Fish sticks are a classic freezer food.
I’ve had them before and like them, but I couldn’t name a brand, so I decided to test out a few to see if I could choose a favorite.
I found three different brands of fish sticks — Gorton’s fish sticks, Mrs. Paul’s crunchy fish sticks, and Natural Sea wild-caught cod fish sticks — and enlisted my boyfriend to help me do a blind taste test. I pulled them out of the bag and he cooked them, so we both weren’t sure which was which until it was over.
We cooked each fish stick in the oven based on package instructions and decided to grade them on crunchiness, fishy taste, and freshness.
Here’s how they all stacked up:
The Gorton’s fish sticks were by far the crunchiest
Gorton’s was up first.
The first ones we tried were from Gorton’s.
They took the shortest time to cook, probably because they were the smallest, but we both thought they had the perfect crunch.
They had a breadcrumb-y texture, but you could still taste the fish, in a good way.
These were a hit.
My boyfriend described it as a “meaty” piece of fish and we were both big fans of this one.
It was also in the middle of the price range at $6.49 for 18 fish sticks.
Mrs. Paul’s was a great choice for fish fans
These were the second pick.
The first thing we noticed about this one was how much it tasted like fish. It was also pretty crunchy, but the breading had a bit less flavor and there was less of it than the Gorton’s variety.
However, what the breading lacked was made up for by the fish taste, which was pleasant and not overpowering, but strong nonetheless.
These were great for fish fans.
The fish in this one was a bit softer, but it still tasted fresh.
It was also the cheapest of the three at $5.79 for 18 sticks.
The Natural Sea brand also had a lot going for it
The first thing I noticed about this brand is that it was a flatter fish stick, which made it more visually appealing than the other two.
This one was also described as “sustainably caught,” making it a good choice for those who want to shop consciously — although to be fair, I don’t know how the others were caught.
But it was also the most expensive at $6.99 for 10 sticks.
This brand was marketed as “sustainable.”
It wasn’t as crunchy and the breading was flakier, not crumbly like the others.
My boyfriend likened it to a fast-food fried treat rather than frozen food. In fact, we both thought it tasted a lot like a chicken tender.
The fish was there, but it was definitely a bit less intense than the others, making it a good option for those who want to enjoy a fish stick but aren’t the biggest fish fans.
In the end, we had to go with Gorton’s
Gorton’s just had everything we wanted and a great price point.
It’s a larger brand that seems to be available at most grocery stores, and it was crunchy with a pleasant fishy taste.
Honestly, these fish sticks all tasted pretty similar, and I would’ve been pretty happy eating any of them.
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