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9 Under-the-Radar Chefs to Know in Chicago

January 23, 2018

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Eat This! Why you should be eating conservas

January 19, 2018


Hearing the words “canned fish” conjures images of gray, salty chunks of fish floating in water, waiting to be tossed with jiggly globs of mayo and too-big chunks of celery.

Time to banish those thoughts. Known as conservas in Spain and Portugal — doesn’t that already sound better than canned? — these go far beyond tuna fish sandwiches.

The tinned fish are staples in Spain and Portugal, served in restaurants and bars simply with bread, a glass of wine and a green salad. Many traditional, family-owned canneries still thrive, sustainably sourcing their fish and hand-packing them at the peak of freshness with flavorful oils, peppers and tomato sauce.

There’s a working man’s quality to these snacks,” said Glenn Fahlstrom, owner of the Lakeview fish destination bearing his name. “Conservas aren’t esoteric; it’s not buttoned up. It’s just good, casual eating.”


In partnership with seafood specialist Wixter Market (2110 W. Division St.), Fahlstrom’s has a dedicated conservasprogram, joining restaurants like Wicker Park’s Black Bull, Boston’s Saltie Girl and New York’s Maiden Lane as evangelists of the humble-but-tasty canned goods.


By Joseph Hernandez - Contact Reporter / Chicago Tribune

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