THESE are my favourite tinned fish. So far. Unlike Brunswick Canadian Style Sardines, you don’t spend half an hour picking out the bones and mankey bits. And unlike John West Mackerel Fillets in Curry Sauce, they aren’t dry. So far then, John West Boneless Sardines In Tomato Sauce avoid the major pitfalls of tinned fish. But what do you think? And there’s always room for improvement. Time once again to cast a critical net into the sea of tinned fish.
The tin is quite a lot larger yet flatter than most tins of sardines and mackerel. The end result of which is that John West Boneless Sardines weigh 95g. 30g less than the mackerel fillets and 11g less than the very bony Brunswick sardines. That means about a tenth of your usual tin of sardines consists of bones and that grimy stuff you don’t want to eat.
Around the very this sides of the tin is some writing. One side informs you of how doctors recommend that you eat at least one oil-rich dish of fish a week. Imagine how useful it would be having your product recommended by doctors. That’s an endorsement that’s hard to beat. My goal is to find doctors to proclaim the health benefits of emailing me ones bank account details and passwords. I intend to use the proceeds to buy the worldwide stock of oily fish, making me the healthiest and longest living human in the world.
On another side, they say that there might still be some tiny bones in there. So be careful. That the ingredients are sardine fillets, water, concentrated tomato puree, sunflower oil, salt spice and that it may contain mustard. Then the sad news that it was produced in Portugal for John West Foods Ltd in Liverpool. If you can think of a good reason why our own fisherman and fish processors couldn’t produce this for John West, do please leave an explanation in the comments at the end of this post.
The underside of the tin is utterly packed with detail.
There’s a recipe for Sardine Pizza. Opening instructions. The barcode. And a huge table full of nutrition information. None of which I understand. Fortunately, they’ve summarised the important bits at the bottom. This can has 156 calories and 9.5g of fat. Is that a lot? If you know the answer, leave a comment at the end of the post.
Once open, you’re met with filleted sardines. Filleted sardines that look a lot more fish-like than the filleted mackerel I tried a few weeks ago.
What’s more, if you coerce them out of the tin and into a bowl, you can see for yourself something that is recognisably fishy. Yes, you can see the skin. And yes, that is a delicious dollop of tomato sauce from the tin.
What do they taste like? They taste of sardines in tomato sauce. Exactly what they should taste like. They crumble into easily edible chunks with little prodding from my fork. And there is zero mess or preparation. No stringy bones to uncover, attempt to remove and miss pieces of. No gunky grey manky bits to pick around. With the healthy dose of tomato sauce, these John West Boneless Sardines In Tomato Sauce aren’t dry, either.
Are there any downsides? From what I can tell, John West drew up a list of downsides to their tinned fish and produced their boneless sardines range as an answer. Because it addresses nearly everything I thought that was wrong with other tinned fish.
But there must be something. If I had to nitpick, it would be the sauce. In Tesco, there was only tomato sauce, which I have here, and sunflower oil. Fine If you’re making a sandwich, but hardly exciting. Maybe salty old sea dogs are the only people who eat tinned fish. The sort of people who don’t like exciting flavours. I don’t know. But I know that I would love to have some seriously spicy and interesting flavours to go with these perfectly prepared sardines.
How can I sum up John West Boneless Sardines In Tomato Sauce? If you want a tasty, good value, easy to eat small tin of fish, I know of no better choice. The sauce might be boring. But it’s worth it for the time you save picking out bones and other gunk you normally get. A must try choice for the lazy fish fan.
Have you tried John West Boneless Sardines? Do you work for John West? Did you like them? Got any recommendations, requests or places to buy? Then do please leave a comment here.