The first “canning” of fish dates back to the end of the 18th century, when the Champagne confectioner Nicolas Appert created around 1795 a method of sterilization, better known today under the name of “appertisation”. The principle ? The fish are first gutted, prepared, possibly seasoned, then placed in airtight containers, and finally heated to 100°C in order to eliminate any deterioration or risks (bacteria, toxins, etc.). A revolution that made the success (and the fortune) of canneries, first of sardines, then of tuna and mackerel in oil, which still constitute the basis of our cooking from the closet.
Recyclable packaging, low prices, nutritional benefits at all levels (proteins, omega-3, vitamin D, calcium), ease of preparation… Canned fish has it all. There are even “cooked” versions, such as the classic mackerel fillets with mustard or Crumbled Marinated Tuna with Basil, in the Les Recettes de Douarnenez range, more recently released by Petit Navire, which can be easily accommodated in a salad with cooked pasta, candied tomatoes and mozzarella balls. And to be sure of making the right choice on the shelves, look for the MSC logo, which guarantees that the fish comes from certified sustainable fishing.
Natural canned fish
• Natural preserves contain only fish, water and salt. Tuna, salmon, sardines, or even mackerel can be packaged in this form. Tuna, with 41% of sales, dominates the market. In addition, the absence of marked seasoning (other than salt) allows a more varied use in the kitchen.
• Ideas for cooking them: simply mixed with yoghurt, chopped herbs and a drizzle of lemon juice, sardines, tuna or salmon can easily be spread. Another good plan: mix the contents of a natural preserve with eggs and tomato puree, slip everything into a small mold and bake, to obtain a gourmet fish loaf.
Discover the recipe for Salmon bread with horseradish and chive sauce
© Valery Guedes
Canned fish in oil
• In oil preserves, no surprise, it is mainly sunflower or olive oil that coats and allows the fish to be preserved. Herbs and/or spices can be added. The advantage, the ultra-melting texture of these fish, which can be enjoyed right out of the box, on a simple slice of bread.
• Ideas for cooking them: confit in oil, the fish will be more tender and oily in the mouth. Drain it well before using it in an omelette, a wrap, on a homemade pizza or on the spot bruschetta.
• Good to know: if you choose to heat these products, give preference to short cooking so as not to dry out the fish, unless it is to be incorporated into a liquid or creamy appliance, such as in the case of a quiche for example.
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© Valery Guedes