There two things you see everywhere in Lisbon... tiles and sardines. The local seafood delicacy can be found seasonally served fresh in restaurants, but you are not likely to be bringing home fresh sardines in your carry on. Canned seafood can be both a treat for the palate, but since some of the packaging is also art-worthy, they can be a feast for the eyes and make the perfect take-home souvenir. And since not all canned seafood is created equal, here are five brands worth seeking out.

 Photo Credit: ©Find. Eat. Drink.

Photo Credit: ©Find. Eat. Drink.

Minerva

They've been around since 1942 and they use fish caught daily off the Portuguese coast that is then prepared by hand and canned. They have a full range of canned seafood including sardines, codfish, hake roe, mackerel, octopus, squid, and tuna. They also make pâtés from tuna, mackerel, and sardine that are worth trying.

A VIDA PORTUGUESA
Chiado | Rua Anchieta 11, 1200-023 Lisbon | T: +351.213.465.073
Intendente | Largo do Intendente Pina Manique 23, 1100-285 Lisbon | T: +351.211.974.512
Mercado da Ribeira | Avenida 24 de Julho, 1200-481 Lisbon | T: +351.211.368.446
www.avidaportuguesa.com

  Photo Credit: ©Find. Eat. Drink.

Photo Credit: ©Find. Eat. Drink.

Tricana + Minor + Prata do Mar

Conserveira de Lisboa was established in1930, originally as Mercearia do Minho. They are very unique in Lisbon because they package, can, and sell their own three brands. Each brand specializes in different styles of canned seafood.

Tricana is their range of "big fish" with one piece filets put in each can by hand. By big fish, they mean anchovy, tuna, codfish, bivalves like mussels and cockels, mackerel, lampern or lamprey, squid, eggs / roe, octopus, and sardine.

The Minor brand specializes in small fish and pastes. The different types include horse mackerel, mackerel, and small sardines.

The Prata do Mar cans are all Portuguese and include a range of smaller fillets, medium sized fish, and fish chunks, including tuna, a selection of mousses (such as mackerel, sardine, spicy tuna), and Portuguese sardines.

CONSERVEIRA DE LISBOA
Rua dos Bacalhoeiros, 34, 1100-071 Lisboa
T: +351.218.864.009 | www.conserveiradelisboa.pt

José Gourmet

Whereas Minerva and the Conserveira de Lisboa brands look very classically Portuguese and traditional, the packaging design for José Gourmet is ultra-modern and sleek. But it's really about the contents of the can, not just the packaging -- although if you are buying gifts the beauty of the packaging doesn't hurt. They also have a range of canned seafood from classic sardines to roe, tuna, trout, mackerel, and squid. Each box has a fun, unique illustration, as well as serving tips. In addition to canned seafood, José also make olive oils, vinegars, jams, and spirits. 

josegourmet.com

A VIDA PORTUGUESA
Chiado | Rua Anchieta 11, 1200-023 Lisbon | T: +351.213.465.073
Intendente | Largo do Intendente Pina Manique 23, 1100-285 Lisbon | T: +351.211.974.512
Mercado da Ribeira | Avenida 24 de Julho, 1200-481 Lisbon | T: +351.211.368.446
www.avidaportuguesa.com


The Fish Glossary

Sardinhas -- Sardines
Petingas -- Small Sardines
Ovas de Sardinha -- Sardine Roe
Cavala -- Mackerel
Cavalinhas -- Small Cavala (Mackerel)
Carapaus -- Horse Mackerel
Atum -- Tuna
Ventresca de Atum -- Tuna Belly
Peixe Espada Preto -- Black Scabbard Fish
Anchovas -- Anchovies
Polvo -- Octopus
Mexilhões -- Mussels
Bacalhau -- Codfish
Ovas de Bacalhau -- Codfish Roe
Truta -- Trout
Enguias -- Eels
Lampreia -- Lamprey
Lulas -- Squid
Berbigão -- Cockles

The Styles

Em Azeite -- in olive oil, the simplest and purest style
Em Tomate -- in tomato sauce, still simple, but more flavor
Picante -- spicy, and the longer in the can, the spicier they are
Fumado -- smoked seafood, for a more unique flavor
Con Limão -- flavored with lemon
Com Cravinho -- with cloves, definitely not the usual
Mousse / Paste / Paté -- instead of whole fish, try pate spread on toast.

 


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