Asda Smartprice Sardines in Tomato Sauce Review
Written by The Human Dustbin and posted in Food, Tins and Packets

On the chopping block today is Asda Smartprice Sardines, another sadistic request from Mr. Stone of Canterbury. Well that’s what he thought. I was a strange child growing up in rural isolation in the 70’s, who would eat a lot of strange things. One of those was Sardines on toast back when they used to be called Pilchards, so this can held no fear, well a little, they are Asda Smartprice after all and the product of Morocco, not these fair shores.

Asda Smartprice Sardines, the tinAfter taking the can out of the cardboard packet, the first thing I noticed is that there was no key to roll back the top of the can. Instead I spent a couple of messy minutes hacking my way into the can with a can opener and a knife. By this time, my partner was asking what the disgusting smell was.

Asda Smartprice Sardines, openingOn opening the can, this is what they looked like. They smelt a lot better than they looked, well to me anyway. I toasted a couple of slices of bread and buttered them ready for a fishy treat.

Sardines on ToastSo what do they taste like? Well they were OK, but I could see most people probably gagging on them if the only fish they ever eat is Cod from a chip shop or fish fingers. There was way too much oil in the can. They taste instantly took me back to being a kid again, but I have no desire to buy them in the future, especially as I had to remove all trace of them from the house as soon as I had finished tasting and fumigate the house on the orders of my fish hating partner. If you want to try these yourself, you are going to have to get in training. Try a Shiphams fish paste first!

Appearance: 2/10
Taste: 5/10 (2/10 for normal people)
Value: 4/10
Overall: 11/30

Asda Stores Ltd
Asda Stores Ltd
  • Nowhere Man

    I get these quite often as cheap treats for my cats (after washing all the tomato sauce off, naturally.) Though I’ve never had the courage to try them myself, they’re probably not too bad as far as food unfit for human consumption goes.

    • peter griffin

      nowhere dont hurry
      take your time dont worry
      nowhere man the worlddddd is at your command
      “ah thows were the days,Woodstock,LCD and freelove”

  • Paul

    I really like this blog and check in periodically to see what other monstrosities you’ve had misadventures with in the past couple of weeks.

    Honest, funny and well-written and one might even learn a thing or two.

    Fair play to you. 🙂

  • Kev

    Are you all crazy? I buy these all the time to eat as healthy snacks. I’m not a big fish eater, but the tomato sauce taste seems pretty good to me. Each tin provides more than half your rda of omega 3 fatty oils, and almost half your rda protein intake. For 34p!!! I agree using a tin opener is a pain in the backside so pop down to Tesco and get the ringpull version for 1p more. Sweet!

  • Kev

    Oh and it’s great for your teeth too as everytime you eat a tin, you have to go brush your teeth before you breathe one someone. Hmmm….is that why i still live alone. ;-p

  • trousersnake

    Oh yes indeed – childhood memories of sardines on toast for tea.

    It was the crunchy bits of fishy spine that somehow spoilded it for me – oh and the distinct fishy breath that is impossible to conceal.

    And for summertime – tinned sardine salad (cold, they were even more unpleasant). Oh yummy, cant wait for St. Jamie Olivier to do tinned sardines.

    ps: I challenge the human dustbin to eat a post-nightclub kebab, by daylight, without alcohol.

  • cavebat

    Im a chef,I was trained in Parkhurst whilst doing a 20 stretch,you can do alot with a tin of sardines if you no how,I personaly dont bother eating the contents,but you can make a decent shiv from the tin,many a face has been slashed with a harmless looking sardine tin,so take my advice,all be carefull when your opening a tin,it has sharp edges,as Bill the Blagger found out to his expence when I slashed his throat on B wing last Tuesday.

    • tahrey

      Last tuesday? They let you use the internet now, or have you just been released? If so, you sure have adapted fast, fair play. Welcome to the 21st century.

  • tahrey

    haha… i have something of a thing for occasionally dropping a tin of such fish in my shopping basket and noshing it as soon as i get in as a supposedly “healthy” treat. it is a bit expensive though. I’m going to have to challenge myself to try these, now…

    trousersnake (and THD) – uh, you’re supposed to eat the spines? I’ve been picking them out whenever i have sardines… and that one time I tried jellied eels too. Was I supposed to eat all of THAT too?
    (wanting to avoid potential “gazpacho soup moments”)

  • tahrey

    BTW if Shipham’s fish paste is anything like their crab (and beef) ones, then that’s by far the better – and ultimately, cheaper per serving – idea. They keep very well in the fridge once opened and taste quite nice (very umami without the MSG tang, like bulkier marmite :D), and at least claim to be largely made from the stuff that’s actually on the label with a small amount of cream cheese etc added to make it more spreadable. Rather than a token, legislation-satisfying amount of named ingredient and a huge pile of filler.

  • Pingback: Recipe Sardines Tomato Sauce()

  • Matt

    Ah yes, the crunchy spines. Takes me back to lunch time at my grand parents and two or three pilchards in a bowl, with bread and butter.

    We were poor, but we were happy.

  • Sardine Lover

    If you like sardines, there is nothing wrong with these. I was told that this is the same product canned at the same factory that does the expensive brand name version. The only difference is that you tend to get 2 slightly larger fish rather than 3 smaller ones in the full price version.

    Delicious, healthy and cheap.

  • Fullmedams

    This blog made me laugh with memories of sardines on toast.
    I think these probably come from the Old Portuguese fishing port of Essaouira that is famous for sardines and is the main cannery in Morocco. I visited the cannery back in the 70’s when it was a stomach churning business, long before health and safety was ever introduced. The fish were plucked from dirty water, topped and tailed and packed in the tin with a splash of sauce and the lids were sealed on before going into huge ovens that to be honest, killed everything, taste included.
    Essaouira was one of the major suppliers to the UK back in your childhood and you can still find the little red and gold tins they came in.
    I was there last year and the best way to eat sardines is grilled fresh over charcoal there on the portside as the boats come in.

  • Fullmedams

    Better than sardines on toast and nearly as cheap.

    Grown up Sardines Sicllian style.

    1/4 cup plus 3-5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    8 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
    1/2 cups flat-leaf parsley, chopped
    Coarse salt and coarse black pepper
    2 tins sardines in tomatoe sauce, 8-10 ounces boned and chopped
    1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    1 pound linguini or spaghetti, fresh or dried cooked to al dente in salted water and tossed in a little olive oil.

    In a pan fry chopped garlic until it is sizzling in 1/4 cup of olive oil and then add breadcrumbs until golden. Add parsley, salt and pepper and set aside in a dish.
    Add 3tbs oil to the pan and add the sardines and pepper flakes and sauté for 2 to 3 mins add more oil or a little water if it is too dry.
    Add hot cooked pasta and toss until all covered, taste and season if required. Add the breadcrumbs (reserve some for serving) and toss all together.
    Serve topped with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or as the Sicilians do with some of the reserved breadcrumbs.


    • Thank you for this recipe – will try it tomorrow, I love cheap tinned sardines on toast with fresh tomato. I will be a nice change.

  • jeg elske vakker norge

    When this site turn into a cooking and history of tinned fish site?, ive got a story about a john dorry, but quite honestly its pollocks.