Typically, scallops, mussels, razor clams and fish invoke images of seafood, fresh from the sea. But what if there is another delicious way to eat seafood, packed with quality ingredients, prepared in a gourmet fashion and ready to serve. Have you ever heard about ‘Conservas’? Sounds amazing already, doesn’t it?
Conserva, meaning to preserve, is the centuries-old Spanish tradition of preserving seafood in tins. Like family jewels, this tradition has been passed from generation to generation and provides excellent appetizers and tapas for family gatherings. Yes, canned foods don’t usually spark ideas of deliciousness but as the master of gourmet food, Spain has perfected the art of preserving and packaging its seafood collection and we know you’ll love it.
Caught from the seas of Galicia (the hotspot and best place for the world’s seafood) extreme care is taken during the canning process. To ensure quality, every ingredient is carefully chosen. From the kind and quality of the salt, oils, vinegar, and sugar to how, where and when the seafood is caught. Even the number of pieces in each can and the length of time needed for aging is considered.
But most importantly, to preserve the flavours of the sea for years in a can and in the most elegant way possible, these products are canned by hand. The result is seafood that is delectable, nutritious and simple to prepare, it really does melt away all the stereotypes that may be associated with canned food.
Conservas at home
In Spanish restaurants, this luxury food item may be used as a topping or ingredient for tapas and those who specializes in conservas often serve them directly from the artfully decorated tins. However, if you can’t make it to Spain or a fancy restaurant; don’t worry, it is easy to prepare and serve conservas at home. For example, make tapas by pairing anchovies or sardines with some toasted bread. Arrange it on a beautiful platter, sprinkle with parsley, pepper or flavoured salt.
Try using conservas to spice up a simple salad and watch it come alive. After preparing your favorite vegetables, place them in a dish or on a platter and add conservas, such as tuna or octopus, as a protein-packed topping. Conservas can also be used to enhance other recipes or dishes. For instance, clams and mussels make an excellent additional to pasta dishes. Simply, cook your pasta; then add your favorite conservas (including the oil from the can), salt, parsley and a squeeze of lemon.
So if you’re planning a party, family event or even a simple games night with a Spanish theme, the hunt for those special ingredient does not have to be long and torturous. In Canada, Spanish Pig has a wide variety of Spanish conservas. If you’re new to conservas, we suggest you try this exquisite seafood collection to sample the wide variety available.