This is a question that it really is worth asking yourself.
At the moment, when costs are high and quality of affordable fish in the supermarket is very often low (there’s something gross about farmed fish for me, particularly after reading the chapter on salmon in this book), tinned fish is something we should all be looking into.
This is something my Mother has been trying to convince me of for quite some time. Anchovies, for example, are a super affordable way to inject some protein and healthy oily fish vibes into a meal. I’m just not that into anchovies, even now, I’m really hoping I’ll grow into them. Sidenote: I just Googled how long human tastebuds continue to change and develop and found nothing immediately obvious so gave up, but I feel like there’s still time for me to get into anchovies.
That’s why this book landing on my doormat was kind of a revelation for me, my kitchen cupboards and my diet. This is just the kick up the bum I needed to properly look at how I can be utilising tinned fish in meals.
I wasn’t aware of Bart van Olphen (the author) until I picked up this book, which is kind of terrible of me because he is a very cool guy. He’s dedicated to promoting sustainable seafood and was named most sustainable seaf00d entrepreneur in 2008 – I’m really hoping the trophy for that was like a singing Billy the Bass or something. He has a YouTube channel that’s well worth a look too, it is officially on my radar from this moment onwards.
The first recipe I had to try from this book was the one that contained (I think) the most garlic. I’m big on garlic.
It was REALLY good. I’ll totally be making it again but I think I’ll add cheese next time because I’m all about those calorific extras. Here’s an underwhelming photograph of my end result:
That’s the only recipe I’ve tried my hand at so far but there are so many I have on my to-cook list. Deep-fried potato skins with anchovy dip on p52 and Plantain, crab and mango chutney on p118 are at the very top of said list – do they or do they not both sound heavenly?
It was also really interesting for me to take a look into the way fish were tinned historically and how it all works now – and how to spot good quality from bad based on labelling. All properly useful stuff.
This book has totally converted me to the sustainable and affordable world of cooking with tinned fish. I’m excited about this! If you want to get involved, check out the book Cooking with Tinned Fish on Amazon here (it’s only £7.94 at the time of blogging this!)