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King Oscar Sardines - Cheap Eats at Bloglander

It appears I have been assimilated.

… into the Cult of the Sardine, that is. I no longer get up in the morning to eat Frosted Flakes. I start off the day with a big bowl of King Oscar Sardines. Finest Brisling Sardines, I might add. Straight outta the can. If I’m feeling frisky, I chop up some green onion to top it off with. Forget milk, it doesn’t go well with sardines.

(All around the world, cows just cried a tear.)

Around 11 in the morning I start to get the munchies. I used to snack on some Fiddle Faddle or Crunch and Munch, but now I just break open another tin of sardines. Seeya, carbs. I plan to eat half and save the remainder for a midnight snack. I go for the Mediterranean Style King Oscar Sardines this time. Ooh, it has red bell pepper and black olives. It’s like a party in my mouth and Jack (sic) Cousteau is invited. Pass the clam dip, Zissou.

King Oscar Sardines - Cheap Eats at Bloglander

I decide to hit the Long Beach Aquarium for lunch. I know what you’re thinking – no trip to the aquarium is complete without a meal of fish and chips (fish sticks = chopped and formed haddock filets from Alaska). I decide to bypass the tradition and sneak in another tin of King Oscar sardines underneath my jacket. Since I’m in a spicy mood, I bring along the Gourmet Chipotle Sauce flavor. I’m surprised that the Chipotle taste actually matches up OK with fish. It goes down really well, especially after a nice swig of bat ray feeding tank water. But I have to hightail it outta there since the guards don’t take kindly to me feeding Chipotle sardines to the jellyfish.

A little kid points at me while I’m running and asks his mom, “Why does the man smell like fish?” A word to the wise: do not run with an empty tin filled with sardine juice. You will spill it all over you.

Later at home, after watching The Blue Planet for the 54th time, I make some dinner plans. Here is the deal. I’m going to have some Balsamic Vinaigrette King Oscar Sardines for a fishy “side salad” and then go with Dijon Mustard King Oscar Sardines for the main course. This is like the most amazing fishfeast I’ve ever had. Tender fishies lovingly dunked in flavorful gravy.

The cat comes by to say hello. I ignore it. Sardines, my Precious, sardines.

King Oscar Sardines - Cheap Eats at Bloglander

Finally, to top off another excellent sardine filled day, I make a sardine omelette for dessert using the leftover tin from my morning snack. If you haven’t tried this, you should. You actually pour in the juice from the sardine into the egg mixture. I first saw it on a Japanese TV show where they said that sardine juice from a can was one of the best “brain foods” you could eat.

I wouldn’t make stuff like this up. Dude.

OK, it is back to Reality. The non-sardine filled variety of Reality. Well, ok, just a few sardines in this Reality. I’ve tried most of the flavors of the King Oscar Sardines sent in for review, and can honestly say these are some of the best I’ve had. I guess it isn’t too hard to top bulk sardines purchased at the Dollar Store. But these were pretty darn good – tender, delicate and for the most part, intact. They have a slightly salty flavor but aren’t as strongly fishy as some of the other ones I’ve had. Just don’t get the oil on your clothes!

They’re from Norway and are the Brisling variety (according to the package they’re smaller and more delicate than the conventional sardines). By the way, there’s an old commercial for them if you would like to watch. There’s also a Sardine Diet, which just goes to show you that I’m not so crazy after all. Woah. I guess I AM crazy.

They have some that are “two layer” and others in “one layer”. As far as quality goes, these pretty much kick ass – for price, I think it’s going to be a bit spendy. You might be able to get a one layer can for around two bucks or less, especially if you buy them by the case. Which is something I’m going to have to consider, seeing as my Reality has been painted sardine-colored lately.

Price: Free
Found At: Sent in for review
Cheap Eats Score: 7/10

[Editor's Note: My new year's resolution was to butcher the English language while cramming as many non sequitur phrases into reviews as possible. I like to make them almost completely unpalatable so that Grandma Jekeriah from Tennessee does not email me thinking I own Banquet Frozen Meals. Look for reviews to get crazier and krazier and querazier as the year goes by. Thank you very much.]

27 Responses to “King Oscar Sardines”

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  1. Andrea (Off Her Cork) Says:

    We buy these all the time (for our dog actually, the spring water variety)! They are the best sardines we can find easily. No matter where we’ve lived we have always been able to purchase them. :)

  2. adam barnett Says:

    I know I should try them, but they frighten me. Cold fish? With bones?

  3. Cheap Eats Editor Says:

    @andrea – our cat did end up getting some eventually, haha.

    @adam – try them! the bones have been cooked so long, you just chew them up and you don’t even notice it. My parents used to can their own fish, mostly salmon whose bones are much larger, but you could eat those bones too. When you cook it long enough, in pressure cooker, the bones actually have a nice texture – its hard to describe.

  4. skibs Says:

    I have never tried sardines to this day, but you make them sound tasty enough.
    But as far as the Sardine Diet link which just goes to show us that you’re not so crazy after all…it’s been removed, heh ;)

  5. Cheap Eats Editor Says:

    @skibs – wow, that was there just a little while ago. I wonder if I sent them too much traffic, so they thought someone was trying to pull a fast one. Under the reason for deletion it says “blatant advertising”.

  6. slang Says:

    I love these things…I have tried most of the flavors too. I like them much better than the cheaper sardines (which I still buy.) I like to throw them in a salad for a little boost of protein.

  7. ratbuddy Says:

    There was indeed a ‘sardine diet’ wikipedia entry, but it was pretty much shameless self promotion for some quack trying to sell books. I had it nominated for speedy deletion.

    Sorry to ruin your link, but I really get mad when I see idiots like that trying to game the ‘pedia for their own benefit :)

  8. Cheap Eats Editor Says:

    @slang – I was thinking of putting them on pizza, per a reader’s suggestion…

    @ratbuddy – No problem, i shoulda read the wiki entry fully but I was in a hurry. Anyhow, it sounds more funny now! Like I was high on sardines…

  9. Mike Says:

    Normally your photography has a way of making average things look yummy. Not even good lighting can save these, though

  10. yummyyumm Says:

    you should look for sardines in the dollar store!

    i found some in mustard and in tomato sauce for $1 for 3.35 oz containers, and some kippers for $1.50 for a 6.5oz container, which i thought was good… then I went to my local asian market, and they have 15 oz containers for $1.79!

  11. Cheap Eats Editor Says:

    @mike – I’ve been thinking maybe I’m going about this the wrong way – I probably shouldn’t try so hard to make the food products look so good – it’s not like they’re paying me to be a food photographer! =)

    @yum – what brand did you get? I have had some “sketchy” experiences w/ mystery sardines from the dollar store – but I’m game, as soon as I get over this cold =)

  12. Red Icculus Says:

    They look like used *ahem* prophylactics. DELICIOUS

  13. Tim T Says:

    I enjoy the King Oscar Sardines in Dijon Mustard on top of a saltine… Good stuff and good for you!

  14. Jonny Hamachi Says:

    Great Post.

    Thought you might like sardinesociety.com

  15. Ted Williams Says:

    I favor NO SALT ADDED King Oscar brisling sardines for pure sardine taste and flavors, problem is it is sold in very few markets.

    If available in your area I suggest that you try it.

  16. SueBee Says:

    I like the Meditarianian with Olives brand of King Oscar sardines. It taste great on brown rice. Just dump the can of sardines on top of cooked white/brown rice and you’ve got a meal. I love King Oscar Sardines please bring back the Meditarianian with Olives. Iam in the Asburn, Va area.

    Thumbs down for the Sardines by Bumble Bee…YUCK,yuck

  17. kevin king Says:

    where can I find King Oscar sardines, crosspack, in olive oil. They used to be in a black label. Thanks for your help.

  18. mare Says:

    i had sardine pasta plate at a italian restaurant,very good ,went home and made it. You can buy king oscar at walmart… and one more thing.. sometimes i makes sardines with chopped onion ,celery,juice from half lemon and little mayo,great on crackers

  19. Wray Says:

    I know sardines sound gross and they get categorized with anchovies despite being like apples and oranges. Anchovies are hairy and salty, so I don’t care for them whole, grounded in a caesar salad is okay. Sardines tastes almost like tuna, just with a different texture, and yes, some are bone-in, but the bone-in ones means you’ll get 50-70% DRI calcium in a single tin of sardines, so it’s worth getting then bone-in. Yes, you eat the bones, it’s not like a chicken bone, the sardine spines are soft but crunchy, it actually pairs nicely with the meat. And let’s not forget, low to no mercury content!

  20. Leslie Says:

    They are very rich in protein- one can providing 40% of your daily protein requirement. Rich in vitamin D, calcium and other nutrients. It’s one of the most nutritous canned foods around.

    As for them being “cold fish”- they are smoked fish, and smoked meat can be stored at room temperature. I think King Oscar is by far the best tasting brand. My supermarket sells a much cheaper smoked brisling from Latvia, and they are called “Sprats”. They are not bad, costing $1.50 a can.

    I’ve been eating this since I was 3, and it all makes my mouth water. I just don’t get it, how many people there are that claim never to have eaten them, or are afraid to try them. They don’t know what they are missing.

  21. Lethe Says:

    Love me some sardines for breakfast! Yup, the two layer sardines in olive oil are the best, I agree. BUT – how do we beat the price? They are upwards of $3/can these days, can anyone find them for less?
    And here’s a real laugh. I was getting them at the local CVS for $2.49/can. Then they started their “value-pricing” marketing campaign based on the crashing economy. They upped the price to $3.49, then “value-priced” it at $3.00. No, CVS, we consumers are really NOT that stu-hu-pid!

  22. Lethe Says:

    Oh, BTW, the sardine diet is baaaaaack….found this link by chance, if anyone is interested (for laughs?):

  23. Leslie Says:

    I went to the King Oscar company website, and in their picture gallery is an image of two of their cans from around the 1902 period! One is packed in oil, the other is packed in tomato sauce. The graphics are wonderful and old fashioned looking, featuring a red field with gold ornamentation. Nice portrait of the King in the middle.

    Like a true fan, I put this delectable image onto my computer desktop. I don’t tire of seeing it! I may even transfer the image to a t-shirt!

    I am going to write to them, and encourage them to develop a marketing and advertising campaign that reaches out to the very many people who have never tried sardines before and who are afraid to. The health benefits can be emphasized: their richness in vitamin D can help reduce the risk of prostate cancer. For women, the richness in calcium can help with osteoporosis concerns. This is a wonderful product that needs a better marketing plan.

  24. jay Says:

    Sardines are the best canned food on the planet. The very best? Reese Boneless, skinless in olive oil ($3.29)

  25. IGnatius T Foobar Says:

    Not all sardines are created equal! Remember, there are more than 20 different species of fish that are sold as “sardines.” The good ones aren’t cheap, and the cheap ones aren’t any good.

    I definitely agree that King Oscar are quite good. I opened a can of their brisling sardines packed in extra virgin olive oil today (two layers) and ended up downing the whole can in just a couple of minutes. They were really good.

  26. Superfood Snacker Says:

    Awesome & entertaining review, Here’s one thing you should try if you’re looking to bump the healthocity level (That’s not a real word)

    White Rice
    King oscar sardines in Extra virgin olive oil
    Nori Seaweed sushi wraps

    Open the can of sardines & Drain all the oil into your rice cooker with your rice and cook..
    lay 6 sardines accross the middle of your nori wrap
    spread some rice accross it don’t use too much

    Roll & Enjoy

  27. Val Says:

    Very nice article! I’m a sardine and kipper enthusiast also! But haven’t eaten them for breakfast…yet. I do aspire to reach that point, though! Personally, I don’t see the point of eating skinless boneless sardines because you lose so many good nutrients, but I know it’s not to everyone’s liking. If I may, here’s a link to a very interesting and thorough sardine taste-off that you might enjoy–I can’t find many of the sardines she lists but it’s fun anyway. In addition to King Oscar, I’ve been enjoying Vigo brand sardines in tomato sauce (from Spain)…




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