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