I opened a container of sardines and found loads of little round balls in what appears to be its belly.

picture of the sardine

What are these things? Are they eggs the sardine was going to lay (or whatever it's called for a fish) or something it ate? Are they good to eat, or should I throw them out?


2 Answers 2


Yes, that is sardine roe. In Portugal it is considered a delicacy on a par with caviar.


I found roe in mine for the first time today and was a little off put until I realized within seconds what it was. I did a search to confirm, YEP! It's roe. Just finished eating every last bite of it. I'm not easily grossed out.

  • Try it on toast with some butter...
    – J Crosby
    Jul 17, 2019 at 21:55

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