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The Lata Beginner's Guide to Tinned Fish

As you might see from our online store or around the internet – there is a lot of choice when it comes to canned seafood. Different fish types, different brands, different sauces – it can all seem overwhelming.

Don’t fret at all – Lata’s team is here to help with our guide on how to make the perfect start to your seafood journey. We’ll also share our picks for the best tins to get started and ensure you begin with the right foot forward.

Why jump into the tinned fish world?

Whether you’re eating sardines, tuna, or any other type of seafood, you can be sure that you’re in for a tasty treat. There are a whole host of health benefits that can really step your diet up, including omega-3 fatty acids, iron and vitamin D. However for this guide, we’ll focus on the flavor and variety that’s available.

Every tin that we've selected has been crafted with the utmost care by seasoned experts – many of them packed by hand. This process means that the fish are meticulously cared for and packed swiftly after being caught. That way you end up with a delicious taste that still feels fresh.

The fish are prepared by master canneries using artisanal methods. Some of the companies we list have histories in the business that span over a century. We're proud to also select from brands with deep commitments to sustainable fishing practices. This ensures the highest-quality product possible for you while ensuring future supply.

Another fun fact – did you know that canned seafood can develop its flavors over time, just like wine? That’s so exciting because the bar of quality continues to rise over time.

José Gourmet Spiced Mackerel Pate - beautifully served

First Picks? Keep It Simple

The most important place to begin with any that has simple taste profiles. This means that they are most likely to only have olive oil as their added spice. There are plenty of options here across various types of fish. We would 100% recommend starting with the most popular ones: sardines or tuna.

For sardines – start with the Nuri Sardines in Olive Oil

For tuna – try the Olasagasti Yellowfin Tuna in Olive oil

Feeling adventurous? You can also start off with one our more simple pâté options like this one from Nuri or you can check out our two articles on Lata's favorite sardine and mackerel tins.

Worried about bones/skin/scales? No problem!

While all of our products are meticulously cleaned and prepared, it is possible that some of the tins will have bones, skin or scales included. That said, all three are completely edible and also part of what contributes to the amazing flavors.

If this hasn’t eased your worries, we’ve got an additional handy solution ready for you. Plenty of tins are explicitly made to be skinless and boneless to make sure you also have the freedom of choice. It means you might miss out on some of the full flavor experience, but it is still a great and delicious pick.

If that’s what you prefer, we would strongly recommend the Nazarena Sardines in Olive Oil.

Nazarena Skinless and Boneless Sardines in Olive Oil

Do you need to clean the fish once you open them?

No, everything has already been taken care of so you’re ready to go from the moment you open the tin. You also don't need to cook them, unless you're preparing a specific dish that needs them heated.

How do I store my tins once I get them?

The vast majority of products you’ll find are easily storable in your pantry. We promise - no refrigeration required! That makes it so easy to keep a stache around the house at all times for an easy and healthy snack! 

Preparing your meal

While you can always eat your fish straight out of the tin, you can also serve it with several great pairings. In one of our previous blog posts, we shared some great pairings such as pasta, rice, or avocado on toast.

 As true Spaniards, we would be remiss if we didn’t recommend making a vermút afternoon out of it. 

Artesanos Alalunga Cuttlefish in its own Ink - served beautifully

Get an individual tin or a box set to start

Left the most difficult question for last! In the end, it’s entirely up to you.

 If you’re feeling hesitant, you can always start small with some of the recommendations we’ve made above. We’re proud of our curated box sets, each one designed to give you a good range of products and flavors to enjoy. There's also the added perk that you save 10% off compared to buying each tin separately.

We recommend the Sardines Lovers Box as a great first pick. It contains some of the more simple tins as well as a few more complex ones (like a Spicy Pickled Sauce – yum!)

Feeling fully convinced? Why not sign up for our monthly subscription?

Every month, we curate 4 new products from our selection and deliver them right to your door. We are always working hard to pick the best and highest quality tins and we’re sure they won’t disappoint.

We hope this guide has been useful and you’re ready to get started on understanding why we love high-quality tinned fish so much. 

Trying something for the first time? We’d love to hear your thoughts and impressions!

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