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How to pick the right sardine.

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 globe.

Nordic Brisling Sardines

Portuguese Sardines
Brisling fished 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 as mercury.

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 this process.
Other signs of premium quality.
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.

 

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