Archive for December 14th, 2008

Snack Food Review: Brunswick Canadian Style Sardines in Louisiana Hot Sauce

14 December, 2008

YOU know those little tine of fish. You see them in every supermarket and corner shop in the land. They have a ring pull and are usually filled with sardines. Or mackerel. Or some other type of fish. Well, I’ve been enjoying Princes mackerel fillets and boneless sardines recently. But, what happens when you go beyond the big-name brands?

While looking through Tesco’s ever-growing selection of ethnic food, I found these: Brunswick Canadian Style Sardines in Louisiana Hot Sauce. What they’re doing in the ethnic foods section is beyond me. If you know why Tesco are hiding them there, then do please leave a comment at the end of this post.

Front of wrapper

Unlike they’re British counterparts. These come in a tin, inside a wrapper. If they’re aim is to add a premium feel, then they’ve succeeded. It’s the equivalent of adding foil wrapping to the top of beer bottles. Pointless, but it looks good.

On both sides, there’s a lot of information. Little of which is interesting. If you want me to list the ingredients or whatever next time, then leave a request at the end of this post.

Back of wrapper

They’re serving suggestion involves crackers. Which is a new one to me. They’re web address is www.brunswick.ca. A website that helpfully has a section especially for those of us in the UK at http://www.brunswick.ca/brunswick/unitedkingdom/mainpage.asp. With heritage going back to 1893, Brunswick must know how to make a good tin of fish. And I’m fascinated to see what “Canadian Style” means. So, let’s open.

Tin

Once out of the colourful wrapper, things become a little more functional.

Opening the tin reveals what look like complete sardines. Minus the head and tail. Decanted into a bowl, I can report that they are actually large fragment. They smell of fish. They look as if they were only just in the water. And they have the manky bits I’m not so keen on. The bones and mysterious brown stuff that I try to avoid.

Opened tin

There’s also not a lot of sauce. I was expecting it to be drenched in the stuff like the sardines normally sold here. But it’s not.

How do they taste? First bite was plain. It tastes of plain old sardines. No bad thing if that’s what you want. But I was hoping for hot sauce. As per the billing. Then it hit. Like the after taste of a beer. It does have a hot taste. Hotter than with most UK brands.

They’ve also done a lot less processing than with the UK brands. I’m pulling out nearly complete backbones and stuff. Some of you will love that. But it’s not really what I’m after from tinned sardines.

Right, I’ve just finished eating. What is there to like about Brunswick Canadian Style Sardines in Louisiana Hot Sauce? It’ll please those who like the experience of eating a fish with the convenience of a tin. There’s no mass of sauce to splash all over your clothes. The flavour is hot.

What did I dislike about Brunswick Canadian Style Sardines in Louisiana Hot Sauce? Well, the sardines were so complete; I spent a good deal of time carefully removing the backbones and manky brown stuff. I hope you have an air freshener and a lid on your bin. If anyone has tips for how to dispose of fish bits, leave a message at the end of this post.

In conclusion, Brunswick Canadian Style Sardines in Louisiana Hot Sauce are not bad. Excellent if you like the fish eating experience. Not so good, if, like me, you prefer a bone-free fish. Outstanding hot flavour though. That’s unmatched compared to the brands over here.

Do please leave your corrections, opinions, requests, recommendations and places to buy in the boxes below. Thanks for reading my first food review!

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