We represent the top makers of Conservas from Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Denmark plus the 3 best from N. America. This is not the Tuna and Sardines you grew up with. It is a wide range of seafood and they are delicacies. Eat them out of the Tin or serve them in combination with other foods… it’s all good.
Conservas also pair well with Cheese and Charcuterie…
WHAT WINE TO PAIR WITH CONSERVAS?
First of all, drink what you like is a basic rule of thumb. But if you’re new to wine and want a simple pairing for canned seafood, we suggest crisp and dry white wines or light bodied reds. These types of wines are refreshing on the palate and highlight the seafood without fighting it.
Vinho verde: low alcohol, slightly effervescent, dry and crisp.
Sparkling whites such as Champagne, Cava, Prosecco, or sparkling whites from New World wine countries like the US & Australia. The bubbly nature is great with the seafood flavors.
Dry Roses and sparkling rose.
Lambrusco – this refreshing and bubbly red is slightly fruity but still crisp and fantastic.
Sauvignon blanc, Chen in blanc, Pinot gris, Pinot Grigio and other crisp, dry white wines.
Albariño or Riesling…
Light lively reds like gamay noir. We love Pax gamay noir!
Most of the images in the first half of the page have links in them to our Serving Suggestions…
Toward the bottom of the page there are links to Ramon Pena’s recipes… a Webpage from two of Spain’s best chefs… Espinaler’s Recipes and their webpage…
The Can to Plate image opens a Google Doc that is a fantastic photo-story.
Click on any of the last 4 images and you’ll open a PDF of Ramon Pena and Espinaler’s Recipes and a link to Espinaler’s YouTube Page.
There is a video episode of Anthony Bourdain sampling tinned seafood at one of Espinaler’s Eateries in Barcelona.
We are not just talking about Sardines and Tuna! The species include Clams, Cockles, Smoked Oysters, Mussels, Razor Clams, Squid, Octopus, Scallops, Mackerel, Anchovies, Trout, Salmon and more. The quality difference from what you normally see in grocery stores is vast. The seafood is harvested at the peak of quality one day and prepared in traditional recipes and hand packed in cans the next. In addition they use real Olive Oil and the other ingredients come from the best farming practices in the world.
As Anthony Bourdain stated on his TV Show at Espinaler’s Tapas Bar in Barcelona, it is the best seafood in the world and just doesn’t get any better!
There are a lot of ways to enjoy these from eating them right out of the can to adding them to Rice or Risotto, Pasta, Pizza, Salads, Avocado Toast and more!
1. Eating Conservas Right out of the Tin…
So there is nothing wrong with this idea a lot of restaurant and wine bars serve Conservas right out of the tin! However if you are not on an all day backcountry excursion and you have access to some ingredients in your pantry try…
Try adding little acidity… Espinaler Sauce is the classic… Lemon Juice, Vinegar even Hot Sauce or Salsa.
A touch of flakey salt like Maldon Sea Salt.
2. If you are at home try warming the seafood up in a skillet.
If you prefer your seafood warm this works… Season as suggested above. In our serving suggestions PDF we have a section on torching which is also a good flavor enhancer.
The tins from Les Mouettes d’ Arvor packed in real French Butter are made to be gently Sautéed. Remove the lid and place open side down in the warming skillet till the butter starts to melt. Then use a cloth or gloves to empty the contents of the tin into the skillet… Keep sure you scrape out all the seasonings in the tin. We like to serve these with rice.
Click On the Image below or the 2 images above to open our PDF with a tom of ideas on how to serve Conservas..
Conservas Olasagasti is the marriage between an Italian and a Spanish seafood dynasty… So it is the best of both worlds and they excel at all things Tuna and Anchovies…
Their “Anchovies ala Basque” are in a Light Chili & Garlic Sauce and mild tasting like Sardines great on Pizza, Toasts and warmed up and served on rice. The Tuna… Ventresca, Bonito, Yellow Fin or Rojo it’s all delicious and priced well. They have 4 tins with tuna and additions like white beans, sundried tomato pesto, gilled onions and a couple of others. Great right out of the tin but even better served on spring greens or arugula with S&P, Lemon Juice or Vinegar and EVOO. It is even better if you warm the contents of the tins in a skillet.
If you click on the image below it will open a Google Doc that features 2 of Spain’s best chefs sharing the story of Iberian tinned seafoods. They talk about the various species, how they are fished or farmed and how they are used in a variety of traditional recipes. The photography is incredible. I highly recommend checking it out.
If you see a blue banner (Explore our Best Content) hit the explore button above it and then click your back button and the page will reappear minus the annoying banner.
Can to Plate… Cooking with Tinned Seafood
Tuna (Ventresca) and Sardines, properly prepared and sealed in the tin with olive oil actually age in the tins like vintage red wine and get better!
How does the aging process work in the tin?
Well, the flesh of the fish still carry some digestive enzymes and when it is sealed into the tin those enzymes begin to slowly tenderize the flesh and in the case of sardines also the bones. When they finish the canning process all the air is removed from the tin so the Olive Oil does not oxidize. In Europe it’s popular to stash away tins for years.
If you are lucky you will see some Vintage Tins from Espinaler and Les Mouettes d’ Arvor on your shelves.
If you have the budget for it, when it comes to Tuna, look for the words Ventresca (made from best and freshest Tuna Belly from each maker). When the tin is labeled Tuna Belly it is still superb quality but may have taken an extra day to get in the can…. yes the best makers are that strict. However Tuna Belly is often a bargain and I recommend trying them. Both formats are tender, buttery and lovely served in a variety of recipes or right out of the tin