You could do what I did and eat it standing next to the sink, fresh out of the can, but there are also plenty of more glamorous, or at least dignified, ways to eat canned seafood.
If you’re new to canned seafood, Dan Waber of Rainbow Tomatoes Garden recommends starting with sprats, also known as bristle sardines. These sardines are smaller than the average sardines and have a milder, more delicate flavor. “Eat them with your favorite cracker,” says Waber. “To get really crazy, add a dash of your favorite vinegar- or mustard-based hot sauce, and/or any pickled vegetables you have.”
Jonathan Larrad, co-founder of the online canned fish store tinsmith, states that Cantabrian anchovies are a good option for skeptics of canned fish. Most people have grown up around the salty anchovies found on pizza, but according to Larrad, Cantabrian anchovies are next level, so to speak. Rub some tomato on toast, then drizzle a little olive oil before scattering a few anchovies over the top. Cut vertically so you have strips of toast for the perfect canapé. “You immediately notice the difference: what you are eating is not just any anchovy,” he says. “That one surprises a lot of newbies because it sounds very adventurous. It also helps them stop thinking that they didn’t like anchovies and then suddenly saying, ‘Oh, I actually like them.’ It’s just that I was having a hard time before.”
If you want to branch out, consider the humble French fries. Serving canned mussels over French fries makes bivalves, which can be unappealing just sitting in the can or on a plate, look tastier and more fun to eat. “You get the crunch of the chip and the flavor of the vinegar, and it really works,” Larrad says. “It’s obviously cheap and efficient, and you can feed quite a few people this way.” Get a better quality kettle chip instead of your average gas station bag, which won’t hold up in weight or flavor to a rich mussel.
Anna has enjoyed canned fish since she was old enough to eat solids. “To me, high-quality canned fish is one that can be enjoyed as is; lemon, salt and other add-ins are unnecessary because why mask the flavor of the fish?” she says. “Pair it with a slice of deliciously crusty, but soft-on-the-inside bread (to dip in oil later) and that, to me, is perfection.”
As you embark on your own canned fish adventure, consider Waber’s advice on what makes good canned seafood. But first and foremost don’t forget: does it taste good? to you? “There is very little in this world more subjective than the flavors and textures that everyone enjoys, and canned seafood is subject to the same kind of personal variation there,” says Waber. “If any food product looks discolored, moldy, or smells bad, it’s probably bad. The bad is much easier to detect.” Don’t eat moldy, discolored, smelly canned fish if you find it, please.
Anchovies: “This is a product that changes noticeably as costs change,” Waber says. “For many uses, such as incorporating them into a sauce, lower-cost products are completely appropriate.” If you’re making Alison Roman famous caramelized shallot paste(complete with a full 2-ounce can of anchovy fillets), you don’t need to use your $30 can of Cantabrian chovies and can probably rely on what you can find at your local supermarket. For example, he says: “You don’t need Stoli to make a screwdriver,” although certainly can if you like.
High-end anchovies are often called “the ham of the sea,” says Waber, and should be reminiscent of a fine ham: “just the right amount of resistance and flexibility when biting, firm without being hard and then meltingly soft without being hard.” . pulpy.” Good mid-range anchovies “should be firm, have a clean smell, have a uniform color, and hold together when handled. This is a salt-cured product, so they will be salty.”
Smoked salmon: “Generally, you’re looking for large, intact pieces that lift cleanly from the can and are deliciously fragrant.”
Mussels: “They should be plump, intact meats that hold together without falling apart and are soft without being floury.”
Sardines: “Intact pieces with an attractive silvery skin, a clean smell and a consistently firm pulp that crumbles easily.”