Sardines in olive oil, mackerel in broth, and mussels escabeche (or mussels poached in vinaigrette) packed in colorful tins are more than the perfect souvenir from a Portugal vacation. Globally, preserved fish is on the up and up. According to Bloomberg, the market for tinned fish is expected to reach $36.7 billion by 2021. Although seafood conserva is admittedly more popular in Europe and Asia, the United States is slowly catching on to the notion that tuna isn’t the only worthwhile fish in a can.
In America, most canned seafood on grocery shelves is not hand-packed by artisans. So it’s no surprise the convivial spirit surrounding conservas is absent here.
Just as curing fresh meat creates delicacies like salami and prosciutto, conservas are not merely about preservation. In some countries, a culture of connoisseurship surrounds the industry, and its creations are to be appreciated right out of the can, often with friends and libations.
While the trend here in the Bay Area started a few years ago, the pandemic has hastened local acceptance of conservas. We discovered the sublime conservas from Jose Gourmet a few years back at the Fancy Food Show, and are proud to be one of the few places in the East Bay where they are available.
Jose Gourmet created true Portuguese flavors that taste of the sea, using traditional know-how. Their tinned seafood preserves not only the best flavors of the sea, but also their values as a company to build long-standing relationships in the food community. Based out of Lisbon, Jose Gourmet combs the coasts of Portugal and Spain to find seafood of distinction. They believe in the principles of fair trade, often paying in advance and never negotiating for better pricing.
The whimsical artwork of Luis Mendonça on the packaging is meant to pay homage to these fishermen and canneries who rely on hard work and a life-long dedication to their trade.
We offer a number of great products from Jose Gourmet: Tuna Fillet, Octopus in EVOO, Calamari in Spicy Tomato Sauce, and our newest additions: Smoked Sardines and Razor Clams.
Come experience a delicious meal the way many Iberians do, with some seafood conservas and a crisp white wine or a copa of Sherry