I’ve always loved you Memorizes Or canned fish. Spain and Portugal have long traditions in Memorizes These are seafood and shellfish that are carefully preserved, cooked, and packaged in a way that preserves the seafood when it is at its peak of freshness.
In Spain and Portugal it is common to eat this canned fish Memorizes At the bar as appetizers, also known as snacks with drinks. Over the past five years or so, I’ve noticed that boxed desserts have begun to appear on restaurant menus — often from chefs who fell in love with the tradition when they traveled abroad.
Fans of Prune (in New York City) will remember owner Gabrielle Hamilton’s snack of canned sardines and Triscuit crackers that was on her menu when she opened her restaurant in 1999.
Hamilton was ahead of its time here in America, but the core of its snack is my favorite thing about eating canned fish. It’s simple, satisfying, and refreshingly unapologetic. The fact that she proudly served it in her restaurant and refused to “cook” it, serving it the way she would eat it at home, or at a picnic, was bold, especially in 1999 when dining in Manhattan was more formal than it was. It is today. Her sardine snack is served with a dollop of Dijon mustard, baby cornichon pickles, and—my favorite part—a sprig of parsley to freshen your breath.
Before I bought the lunch boxes, I was drawn to them because they looked so cool. I have a can of tuna that I bought in the south of France and I can’t bring myself to open it because the can looks so good and as soon as you open the can you have to throw it away.
This is what first attracted me to the American brand of canned fish Fishwife. Besides having a great name, Fishwife has colorful, illustrated and whimsical packages. If I owned a gourmet food store, I would put them in the window to attract customers. Packages force you to take a second look. As a bonus, the cans are packaged in colorful boxes so you can open the cans, eat the fish, and keep the box as a souvenir.
Fishwife was co-founded by CEO Becca Millstein during the pandemic. Becca and her roommate saw a gap in the US market for high-quality canned fish and created “a woman-founded and run food company to make ethically sourced, premium and delicious canned seafood a staple in every cupboard.” “We source from fisheries and aquaculture farms,” Milstein explains. “Responsibly managed to bring the vitality of reservation culture to the North American table.”
And the fish inside the cans does not disappoint. There are four different options for smoked fish, and as someone who smokes fish and then dips it, this saves time. I use Fishwife smoked salmon and make the dip and save myself the time of smoking the fish. Delicate smoked trout, hearty smoked mackerel, and crowd-pleasing smoked tuna round out the traditional offerings.
New to the line are hand-packed sardines from Galicia, Spain, packed in EVOO and preserved lemon or chilli. And these are my picks for a Gabriel Hamilton-style sardine snack. If you need a gift for a canned fish lover, these special sardines and canned fish tongs made of new stainless steel will be a great choice. The tongs were created in collaboration with Gestura, a San Francisco design firm that collaborates with artisan manufacturers in Japan to create functional and stylish kitchen tools.
And if you’re looking to try a variety of canned fish, the website that celebrates all things from Spain, La Tienda, has a three-month Conservas Club that would make a great gift for you or any fish lover in your life.
Canned sardines with crackers, Dijon mustard, and cornichon
Excerpted from the cookbook, pruning By Gabriel Hamilton
1 can of sardines in oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
A small handful of cornice
A small handful of Triscuit cookies or Triscuit Thins
1 or more parsley sprigs
Carefully open the can of sardines and select the accompaniments.
Leave the sardines in the can, or arrange the sardines on the plate the same way they look in the can – more or less. Do not criss-cross, zig-zag, or otherwise create a “restaurant.”
Eat it with mustard, cornichons, biscuits, or however you like. They are also very good with crusty bread. When finished, eat parsley. Stick to the whole stem of parsley, not just the leaf. Chewing the stems freshens the breath.
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(Tags for translation)Gabriel Hamilton