Bella Lightly Smoked Sardines in Olive Oil are a premium brand of sardines usually sold in upscale grocery stores like Whole Foods or The Fresh Market. The price is higher than the typical tin of sardines, and is usually sold at between 3 and 4 dollars- almost twice the price of Trader Joe’s similarly named product. Is the extra cost worth it?
When you open the tin a slight smoke smell hits you right away. The fish themselves are immaculate. Extremely shiny, smooth, with no broken spots or tiny bits floating about in the oil. Pulling the fish out of the can, it is apparent that these guys were never frozen. They aren’t hard like the Trader Joe’s fish, and are so soft in fact that they start to break apart because of their own weight as you pull them out. The taste is mild and the smoke flavor truly is “light” and not at all overpowering. I found the flavor to be excellent although the texture was a bit too soft for my liking.
Bella Sardines are sourced from Portugal and tinned in BPA free containers. The extra virgin olive oil was a nice greenish color and had a fantastic taste. Overall, I felt these sardines were well worth the price though as my tastes gravitate towards a slightly firmer fish I won’t be adding Bella to my regular rotation.