Sardines come in dozens of varieties—from tiny smoked brislings to rich, fleshy pilchards. They also come boneless or whole; pickled or packed in olive oil, water, or tomato sauce. Here are some of our favorites. Swimming in fruity olive oil and lemon, 1 Matiz‘s tender Spanish sardines are sustainably harvested using seines off the coast of Galicia. They have a nice briny flavor, and, as with all canned sardines, you can eat the bones. 2 Angelo Parodi‘s meaty Portuguese sardines come packed in olive oil and are delicious spread on a saltine. 3 Bela offers large, mildly flavored Portuguese pilchards packed in a thick, sweet tomato purée; they’re great spread on fresh bread with chopped kalamata olives and capers. 4 Les Mouettes d’Arvor sardines are caught off the coast of Brittany. Their firm flesh results from brining in icy salt water; packed with green peppercorns, they have a spicy lemon flavor that makes them ideal for pâté. 5 Da Morgada Portuguese sardines, packed in olive oil, provide big flaky chunks of meat that work well in stews. Boneless, skinless sardines like these from 6 Angelo Parodi are easy to use in casseroles such as a sardine and Swiss chard gratin. 7 Crown Prince brisling sardines are wood-smoked and have a toasty flavor and firm texture. Packed in olive oil, they’re fantastic with sliced tomatoes on toast. 8 King Oscar tiny Norwegian brisling sardines are packed in water with no salt added, making them great for recipes like fish cakes that call for mild-flavored sardines.
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