tinned fish
Opened canned of fish on a metal rustic background (Photo: Claudia Totir)

Tinned Fish is Everywhere—and We’re Not Mad About It

This trendy food also makes a great trail snack or meal

tinend fish

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These days, it seems like everywhere you look—trendy restaurants, boutique food shops, Instagram—tinned seafood, a long staple of Mediterranean cooking and eating, is making an appearance. And no wonder: the food, says Chris Sherman, CEO of Duxbury, Massachusetts’ Island Creek Oysters, is “the holy grail” of convenience and luxury. “The fact that it’s a great protein choice for you and our world—packing nutritional benefits, a reduced carbon footprint, easily recyclable packaging, fair labor practices, and sustainable fisheries—means you can feel good about indulging,” Sherman says. Plus, it makes a great take-along snack or meal for your outdoor adventures. Just add bread, crackers, or some salty garnishes like olives or pickles. Here are four tinned fish producers that you should check out this fall.

Island Creek Oysters

Island Creek Oysters recently launched a line of single-origin tinned shellfish in partnership with Galicia, Spain’s Conservas Mariscadora. The six different 3.7 to 3.9-ounce tins range in price from $10 to $25 and are harvested by small, independent fishermen and women from fisheries in Spanish waters and then hand-packed in a 100-year-old Spanish cannery. Included in the selection of tinned seafood: clams in brine; cockles in brine; scallops in a tomato-based Vieira sauce (serve it over pasta or rice); razor clams in olive oil, garlic, and chili; razor clams in olive oil; and mussels in pickled sauce, a briny, vinegar-base sauce inflected with tomato.

Patagonia Provisions

Regenerative and organic food brand Patagonia Provisions recently stepped into the tinned fish game with their mackerel, mussels, and white anchovies. Fish appear in various flavor incarnations: anchovies may be seasoned with roasted garlic, lemon, and olive oil, or plain; mussels may be smoked, cooked in sofrito, or marinated in lemon and herbs; and mackerel may be enhanced by roasted garlic, Spanish paprika, or lemons and capers. Tins, which contain 4.2 ounces, start at $8, but some are available in sampler packs or are offered in discounted 10-packs for $72.

Fishwife Tinned Seafood Co.

Founded in 2020 by Becca Milstein and Caroline Goldfarb, Fishwife embraces sustainable aquaculture by focusing production on small-boat fishing and micro-canneries. The company sells five different types of seafood: wild-caught smoked albacore tuna; smoked rainbow trout; smoked salmon with Fly by Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp; smoked Atlantic salmon; and, coming up at the end of the month, trout jerky gems, tenderloin pieces of trout sourced from Magic Valley, Idaho. Tins are sold as a set of three and range in price from $26.99 to $38.99. For those seeking variety in a three-pack, Fishwife offers a “Smoky Trio,” for $27.99, a three-pack combining smoked tuna, trout, and salmon.

Ekone Smoked Oysters

Small, sweet, Pacific Coast oysters from Washington’s Willapa Bay are the name of the game at Ekone. One of the company’s canned varieties is harvested, brined, and then smoked over maple chips—eat them straight from the can or use them in everything from Thanksgiving dressings to side dishes. Additional flavors include habanero and lemon pepper. Three-ounce cans cost $11.95, but sample packs of six cans (they also include Ekone’s smoked mussels) are available for $65.