Can It

Spain’s Best Artisanal Food Comes in a Can

March 9, 2017 Home : Eats By

Most canned tuna is destined to collect dust in the back corner of a pantry. But Ramón Peña doesn’t sell your average tinned fish. Since 1920, the third-generation, family-run business has been the leading conserva, or canned foods producer, in Spain, selecting premium, fresh, local seafood and packaging its wares by hand.

The result is more akin to a delicacy than it is a last resort, as each product — grilled sardines packed in olive oil with Padrón peppers ($34 for two), poached squid in a spiced tomato sauce ($28 for two), mussels in escabeche ($36 for two) — prepared a mere hours after being harvested. Even the company’s tuna ($36 for two) is a step above: the belly of line-caught Bonito del Norte is poached in seawater, filleted by hand and packaged in olive oil to preserve tenderness and flavor. While Ramón Peña’s seafood is well suited to salads and pasta sauces, its flavor is best savored plucked straight from the can, placed atop toast or paired with crackers.

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