Have you ever been to Portugal and ate a delicious meal made with tinned fish? If you try it once, you’ll never stop thinking about it. Promise! No wonder, that in Manchester one of the latest Mediterranean food trends is popping up. Thanks to “The Sardinistas” a hint of Portugal can be sensed in the streets of Manchester. We talked to Imogen, the owner of The Sardinistas, who describes herself as a can lover, and asked her some questions about her business. Find out what canned food she would advise you for an evening with friends.

What is the Concept Behind The Sardinistas?

Initially inspired by my trip to Lisbon – where I came across gourmet shops and conservas bars selling beautifully designed and packaged canned fish – I decided that Manchester (and beyond!) was ready for this new rising trend. We believe that every home, deli and restaurant should have well-chosen tinned fish in store! We import gourmet canned fish and other tinned delicacies from the seas of Portugal, and have expanded our range to include other artisan and handmade products – all from independent, family run businesses across Portugal. Our motto is: If it’s beautifully designed and too good to hide in the cupboard, we will track it down and bring it home.

What is Special About Tinned Fish and Especially the Portuguese One?

Many of the products we stock are not yet available anywhere in the UK – and we only work with sustainable fisheries, small independently run family businesses making unique, really high quality seasonal products and companies with a true Portuguese heritage. ‘Tin the fish on the day of catch before sunset’ is a popular saying with many Portuguese tinned fish manufactures! Tests have proven that nutritional values of tinned food nowadays comes close to that of fresh. Canned fish such as sardines generally provide more calcium, because the calcium-rich bones are softened by processing and therefore more likely to be eaten. It is great that canned fish really has gone gourmet. The quality of canned fish from Portugal in particular is world renowned – and the packaging is highly creative and irresistible. That makes it so special.

What do You Like the Most When it Comes to Cans?

I love the fact that you can make versatile, quick, easy and cheap meals in the kitchen when combining canned with fresh food. I also like that the tins we sell are from an old traditional factory but have been repackaged by artists to make them more appealing to the younger generation!

It is Saturday Night, You Meet Up With Friends. What is Your Favourite Tinned Fish Meal?

Tasty Sardines and high quality Burrata with roasted vegetables. Enjoy it with a glass of red vine verde! I promise you, your friends will love the taste of Portugal. 🙂

Enough about Imogen and her awesome business, what is your favourite canned fish meal? Tell us with a comment.

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