For my money, there is no better paleo food in terms of cost and convenience than canned fish. Sardines, Salmon, and Tuna are my favorites, but I’m always willing to try something new and different, which is what prompted me to purchase a can of Bar Harbor All Natural Smoked Wild Kippers. “Kipper” is the fancy name for a herring that has been preserved using traditional smoking methods. I had tried canned Herring before in the form of King Oscar brand, and it was one of the most disgusting things I’d ever put in my mouth. Besides the fancier name, Bar Harbor’s herring cost almost four times more than King Oscar’s. Would this premium price translate in to a tastier product?
In short, yes. Bar Harbor Kippers were far superior in taste to the virtually inedible King Oscar Herring. But I could still barely stomach them. My conclusion is that Herring is simply too bland a fish to stand up to canning and smoking. You open the can and are confronted with what is literally a brick of cold fish that has been fused together. The fish itself has almost no taste whatsoever, and so what you are left with is a soft, wet mess that tastes like fish water infused with smoke and salt. Unlike the King Oscar Herring, the latter two elements are not overpowering in the Bar Harbor product, but the overall effect is still unpleasant. Health wise, Herring are a pretty good option but not as good as the superior tasting Sardine or Sockeye Salmon, so I see no real reason to choose this product, especially considering the price.
It is said that late in life, the Great German statesman Otto von Bismarck was convinced by his doctor to adopt an all Herring diet which resulted in him losing four stone and totally transforming his health. This certainly speaks to the spectacular health benefits of oily fish but fortunately for us, we have tastier options available to us today. Herring is still quite popular in the North Sea region, and perhaps it is simply an acquired taste. But not for me. I’m going to give Herring a pass and stick with my Sardines, Salmon, Tuna, and even Anchovies.
Healthy, paleo friendly oily fish.
By far the best canned Herring on the market
Still tastes like Herring