When you go to the store, you will
find a sea of sardine choices on the shelves. And just as
many levels of quality! Be careful about which sardines you
buy for use in your diet.
Look for Nordic brisling sardines.
Not all sardines are created equal. For a number of reasons, Nordic brisling
sardines will consistently offer you the best taste, the mildest
aroma, and the most delicate texture. A quick look inside the
cans will show you clear differences. Sardines are made from any of 11 different species of fish—including
herring, sild, pilchard, and sprats or brisling. Some are smaller,
some are larger. Some are taken at peak maturity, some much
before. And all are subject to various standards around the
Nordic Brisling Sardines
from the Norwegian fjords are uniformly smaller than other species
used in sardine production—just 3” to 4.5”
long when fully mature. By contrast, herring taken off the coast
of Portugal might average 8” to 10” in length. These
larger fish are caught young, before the meat reaches peak quality,
and then sectioned to fit in their cans. But remember, the smaller
the fully grown fish, the more delicate and tender the sardines.
Fish from clean waters.
Fished from famously clean waters
such as the Norwegian fjords, where the fishing industry has
long been strictly regulated, Nordic brisling may assure you
of greater product purity and reduced risk of pollutants such
Just as important, the icy habitat and perfect feeding conditions
of the Nordic waters yield fish of greater Omega-3 concentration—in
fact, among the very highest.
Additionally, the Norwegian fishing industry still insists on
premium production methods. The fish are “thronged”
in the nets, or held long enough to allow natural cleansing,
an extra step that enhances texture. Most fisheries now shortcut
Other signs of premium
Beyond looking for Nordic
brisling sardines, look for other clues to superiority. Make
sure that the products you choose are free of additives or preservatives.
Kosher certification is always a good stamp of approval, as
it means that the product meets stringent quality requirements.
first pick is King Oscar. These delicate brisling sardines
offer the best taste and among the highest concentration
of good Omega-3 fats I have found. They come in a variety
of delicious flavors, too. And they’re fished using
eco-friendly, sustainable methods which is important to
Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN
Creator of The Sardine Diet