At the mention of sardines, however, some folks scrunch up their faces and say, “Yuck!” They claim to dislike the oily, fishy taste along with the texture and the often visible bones. I suspect that much of that rejection is a result of not properly distinguishing sardines from anchovies. But, in addition, Season Brand seems to have taken giant strides to separate themselves from other brands and to overcome the usual objections.
I did not find a strong preference for either style. For me, choosing between water packed and oil packed will hinge on how I plan to use the fish. My favorite way to consume sardines is as a sandwich made from toasted dark bread, a little Dijon mustard, a layer of sardines topped with a layer of extra sharp cheddar cheese. Yum! Both of these were excellent served this way, with a slight preference to the oil packed version. Which of the versions I’d prefer in recipes would likely depend most on the interplay of olive oil with the other ingredients.
Sardines are kinda like buttermilk; most people either love ‘em or hate ‘em. If you’re on the fence, I can easily see where either of these two products could change your thinking. My bottom line: When I go shopping for sardines in the future, I’ll be looking for the Season Brand.