snack. I never understood why he would dump two cans into a single bowl for us to share instead of just eating out of our own tin, but I'm glad he did.


As soon as I opened the can, the clouds parted... Make of that what you will






1968 Vintage


I came across some nice vintage 1968 Yugoslavian sardines a while back. Naturally, I was told these were not for consumption. Where most people would put them on a shelf for display, trying them out was my first instinct. Seeing only the occasional rust spots on the can with no signs of leakage or can swelling, I knew I would have to try these.
Josip Broz Tito by Yousuf Karsh
I couldn't help but wonder if these could be from Tito's personal collection or were in some college student's pack during the protest of 1968.
Students in 1968 in Belgrade


After unwrapping the tin, I discovered that no key was included. I broke out my sardine server that also doubles as a tin key. The smell of metal from the can was very noticeable.


Rolling down the lid I expected to find dry prune-like fish, a can of fish mush, or just an aroma of decaying fish that was 47 years old.



To my surprise, a nice aroma escaped from the tin, a faint sardine and oil aroma. I was impressed with the appearance of the fish, an oil-filled, tightly packed tin of fish. It looked better than most tins I get today.


Removing the fish from the tin, I was surprised to discover how firm the fish was and how well it held its shape. On first bite, the fish possessed a good texture, salt is noticeable, and then... the taste of metal stormed my mouth as if I were eating the tin instead of the fish. The after taste was pure metal.  My tongue felt as if it had suddenly grown fur. After three pints, the taste remained in my mouth.  After 6, it was not as bad. My tongue felt fake for several hours and more pints later. I did not finish the tin. One plump fish was enough. I suffered no ill affects, except for drinking all my beer, from the sardines.



I love aged sardines. I keep several cases on hand that I'm always aging. And while these may not have been ideal, in a survival situation, the shelf life of tinned sardines is hard to beat!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Shwartz-151

SHARTZ: IN OLIVE OIL 



APPEARANCE:


NUTRITION:
Serving size per container: 2

Calories- 130
Total Fat- 10g
Cholesterol- 75mg..
Sodium- 240mg
Protein- 11g


PRODUCT OF:
Morocco


INGREDIENTS:
Sardines, Olive Oil, Salt



PRICE:

OVER ALL:
A faint oil and sardine aroma upon opening. A tightly packed tin of fish. Four very plump fish to the tin. A very meaty fish. A mild tasting fish. Patches of scales are present; not noticble. Fish was purged, traces of stomach content present. No strong taste or after. Not a spiny fish. I would eat again. 3 1/2 sardines.



Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Filtuna- 150

FILTUNA: IN OLIVE OIL




APPEARANCE:

NUTRITION:
Serving size per container: 1

Calories- 202
Total Fat- 12.4g
Cholesterol- 39mg..
Sodium- 380mg
Protein- 24.2g


PRODUCT OF:
Morocco


INGREDIENTS:
Sardines, Olive Oil, Salt



PRICE:

OVER ALL:
Oil aroma upon opening. Three large, scaled fish to the tin. Salt hits you on first bite, a dry fish, a medium textured fish. No strong taste or after. A very meaty fish, scales not noticeable. Not a spiny fish. 3 Sardines.









FILTUNA: IN VEGETABLE OIL





APPEARANCE:


NUTRITION:
Serving size per container: 1

Calories- 221
Total Fat- 13.4g
Cholesterol- 36mg..
Sodium- 211mg
Protein- 23.6g


PRODUCT OF:
Morocco


INGREDIENTS:
Sardines, Soybean Oil, Salt



PRICE:

OVER ALL:
A strong fish and oil aroma upon opening. Three fish to the tin. Salt hits you on first bite. A dry, crumbly fish. A fish flavor is present. A deep musky fish after taste is present. A meaty fish, not a spiny fish. I wouldn't eat again. 0 Sardines








FILTUNA: SPICEY IN VEGETABLE OIL




APPEARANCE:

NUTRITION:
Serving size per container: 1

Calories- 186
Total Fat- 13.6g
Cholesterol- 38mg..
Sodium- 276mg
Protein- 22g


PRODUCT OF:
Morocco


INGREDIENTS:
Sardines, Soybean Oil, Hot Pepper, Salt



PRICE:

OVER ALL:
two large, scaled fish to the tin. A faint oil aroma upon opening. One large chili pepper is present. A mild tasting fish, fish is a bit on the dry side. Scales are not to noticeable. No strong fishy taste or after. Heat is a creeper, it slowly appears as you eat the fish; a nice mild heat. A meaty, flaky fish. I would eat again. 4 Sardines