Introducing... the Cadillac of Canned Seafood

December 12, 2016

If a can of tuna gives you middle school flashbacks (soggy bread, overly mayonnaise-y tuna fish salad, the derisive glares of the other kids as you pulled a smelly sandwich out of your bag), allow us to introduce you to Ramón Peña Spanish Seafood. It's everything your Chicken of the Sea wasn't (except it's still in a can).

Our Shop has stocked up on these treasures from the sea (of coastal Spain, to be exact): mussels, squid, octopus, sardines, and tuna belly so fresh and so good that it has to be on the invite list for your next dinner party.

Ramón Peña has been canning Spanish seafood since 1920. Their experts source from the buyers and sailors who know the secrets of finding the highest quality fish in the Galician Rias, Atlantic Ocean, and Mediterranean Sea. Fresh from the water, their fish is carefully cleaned, cooked, and packed in olive oil (and sometimes with a little extra something, like paprika or Padrón peppers).

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The mussels, squid, sardines, tuna belly, and octopus are each packed in a gold can—so simple that you can peel back the top and put them right out as bites before your next dinner party (just remember to set out some little cocktail forks, too). They're the Cadillac of canned seafood.

The flavors and textures of the seafood can stand on their own, but they're also just the thing to whip into an easy-to-make and easy-to-impress appetizer for all those upcoming holiday parties. Here are a handful of ideas for little bites worthy of these big flavors:

  • Sardine-stuffed mushrooms: Remove the stems from your mushroom of choice (we like cremini) and finely chop them up. Mix with some ricotta and chives, and, finally, several of the mashed sardines. Bake at 350° F for around 25 minutes.
  • Tuna belly deviled eggs: Everyone's favorite hors d'oeuvre (even if they won't admit it) gets an upgrade when you mix some of Ramón Peña's insanely creamy tuna belly into your filling mixture of choice. We'll let you decide the ratio of mayonnaise to mustard, but definitely make a whole dozen of these babies.
  • Shakshuka-y octopus: Simmer the octopus in a harissa-spiked tomato sauce and throw in some feta. Let the parsley rain down and let your guests spear the little octopus slices to their heart's content.
  • Mussel toast: Gotta get a crostini in there, right? Right from the can, these mussels have a really creamy texture that makes a luxurious spread for mini toasts. Sauté some shallots in butter and deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine, and allow them to cook down. Top the mussel-spread toast with the shallots. Parley's good here, too.

And because, yes, there is life beyond holiday party season, Ramón Peña canned seafood can be worked into your non-appetizer meals, too. We're planning on throwing the tuna belly into a simple, lemony pasta; searing the sardines and launching them into tomato soup; and smothering the octopus in herbs and alliums for a bright, bracing salad.

What are your favorite ways to use canned seafood? Share with us in the comments!

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Olivia Bloom

Written by: Olivia Bloom

Has a soft spot for string cheese.