Friday, June 24, 2011

Sardine Tournament of Champions

As a serious outdoorsman, you would be tragically remiss in your duties, not to currently have on the shelves of your pantry at least a dozen cans of assorted sardines. Sealed in a practically indestructible container, boasting an impressive 3 year shelf life and laden with serious protein power, sardines are one of the most underrated super foods. How unfortunate that in the last 20 years the noble sardine snack pack has fallen off the radar, of most outdoorsman, and forced to take a back seat to “powerbars”, GORP and dark chocolate as the new choice for 'it" hikers, backpackers, fishermen and hunters. Well Mr. Sardine, have no fear of vanishing forever from the pockets of my hunting jackets, backpacks and tackle boxes for even now my tummy rumbles and heart rate quickens at just the thought of your oily, fishy flesh piled high on a saltine cracker.

In celebration of this most humble yet energy packed denizen of the sea, I am running a 7-week series of blog postings starting 7/1/11 and running on alternating Fridays through July, August and September. These posts will be designed to examine and rate 8 different brands of sardines, readily available in fine supermarkets across the state of Maine. At the end of this arduous process, there will be crowned a winner and I am certain to have much lower cholesterol!!


The Rating System:
Each and every packet of delicious sardines will undergo an exacting and through battery of tests designed to examine several different components, ingredients and elements. Please see the following rating scale for a sneak peak of what I will be using to determine a winner.

1. Saltiness 1-5
2. Moistness 1-5
3. Firmness/Texture 1-5
4. Fishiness 1-5
5. Overall Flavor 1-5
6. Appearance 1-5
7. Packaging 1-5
8. Number of Sardines to a Can - ____
9. Would you Buy Again – Yes or No
10. Additional Comments . . .
The Contestants:

Round 1 – 7/1
1. Crown Prince – Product of Morocco – - Sodium 280mg
2. Bumblebee – Product of Poland – Bumblebee Foods, San Diego, CA 92186 - Sodium xxxmg

Round 2 – 7/15
3. King Oscar – Product of Poland – Sodium 340mg
4. Beach Cliff – Product of Poland - - Sodium xxxmg

Round 3 – 7/29
5. Brunswick – Product of Canada – - Sodium 250mg
6. Bar Harbor – Product of Canada - Sodium 460mg

Round 4 – 8/12
7. Chicken of the Sea – Product of Thailand – - Sodium xxxmg
8. Polar – Product of Portugal – - Sodium 300mg

Semi Final Round 1 - 8/26 – Winners of Round 1 and 2 face off

Semi Final Round 2 - 9/9 – Winners of Round 3 and 4 face off

Final Round - 9/23 – A champion will be crowned!
Readers please feel free to cheer on your favorite brand! If you have any additional information to share on any of the participants please drop me a line or provide comments!  Thanks!


  1. Not a better meal made my friend than a sardine and cracker. I like the mustard based kind with a bit of hot sauce! Look forward to your review!!

  2. I'm very pleased to see you taking your responsibilities seriously. Maine should be proud of you. I know I am.

  3. Trey, I concur! Even though smoked salmon with a slice of jalapeno cheese on a cracker is a close second!

  4. I love sardines, and took up eating them as a supplement for the Omega acids. I love the Beach Cliff mustard type so I'm rooting for it, I haven't even tried much of any other brands. Also, the best thing about these is that you don't need a can opener and they're waterproof, perfect companions. I keep several cans in my fishing bag and in my emergency pack.

  5. JGR,

    A few months ago I was cruising the grocery store and stopped in front of the sardine case. As I reached for my standard sardine selection (whatever is on sale) I noted how many brands are available. As I mulled that over, I thought it might be interesting to have a tournament. I figured I might get a few people who share my devotion for the sardine!

    My Grandfathers introduced me to the sardine as a hunting and fishing companion. There were always a case of them sitting around their house. They are perfect for all of the reasons you mention above!

  6. Okay who was the big "weiner"?


Thanks for posting a comment. Your thoughts and suggestions are much appreciated!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...