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Meet the Moroccan Sardine!

December 23, 2010

If you’ve read our history you know the Norwegian sardine is the fish that started it all. Today our sardines come from Scotland and Morocco. So in this leg of the Global Spotlight Series, we’re taking you behind the scenes and below the surface to meet Crown Prince pilchard sardines caught fresh off the Moroccan coast.

© Fotosearch



Fine Fish in the Sea

Sardines are salt water fish in the family of “Clupeidae” which are closely related to herrings. The specific type that we catch in Morocco is known as the pilchard sardine (or if you’re a scientist, Sardina pilchardus walbaum). When they first hatch, pilchard sardines are less than a quarter of an inch in length. At their most mature they’re just under eight inches.

We harvest the pilchard sardines in the cold Atlantic waters of Morocco mainly in the summer/fall months when they’re at their healthiest (and tastiest!) because they’ve been saving up energy for the next mating season. We time our pilchard harvest so that our sardines have a delicate flavor and slightly firm texture.

Our sardines are caught in nets specifically designed for this species. When the nets are full, the fish are stored in refrigerated seawater until the fishing boats reach the shore. Once on shore, the fish are transferred to sanitized containers of refrigerated brine and carried in refrigerated trucks to our packing facilities. There, they are immediately processed which keeps them exceptionally fresh.

Fine Fish in the Can!

The pilchard sardines are carefully processed—mostly by hand but using state of the art equipment, tools and methods—into several sardine varieties found in the Crown Prince line.

You can click on each product type for complete ingredients and nutrition information.

  • Skinless & Boneless Sardines:All kosher and available in pure olive oil or soy bean oil. The flavor and texture of our skinless, boneless pilchard sardines makes them one of our most popular products. Great for use in sandwiches, salads and casseroles, or plain as a snack.
  • Flavored Sardines: Available in pure oil or water, or packed with quality ingredients that impart fantastic flavor to the fish. Flavors include Green Chilies, Mustard, Tomato Sauce and Louisiana Hot Sauce. These various flavors lend themselves to a variety of uses in the kitchen!
  • Fun-shaped Cans: This isn’t an official category, but bear with us for the sake of a tidy list. Crown Prince sardines are also available in the Tall 15-ounce can (packed in pure water) and in the Classic oval can (packed in either Tomato Sauce or Hot Tomato Sauce).
  • Fish Steaks: No mystery meat here! Our fish stakes are fresh-caught Moroccan sardines, prepared using simple, natural ingredients. They come lightly smoked and packed in Green Chilies, Louisiana Hot Sauce or Mustard.


Crown Prince canned sardines, inspected on site by Crown Prince President Dustan Hoffman (photos by Dustan Hoffman)

Crown Prince canned sardines, inspected on site by Crown Prince President Dustan Hoffman (photos by Dustan Hoffman)


Sound tasty? Get cooking! And stay tuned for our next post in the series, where we profile none other than the Moroccan anchovy!

If you like what you’re reading on the Crown Prince Seafood blog, please come back often. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or contact us directly. We look forward to hearing from you.


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