Sardines vs. Mackerel (tinned/canned) Do we have thoughts on the difference?

I bought a tin of each, same brand, each packed in olive oil. Both are labeled “skinless & boneless.”

Do my esteemed Dopers have opinions on each? Which tastes better? … or is better used in certain applications? Matter of fact, what IS your favorite way to consume each?

Most importantly … which one will drive my cat MORE bonkers?

(I can post a pic if needed. It wasn’t anything expensive or fancy, of that I can assure all y’all.)

Well they are a completely different fish so comparisons are tricky for me.

I’ll have a tinned smoked mackerel grilled and served wth scrambled egg for breakfast, the Sardines however will often be mashed up with tomato puree and onion for a pate that goes well in sandwiches or on toast.

Both are an excellent source of healthy protein and oily fish in general is good for you so…experiment away and report back.

I like both. I eat them both the same way, spread atop wasa crisp flatbread as a quick and filling lunch.

But it’s tricky to compare. For starters, “sardine” isn’t a species of fish, but a generic word for a lot of types of small fish. I tend to buy brisling sardines, which are baby sprats, but i think baby mackerels are one of the species that are sometimes sold as sardines.

I guess it’s always true that canned mackerel comes in larger chunks than sardines, though.

Don’t need a picture of the canned fish. But I’d like a picture of Bonkers Kitty.

Depends on the cat. And on the day. And on the mood the cat’s in at the moment.

I’d try alternating them.

I prefer fresh Spanish mackerel to the tinned variety, so can’t help much with any comparisons, but I can tell you that I had one dog that adored canned mackerel. The others preferred sardines.

Around here, sardines go on crackers that have been spread with tomato pesto.

I eat both regularly. Mackerel has more of a fishy flavor, at least in my head, and goes well with onion. I eat both in sandwiches made with toast and in a kind of potato salad (potatoes, onion, parsley, vinegar, olive oil and salt). They’re also an easy and delicious addition to green salads.

You haven’t asked about fresh, but I’m going to tell you anyway. I like fresh mackerel grilled with a side of peas (lots of onion), and fresh sardines roasted on a stick over coals are sublime, especially in late spring and early summer (with cold beer on the beach).

Dunno about cats. Can you experiment and tell us what happens?

I’ve never had fresh sardines, but fresh mackerel is delicious. I like it plain, grilled until just done.

As for the cats, cats have diverse tastes. I had one cat who went bonkers for lobster, but was mostly uninterested in human food. I currently have a cat who really likes chicken but isn’t that interested in fish.

But it would be fun to experiment and see which yours prefer.

I had an appetizer of sardines at Marrakech, a Moroccan restaurant in Marigot, St Martin. Two sardines , heads on, each a good 8 inches long. Big sardines. Very mild tasting. Amazingly delicious.

There’s a restaurant near where I live that uses fresh sardines like that in place of tuna in their Salade Nicoise. Excellent.

I’ve also been lucky enough to have fresh anchovies in Europe - Belgium, to be exact, from their fish market. Those were addictive.

But - back to the matter at hand. There’s any number of pasta dishes that can be made using tinned sardines and mackerel. I have one that uses sardines in tomato sauce, lemon, onion, garlic and red pepper flakes. It’s outstanding.

I’m guessing the mackerel will drive kitties more bonkers because of the strong scent. My two love both of them. Me, no. The only canned fish I actually like is albacore tuna.

I received some canned salmon as a gift so the kitties are enjoying it. But I’ve been rinsing it first to remove some of the salt. I can get unsalted sardines at Trader Joes, so that is usually my cats’ big treat.

Not that I’ve noticed. I grew up with tinned sardines and mackerel from the Polish grocery, and damned if I can tell the difference. If anything, the brands I bought, the mackerel (typically from the Adriatic, country of origin Croatia) was in smaller chunks than the sardines. I have some tinned South American sardines and the pieces are just HUGE. I feel like I have a slight preference towards mackerel, but that could be all in my head.

Huh. The sardines i buy are about a centimeter at the widest, and 12-16 fit in a can. The mackerel i buy is big pieces, almost filets, and 3 fill the can. The cans are approximately the same size.

Same with mackerel. Sardines vs mackerel as critters. Similarly also herring (who are assorted close kissing cousins to the various sardines) and anchovies. The wide diversity of species of all of the above accounts for the somewhat varying textures and flavors of assorted different tinned fish labeled with the same name.

I dislike virtually all healthy little (and medium) oily fish, so none for me thanks :slight_smile:. For me bonito (basically a big mackerel) are the worst - completely fucking inedible IMHO.

I like almost all the oily fish. :grinning:

I can eat canned mackerel, but canned sardines are one of the few foods I hate, going back to 4th grade.

Same here. I have tins of sprats, sardines, mackerel as my emergency snack or quick lunch (or, hell, I’ve been known to eat it for breakfast) food.

I don’t have as much experience with mackerel as some other tinned fish but my impression is that it’s mostly canned in chunks.

I’ve been into canned seafood for a while now but herring fillets most recently. They’re often in a sauce like mustard, tomato, mushroom, horseradish, white wine, assorted oils, etc. They’re also sometimes smoked or as kipper snacks. I’ve just been eating them straight from the can, delicious.

Oh! Aldi sells flat rectangular cans of fish in various sauces. One can makes quite a big sandwich, on marble rye bread, just delicious! Tomato, mustard, cream, or curry sauce. I can’t remember the name, only that it might have been from Germany. But they have it there frequently, if not all the time.

Apparently, I’m the odd one out. I prefer mackerel because they taste less fishy and the meat is firmer than sardines.