The José Gourmet conservas line of brightly colored boxes on a white surface.
Courtesy José Gourmet

Why Conservas Should Be Among the Most Practical Additions to Your Pantry Stock

By Aileen Kwun
July 11, 2020
1 minute read

The idea of “pantry cooking” connotes a sense of resourcefulness—the humble term focused on the shelf lives of whatever ingredients are around, more than their quality or taste—but as Esquire food and drinks editor Jeff Gordinier told us on Ep. 10 of At a Distance, canned food can be every bit as delicious as the fresh stuff, if not exceedingly so. Conservas, tinned seafood products from Spain and Portugal, can last for months, if not years, in the cupboard, but that seems to be secondary to the range of ingredients and flavors you can find: from delicacies like octopus in Galician sauce, to sweet roasted piquillo peppers stuffed with bonito tuna. Chicken of the Sea, these are not. Fortunately, you can browse and find all sorts of conservas online from grocers such as La Tienda and Chicago’s Wixter Market, and fuel those wanderlust dreams of a trip to the Iberian coast. “The other day I tried zamburiñas,” Gordinier told us on the podcast, with excitement. “Have you heard of that? See, this is interesting. I'm still seeking out adventure with my freaking pantry!”