Connetable Belles de Douarnenez
These come from Douarnenez in Brittany, northwestern France - an area famed for its seafood, especially sardines. They are plump and firm and possess a delicate herbal flavour, although that may come from the extra virgin olive oil. A little on the pricey side.
HK$58, Great Food Hall, LG/F Two Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty
John West sardines in sunflower oil
This famous cannery started by a Scotsman in America uses fish from Portugal and the Marine Stewardship Council certifies the catch as sustainable. They are firm and mildly salty with a hint of mineral flavour. The least fishy of those we sampled, but perhaps a little bland for the aficionado. HK$19.40, Wellcome, citywide
Porthos Portuguese sardines in olive oil
Extremely soft and almost mushy, these break easily into flakes. There are, however, loose scales in the tin, which will be off-putting for some. When you do get to the flesh, the flavours are rich and pleasing with a slightly sweet edge characteristic of fresh seafood.
HK$16.90, ParknShop, citywide
Fish 4 Ever sustainably fished sardines in organic sunflower oil
These claim to be trawled by a fleet of small local boats around Portugal and are certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council. Neither too fishy nor bland, they are packed in oil the colour of light soy sauce, are very firm and have a decent moisture content.
HK$46, City'super, citywide
Isabel sardines in olive oil
Extracting these from the tin can be a challenge as they tend to fall apart quite easily. The flesh is a little dry, but the combination of smoky, savoury, metallic, acidic and faintly sweet - like ripe banana - flavours make them interesting to eat.
HK$16, Freshmart, B2/F Sogo Department Store, 555 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay