Oct 25, 2010

The Seagulls of Arvor

Just when I thought it was safe. Just when I thought I'd seen every tin locally available. Just when I began to think I'd seen every tin available in the Greater Bay Area and Beyond, my local boutique busts out something new and exciting. And spendy.
Les Mouettes d'Arvor 1

Les Mouettes d'Arvor

A quick googling turns up their website (in French) which shows a wide range of tins (30) including tins of vintage. The second site on the search is this review from a certain French Society Member who shall remain nameless, I'm sure you all know who I mean. The third site to come up is the very Markethall I purchased these tins from, with a very thoughtful couple of paragraphs about these tins (online price even more than I paid).

So does Google know who I am, with my droid (googlecentric), gmail, blogger sites, and google on my Safari? Are they tracking me and giving me sites I already visit or are in my neighborhood? Is this really the search I'm looking for?

Who cares? I've got nothing to hide. I know who I am. Society Member xxx-xx-xxxx. (All Society Members are tracked by their Social but none are known so every Member's number is xxx-xx-xxxx. Please make a note of Your number (xxx-xx-xxxx) and use it with Inter-Society Correspondences and at all Meetings.) How boring tracking me and my movement whether by Googly or the Government. Bikes and Food and Booze.

Tins, talk about the Tins. Ok,ok,ok.

I'm feeling that Les Mouettes d'Arvor is up there in the French Tinned Sardine Royalty and at these prices they better be:
à l'Huile d'Olive vierge extra: $6.75
au Citron à l'huile d'olive vierge extra: $6.50
Piquantes à l'huile d'olive vierge extra: $6.95
That's all taxed, three tins $20+.

I've paid more.

I Am Not putting these in a recipe. These are going on a nice Society Style Platter with a Francophile appeal. I shopped for all ingredients at the MarketHall.
Les Mouettes d'Arvor 2
Sourdough baguette. Fromager D'Affinois, a supersoft brie-style. A few slices of Rosette de Lyon. A bit of green beans with almonds. Avocado, olives, mixed greens, and a 2009 Domaine Heritiers du Comte Lafon Mâcon-Villages.
Les Mouettes d'Arvor 3
Let's start with the à l'Huile d'Olive (South Central)
Four monsters, skin on with vertebrates. These are amazing, firm texture, clean oil. They might be bigger than perfect but there is nothing that could make them better. Five out of Five tins.
Next up: au Citron (left)
Six medium fish. Skin and vertebrates. A bit smaller than the olive oil but just as firm. The lemon is right there, immediately. This seems like a leaner fish and GG like the avocado to fatten it up and pull out the flavors. I, of course, am a Cheesehead (Go Pack!), Brie Me Baby. The lemon's rind is in the bottom of the tin and gets right in there with the avocado. This is a killer tin but the lemon is almost to dominant and could possibly be artificial as well as au natural. They kind of need the avo or brie to bring it all together. Four out of Five Tins.
And Piquantes (right)
Same fish as au Citron, skin and vertebrates, but Damn! That's one of the spiciest sardines I've had straight out the tin. Piri Piri Peppers right there in the tin. Great texture. Great fish. Again with the avocado or cheese. A little sumpthin sumpthin to cut back the flavor. Good oil. Extra virgin. Four out of Five Tins.
These are high quality tins.
Les Mouettes d'Arvor 4
The sliced meat and brie was delicious, the green beans OK, and the wine was wonderful. See those peppers!

It's sad to see that one last sardine in the tin. That's over a buck and a half for just that one yummy fish.
Did you know that if you gooooogle the blogosphere for canned sardines at least a third of the results will be about how they are so good for our canine friends.
Les Mouettes d'Arvor 5
Good Night Everybody!


DachsieGuy said...

The sweetest torture to see your beautiful pictures and read your reviews. Lovely fish, lovely food, lovely wine! Thanks so much!

sardineking said...

What a wonderful spread you made. That looked delicious!

Anonymous said...

For sure these sardines are for connoissers… And if you're looking for a nice Xmas present, Les Mouettes d'Arvor also propose cans printed with your zodiacal sign on… isn'it lovely ? The nameless sardinosaurus.

Sashimi said...

You actually got a bargain on those tins. I paid even more dearly for the ones in olive oil at Dean and Deluca's here on the east coast. I also picked up two other tins of the Les Mouettes d'Arvor. One is a black tin that seems to be a 50th anniversary edition. The other is a 2009 vintage edition with a picture of a fisherman holding baskets of sardines on the front. Those came even dearer.

So far I've only opened the ones in olive oil (which you reviewed here). You are right, they are amazing. Clean taste and gorgeous-looking meat (a beautiful color, like nothing I've seen before with canned sardines). It's a shame that French sardines are so hard to come by in the States, and the few that are available come at a king's ransom.

Unknown said...

Found my first tin of Les Mouettes d'Arvor à l'Huile d'Olive last week (Jungle Jim's Int'l Market, Fairfield, OH). Loved the sardines, thought of your blog, and was happy to see you gave 5 stars. I heartily agree... wonderful sardines. I bought a second tin tonight (Dorothy Lane Market, Springboro, OH).

I was somewhat disheartened to see the your blog was last updated nearly fifteen months ago. I look forward to future updates. In the mean time, I'll keep looking through the stores for more sardines. Aldo Ross, Middletown, OH.

Unknown said...

Oops - before I forget. $5.99 at DLM (don't remember the price at JJ's). Both places have the other two versions - I'll try them next. AR


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