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🐟 Oil Packed #3
A little warmth for the summer
Nuri Spiced Sardines in Olive Oil
Taste: Savory / Bitter
Pair with: Plain vegetable chips
You’ve probably heard of this tin before. It’s a cult classic - usually in most top tins lists. The reviews of this tin are raving (spoiler: mine is not much different) and plenty. I had never tried these sardines before writing this review, and I have to say… I’ve been missing out. I’ll work my way through the Nuri catalog over time, but until then:
Nuri Spiced Sardines are a fragrant, spiced (note: not spicy) fish. There are about 3 to 4 large fillets packed in a tin along with olive oil, peri-peri pepper, and thinly sliced cucumber and carrot. Upon opening the can, the aroma is very fishy and very warm - my cats certainly wanted in on the action. These fish are skin-on and bone-in and have a very tender texture. When you take a bite, it takes a moment for the warmth to catch up to you. It’s a mild, clove-forward spice that mostly comes at the back of the palate. The mixture of bay laurel, black pepper, clove, and peri-peri combine to make a complex, piquant flavor that you don’t find among most tinned fish. The olive oil adds a delicious tartness as well.
Try this fish with your favorite plain chip - I enjoyed it with potato chips and tortilla chips. Both potato and corn flavors worked well with the flavor of the fish and highlighted its complexity. Pile on the thin, marinated slices of cucumber, carrot, and pepper from the oil onto your bite - you won’t regret it. A spicy sauce pairs well with these sardines as well - the spiciness and spiced-ness marry well together to form a very dynamic taste. I didn’t love this fish with a sweet cracker - it masks the spice and dulls the entire tasting experience. Stick with a savory vehicle and you’ll have a great time.
I can see why this tin is a cult classic. It’s tasty while affordable, and the outer wrapping is beautiful as well. You can find Nuri Sardines at specialty food stores, or your local World Market. You’ll instantly recognize this tin when you spot it on a shelf, and I recommend picking it up if you’re a fan of spiced flavors or spiced lattes. I can’t wait to eat this again.
photos by Aaron Barton