Dinner From a Can, No Apologies

The Wall Street Journal


December 17, 2020

Sick of cooking but craving something sensational? With these Spanish seafood conservas in the cupboard, you’re covered.
Benjamin Kemper

AN ORDINARY aperitivo hour at the no-frills tapas bar Fide in Madrid finds patrons clinking vermouths and snacking on some of the finest seafood money can buy: pearly-white razor clams, fat Galician mussels and sweet little cockles you could balance on a pinhead, all served straight from a can.

Fide’s regulars know that conservas de pescado (tinned seafood) can be downright spectacular, even better than the fresh stuff. Do you recall your first taste of a truly great wine—one that left you thinking, So this is what I’ve been missing? That’s what it’s like to discover meaty Cantabrian anchovies or buttery ventresca (albacore belly) in olive oil after a life of dollar sardines and waterlogged tuna....

TOP TINS -Incomparable Iberian Conservas

Conservas de Cambados Zamburiñas
The purple-shelled scallop thrives in the cool rías (estuaries) of Galicia in northwestern Spain. Its mild sweetness plays well with satiny local white wines like Godello and Ribeiro. These zamburiñas are braised in a heady tomato-wine sauce. Heat the tin’s contents and ladle over plain white rice for a zero-effort meal. $13 for 4 ounces, tienda.com

Conservas de Cambados Berberechos
Fresh cockles can be a pain: little meat and lots of sand. Not so Cambados’s berberechos al natural, which are hefty and blessedly free of grit. Enjoy straight from the fridge with only a squeeze of lemon, and be sure to save the brine: It makes killer dirty Martinis. $40 for 4 ounces, tienda.com

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