The best Portuguese seafood, all wrapped up in a neat package.
In Portugal, canned fish is far more than a standby staple, but it still doesn’t hold the same storied reputation as the tins from its Iberian neighbour. When José first launched its range (above), it was in a wave of companies looking to change that. For them, that also meant commissioning illustrators to design labels that could put the packaging on equal footing with the quality of the preserves.
The range, which includes the likes of spiced octopus in olive oil, and sardine pâté, will be on show when Miss Wolf, a new bar with a focus on canned seafood, opens in Sydney’s Marrickville this month: the team is decorating a wall with the cans and they’ll be serving fish straight from the tin.
A collaboration between chef Max Malcolm, Tracey Gumm and Simon Wheeler, Miss Wolf will also be serving fun cocktails and cool-climate Mexican wines. But it’s the seafood that has Malcolm excited.
He recalls visiting Cascais, a fishing town near Lisbon, and dining on a can of bacalhau à lagareiro, salted cod and potatoes packed in olive oil, with an ice-cold beer, olives and bread. Miss Wolf is a chance to bring that experience home.
A similar story inspired Dario Guerreiro, of The Canned Company, to distribute the cans in Australia. He mentions another coastal bar, this one in Setúbal, where he’d ordered a dish of squid in ragú. “To my shock, the waiter brought out a wooden board with a pretty cardboard box and a half-open tin,” he says. He was sceptical, but it was so good that he now supplies the cans to local shops, including Brisbane’s VJ’s Seafood, and
Marino Meat and Food Store in Adelaide.
“It opened my eyes to Portuguese tins and their untapped potential.”
Miss Wolf, 285 Marrickville Rd, Marrickville, NSW, 0409 400 279, misswolf.com.au