Tinned fish is the new on-trend appetizer and Twin Cities markets are catching on

Place the lutefisk.

It’s time to take a fresh look at preserved fish. Minnesota’s favorite white sauce-soaked cod isn’t on this hot new menu. Instead, stand between you and the world’s best seafood. All I have is a thin metal plate.

Several Twin Cities stores are ramping up their supply to meet demand for canned fish.

After a handful of restaurants on both coasts dedicate entire sections of their menus to canned food, and more canneries enter the market with catchy packaging and creative mix-ins, it’s a trend that’s just starting to hit the spot here.

Keen Amdahl, Marketing Director of Coastal Seafood, said: “We sell a large amount of canned seafood.”

Minnesotans who love pickled herring are familiar with canned, bottled, and otherwise preserved foods. In essence, canned fish has always been about preserving fresh food. Providing people with affordable, accessible and healthy food. Don’t waste anything.

An exciting new wave of canned fish is a utilitarian one that stems from the same traditional preservation methods, but with an added extravagant element. Dating back to Spain and Portugal, you can’t pass through a duty-free shop without the temptation to fill your carry-on with cans. It looks like a ya has stumbled upon a circus, but instead of sweets, boldly striped cans contain oil and fish.

In the twin cities, canned fish-themed restaurants aren’t as popular as they are in Europe, New York, or Los Angeles. In Los Angeles, his Kippered, a canned fish and champagne bar, is co-owned by his Reed Herrick in St. Louis. park native. But I’m interested.

When chef JD Fratzke signed the deal to helm the food program at Minnetonka’s new wine bar and gourmet grocery store, Wineside, one of the things he was most excited about was the selection of food from Europe and North America. It was an entire display piled up with cans. Cans can be purchased to take away or eaten at restaurants, and are served with aioli and Patisserie 46 bread.

“When you think of canned tuna, you think of Starkist,” says Fratzke. “But we have this Ortiz stuff, Sicilian bonito tuna, and these stuffed squid tubes. They’re braised in a vinaigrette, so hearty and delicious. I was able to take 5 cans to the Boundary’ of water for the weekend. ”

Canning is also becoming increasingly popular, especially as more types of seafood make their way to the Midwest in canned form, and can be a low-risk way to try something new.

“We are giving people the opportunity to taste many things they have never tasted before,” said Fratzke.

Chef Jamie Malone started incorporating canned fish into his menu at the height of the pandemic when he ran a takeout-only pop-up from a restaurant in downtown Minneapolis.

“Omigod, what can we offer? No contact would be great fun? I couldn’t get people to eat inside. Canned fish,” Malone said. “The mere thought of being able to open a can of food and eat crackers doesn’t make you eat more food.”

But the road to making canned fish a gourmet picnic snack has come a long way for Malone. First, she had to shake up her memories of her childhood when her father opened a can of sardines with a key. “There weren’t any good ones available,” she said. “I thought it was terrible.”

When world-renowned Spanish chef and humanitarian José Andrés launched his own line of canned fish, Malone took notice.

“He’s been really passionate about saying, ‘Hey, this is a really, really good way to eat.’ “If I had to track it down, I’d say he started a sea change. Maybe this isn’t weird.” [stuff] My father kept it in the cabinet as he pleased, pissing off his daughters. Maybe this is really delicious and trending. ”

It’s a trend that’s only growing in popularity.

At Coastal Seafoods, our cafes sometimes offer special canned food, and we’ve taught the whole class about the dishes you can make with canned fish. Amdahl says market shelves are already filled with a colorful line-up of cans, but more cans will be coming soon.

Malone sells his favorite tuna in curated chef pantry boxes through dining clubs in Paris and wants to host a canned fish pop-up at North Loop Studios.

But thanks to the variety and diversity of canned seafood, anyone can throw a preserved fish party at home.

“It’s also very easy to make a good meal,” Malone said.

How to serve canned fish

The elaborate cheese and charcuterie board craze has received a seafood upgrade. It also contains an open tin of buttered or white tuna belly smoked trout or lobster.

At Wineside, Fratzke opens a can of your choice, pierces the fish with a toothpick, and serves it with a pinch bowl of aioli served with crusty bread. “It’s going to be a really simple experience of sipping wine and focusing on it. And wow, I didn’t know anything in a can could taste like this,” Fratzke said.

Amdahl of Coastal Seafoods likes to use canned fish to make open-faced sandwiches. He roughly chops the contents of a can of anchovies or sardines, tosses them with cilantro, shallots and piquillo peppers, then piles them on grilled bread and tops them with a dollop of olive oil and sherry vinegar. toast,” said Amdahl. “It’s amazing.”

For Malone, preparation depends entirely on the contents of the can.

But regardless of fish, simplicity is the key. “A little bit of sea salt, maybe thinly sliced ​​serrano chile or espelette pepper. Whether you squeeze a little citrus,” Malone said. The food pairs really well with fatty foods. Like sardines with avocado in olive oil? That’s all you have to do.

Where to buy canned fish in the Twin Cities

Twin Cities specialty stores and gourmet food stores offer an ever-growing selection of canned fish. Whether it’s premium Mediterranean catch or traditional Norwegian fish balls, there are plenty of omega-3-rich options to serve on your fish board or simply enjoy with crackers.

From top left:

Scout, Ontario trout with dill, $10. Surdyk’s Cheese Shop, 303 E. Hennepin Av., Mpls., surdykscheese.com

Rügen Fisch, smoked sprats, $3.50. Bill’s Imported Foods, 721 W. Lake St., Mpls., billsimportedfoods.com

Second line:

Fish wife, smoked salmon, $14. Asa’s Bakery, 5011 34th Av. S., Mpls., asasbakery.com

Mariscadora, razor brine, $10.50. Kierans Kitchen & Market, 117 14th Av. NE., Mpls., foodbuilding.com

Matisse, Wild Sardine Natural Lemon Essence, $5. Clancy’s Meat and Fish, 3804 Grand Ave. S., Mpls., clanceysmeats.com

Third line:

Freshé, Moroccan tagine salmon, $7. Coastal Seafoods, 2004 E. 24th St., Mpls., 74 S. Snelling Av., St. Paul, coastalseafoods.com

Jose Gourmet, Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, $14. Wineside, 1641 Plymouth Road, Minnetonka, Wineside.com

Line 4:

Eva, Adriatic sardines, $3; Bill’s Imported Foods, 721 W. Lake St., Mpls., billsimportedfoods.com

Ortiz, white tuna belly in oil, $14. Coastal Seafoods, 2004 E. 24th St., Mpls., 74 S. Snelling Av., St. Paul, coastalseafoods.com

Husmor, salted fish balls, $12. Ingebretsens, 1601 E. Lake St., Mpls., ingebretsens.com

Last line:

Porto Muinhos, mussels with sweet kelp in salsa brava, $12. France 44, 4351 France Av. S., Mpls. france44.com

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