Snack Food Review: John West Sild

SO I’ve found some good tinned fish. John West Boneless Sardines were tasty and free of yucky bits. John West Mackerel Fillets In Curry Sauce were okay, but too dry. But there’s bound to be better out there. Which is why I’m trying this: John West Sild In Tomato Sauce.

John West Sild In Tomato Sauce front of tin

I don’t know anything about sild. But the picture on the front looked nice. And it features a competition to win a “luxury get-away to the Isle of Mull”. I couldn’t resist picking up this 110g tin from the shop-shelf in Tesco.

The sides and back of the tin don’t tell much about Sild either. The back is just a big list of ingredients and Nutrition Information.

John West Sild In Tomato Sauce back of tin

It has 232 calories and 14.3g of fat. Which is uninteresting. What do Sild go with? How do you eat them? The tin doesn’t say. You can thank me for taking the risk on your behalf, in the comments at the end of the post.

So, what do John West Sild In Tomato Sauce look like? What are they like to eat? Should you try them? Let’s find out.

John West Sild In Tomato Sauce open tin

To its credit, they look delicious. More so than most tinned fish. And it gets better when you tip them into a bowl.

John West Sild In Tomato Sauce in a bowl

Look at that. Real little fish. They haven’t been processed into oblivion. Granted, sild aren’t the biggest fish, but you could tell that from their small tin. And they look yummy.

So, how do they taste? I’m three sild in, and first impressions are good. There’s no bony or disgusting manky bits. Instead, you can happily eat everything in there. Most conveniently, each sild is the right size for a mouthful. One sild, one fork, one mouthful.

Picking one apart however does reveal some yuckiness. Sild, it turns out, are vertebrates. And as such, they do have spines. And a tiny bit of mankiness. Sure, you can arduously remove every piece. But from the few I’ve eaten so far from this tin, you don’t need to. Unlike sardines, you can chomp away without worrying about bones or yuckiness.

If I had to criticise John West Sild In Tomato sauce, it would be the taste. Or lack thereof. Sild, I’ve learnt, don’t have much taste. John West have done their best to compensate by filling the tin with tomato sauce. But John West are never going to pick a flavourful sauce. The result is a snack that tastes a little of fish, and a little bit more of tomato sauce. But ultimately, not of very much.

What do I like about John West Sild In Tomato Sauce? I like that they are exactly the right size. I like how easy and clean they are to eat. If, like me, you think sardines are icky, these are easier, yet still sardiny in character. I also like how John West have filled the tin with enough sauce this time.

What don’t I like about Job West Sild In Tomato Sauce? There’s not much to hate. They’re not boneless, so that might bother you. But the bones are so unobtrusive, you’ll be hard pressed to even notice. Especially if you’re hungry. If you want something fishy or with real flavour, you might want to look elsewhere.

To sum up, John West Sild In Tomato Sauce are a good value, easy to eat fishy snack. Easier than sardines, not as dry as mackerel fillets, more adventurous than boneless sardines. Just lacking any real taste. These are worth your time. Give them a try and leave a comment at the end of this post.

Have you tried John West Sild In Tomato Sauce? What did you think? Do please leave your opinions, corrections, requests and recommendations here.

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27 Responses to “Snack Food Review: John West Sild”

  1. ruth gee Says:

    Split a panini and toast ’til bread is warm. Spread with Flora and divide sild between each slice and spread with fork. Delicious. I have never found bones but maybe that’s because I squash the fish with fork. It has to be on panini because thin sliced bread would become sodden with the sauce.

  2. Kurt Williams Says:

    I loved em perfect snack any time of the day.

  3. Dean Allison Says:

    I have some in the cupboard waiting to be tried. Just had the John West Skippers (Brisling) and they are excellent. Perfect on hot toast!

  4. Dom Says:

    Excellent! I was Googling to find exactly this sort of thing – tinned fish are dead cheap, nutritious and pretty tasty. But nowhere (not even on the JW website) does it tell you how best to enjoy them, and give recipes ideas to use. Sild were half price in Sainsburys and I’ve not tried them yet, but I think I will, on toasted ciabatta with some black olives and thinly sliced onion. Maybe a dollop of grated parmesan. Not sure where I found it but that’s the only recipe I found!

    The skippers are very nice I can confirm, slightly smoked which gives extra flavour and goes nicely with the tomato sauce. I had them with a salad and some new potatoes. One of the cheapest is the 36p tins of Glenryck pilchards, but I found the tomato sauce overpoweringly strong – so much so it made the roof of my mouth throb! Maybe they’re best for putting in other recipes…

  5. David Says:

    Try a quick fish and chip supper

    Good oven chips top with fresh toms and softened onions or tinned 1 tin of Sild (per person) and then grated cheese. quick and cheap I don’t pay more than £1 a tin it was 83p a tin in Asda earlier in the year

  6. Seagull Says:

    Bought some by mistake but found them ok a bit like sardines but with less flavour

  7. Maphis Says:

    Also came here from Google, just tried Sild in Sunflower Oil with some toasted hot dog rolls and grated mature cheddar cheese.

    It was alright, nothing special but it filled a hole

  8. Anonymous Says:

    I never have less than about 6 cans in my cupboard. The fish and tomato sauce are luscious.
    I just grind a thick coat of fresh black pepper onto them as they come out of the tin and eat them with a couple of slices of buttered toast on the side (so they don’t get mushy)

  9. Bert Thomas Says:

    I entered this site in the hope of finding out exactly what sild are.
    I still dont know.!
    but must say they where delicious.
    Bert Liverpool.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Sild are young herring tinned like sardines.

  11. Ioss Says:

    I’d never heard of sild but bought this tin as tinned fish is always an easy lunch with some bread, rice or couscous. This tin of John West was really cheap and tasted exactly like I expected them to – tinned fish. As good as most tinned sardines and great value.

  12. Couer Says:

    Cannot find out what fish a “Slid” is ???

  13. Anonymous Says:

    Young Herring.

  14. Lesley Says:

    I was eating John West Sild in Sunflower oil as I read this site.I wasn’t sure what Sild were so was having a look! I don’t like fish in tomato sauce so bought them in oil.Served on toast,grilled & topped with a little Balsamic Vinegar,salt & pepper it made an excellent snack lunch.Moist,fishy & good for you!

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Both Sild and Skipper is great with salad – It’s a lunch time speed meal at work, open – tip – eat.
    I’m sure I remember Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer did a comedy song about Sild!

  16. Dorothea Senior Says:

    I’ve just eaten a tin of sild. Baked potato in microwave, skinned it, mashed it in bowl then mashed in contents of tin of sild. Formed it into one large fish cake and fried both sides in a little oil and butter and served with sweet chillie sauce. Delicious .

  17. Gary Says:

    Sild are young herring without the strong herring flavour. High in Omega3 oil which is essential for a healthy diet. The ones is tomato sauce are more tasty IMO and spread on hot buttered thick toast with a light sprinkling of white pepper make a very tasty snack
    I eat a tin a day for the Omega3 oil.

  18. Alex Says:

    I fucking love these

  19. Eloise Says:

    Hi! Sild in sunflower oil (oil drained) mashed in toast is the breakfast of joy!! I do not like what they sell as “sardines” – they are dry and exceedingly fishy tasting, but sild spare you from that. Another favourite from my childhood was sild, mashed up & mixed with finely chopped onion & tomato sauce – maybe a splish of Worcestershire sauce, loaded between slices of bread which is then dipped in beaten egg (like French toast) & fried… delicious!

  20. Katie Says:

    I hope this reaches you Hywel?!
    I’m a avid fan of John Wests tinned mackerel. Tomatoe, spicy tomatoe, any flavour is what forfills my lunch at work!
    Now I need some advise. Due to my fondness of the fish, my parents are trying to push me down the sild route. Now don’t be mistaken, they aren’t a couple that eats sild daily, but I think due to the alternative, quite unfamiliar name they want me to try it.
    It’s been in my bottom draw at work for a few weeks now, well within date, don’t worry! But I just can’t bring myself to eat it, slightly nervous and scaredabout taking a turn away from my trusty mackerel!
    What should I eat it with?
    Normally I have rye bread. Any words of wisdom welcome?! Or top tips?!

  21. hywel Says:

    @Katie: I don’t normally reply to anyone, but you sound exactly like me with lunch at work! I used to eat all the main types of tinned fish for lunch at work. In my opinion, sild are very easy to eat. At least as easy to eat as makeral. My main problem was that that normal sized tins of sild were never as filling as regular sized tins of makeral. So if you give sild a try, eat something else to top the sild up to a lunch-sized meal. Hope that helps!

  22. Lynn Says:

    I made a chickpea salad with tinned chickpeas, chopped tomatoes, chopped cucumber and dressed with lemon juice /olive oil and fresh herbs if you have any . Tipped the sild in and served with warm pitta bread.

  23. D Says:

    Can you feel the bones crunch even slightly ? I won’t eat anything like that. I have two Tins in cobourad but don’t want nasty. Thanks.

  24. Suzanne Smith Says:

    Thanks for your bravery! It’s good to know there are still pioneers for real low processed food. I love sild – mostly they are sold in sunflower oil or tomato sauce (the latter being the devil’s own poop in all forms) but just plain in oil are quite delicious and you would find them nearly as tasty as plain sardines but as you say less hassle to eat. Best thing when eating them – don’t dissect, don’t look, just eat! I operate same policy for mussels…

  25. Heather tyrrell Says:

    Absolutely love sild tinned fish, they are very easy to eat and make a lovely evening snack on toast. Sild and Skippers are two very edible fish full of nutrition.

  26. Heather tyrrell Says:

    Absolutely love sild tinned fish, they are very easy to eat and make a lovely evening snack on toast. Sild and Skippers are two very edible fish full of nutrition.

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