So, tinned fish are trending. Not the sexiest trend, but we are totally behind it since we are big fans of “S.M.A.S.H.” fish; that is, salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring, because they contain lower levels of mercury compared to other types of fish and are full of the health-promoting fatty acid omega-3 that AGEIST contributor Corinna Bellizzi has written about. Omega-3 fatty acids are part of every cell in our body and they are crucial for brain and mental health, increasing health span, supporting eye health, and improving heart health. Bring on the S.M.A.S.H. fish!
Tinned fish can be a pretty divisive topic. Some people love the salty, fishy flavor; some people hate it. Here is our guide to crafting the ultimate tinned-fish board that might soon replace your beloved charcuterie-and-cheese board for a date night or dinner party appetizer. We include some options for people who might be less inclined to like tinned fish so you can dip your toes in the (fishy) water.
When sourcing tinned fish, look for a company that has wild caught and responsibly sourced fish in a BPA-free tin or is compliant with the US and European BPA regulations. You’ll also want to look at the ingredients. We like options that are pretty simple: no added sugars, starches, or chemicals.
To create a well-rounded board, be it charcuterie, cheese, or tinned fish, it’s a good idea to include a couple of different categories:
- The stars of the show (a few cheeses, a few types of meat, or, in this case, a few tinned fish)
- Vessels to eat the star (baguette, crackers, toast)
- Raw veg or fruit (which can be used as a palate cleanser in between bites, plus raw produce will add a freshness to an otherwise very flavorful, rich board. Plus, fiber.)
- Condiments (jams, sauces, spreads)
- Miscellaneous (nuts, cheese, olives)
Having multiple categories of foods to munch on also helps ensure that if you are being extra adventurous with your tinned fish, you can fill up on some of the other options.
Our perfect tinned-fish board
The fish —
- Patagonia Provisions Roasted Garlic Mackerel which is wild caught and canned in an aluminum-free, BPA-free, and recyclable can.
- Nuri Spiced Sardines in Olive Oil which is wild caught, has very simple ingredients and is a product of Portugal.
- Matiz Organic Mussels which are certified organic, contain simple ingredients and comply with US and European limits on BPA.
- Bonus for tinned fish skeptics: Patagonia Provisions Lemon Pepper Wild Sockeye Salmon. Salmon is a pretty good gateway into tinned fish as it’s not too “fishy” and most of our palates are used to the flavor and texture.
The vessels —
- A good quality French-style baguette. Cut into slices — half untoasted, to maintain the soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture; and half toasted, with EVOO and garlic.
- Water crackers, which are typically not too salty. Let the fish add the salt!
Raw veg & fruit —
- Sliced cucumber
- Green grapes
- Hot sauce of choice
- Tart cherry jam
- Lemon wedges
- Toasted walnuts
- 1 cheese of choice