Quality Approach to Tinned Fish
Spiced Mackerel. Fried Mussels in Marinade. Ventrusca Tuna. Codfish with Garlic.
These aren’t the sort of selections you probably think of first when visiting a land-locked area like Steamboat Springs. But when you peruse the shelves within the MEATBAR market, these tinned fish selections direct from Portugal practically jump off the shelf along with the artistic packaging they come with.
With only 22 canneries in the entirety of Portugal, the art of canning fresh fish is safeguarded by those with true passion for the industry. Jose Gourmet is the most notable purveyor of these delicacies from the sea, and one could argue that nobody else preserves the tradition of packaged fish with more flair. From the very moment you become introduced to the sophistication of this brand, you know you’re in for a uniquely special treat.
Come to find out that the company name is as meaningful as the artwork that adorns its packaging. The name Jose, a traditional Portuguese moniker, stems from the Hebrew root meaning “the one who adds on.” This is especially fitting considering that Jose Gourmet’s stated purpose is to add value to the marketplace, expand relations between quality production and consumption, and increase the consumer understanding of raw materials. In this case, fish.
Jose Gourmet sees itself as the go-between of those who produce with quality and the customers who appreciate such excellence. And if you’ve ever tried their Spiced Calamari in Ragout or Razor Clams, you’ll quickly understand their distinction. At MEATBAR, we choose to offer these products because of the priority they place on quality first.
What’s rare about Jose Gourmet is they act as both a producer and packer of fresh fish. A majority of companies that operate in the space focus solely on packaging without immediate access to fish at the docks. In fact, Jose Gourmet purchases their fish fresh from the docks in the morning and processes it by the afternoon, so it doesn't get any fresher than that. Their primary focus is on the high quality of the fish they sell as well as the delicious flavors to pair them with.
Coupled with that is the brilliant artistry that adorns each product’s packaging. One of the two owners is a professor of illustration in his home country and treats each product pack as a canvas worthy of the Louvre. If you look closely, you’ll see the signature of the artist that created the image on each tin sold.
Jose Gourmet maintains an honest relationship with their suppliers and clients. They take the time to contact small producers who won’t settle for anything less than exceptional and are willing to hold firm on fair market value. At the core of Jose's beliefs is that quality does not exist on its own. It is surrounded by people that preserve traditions, operate with integrity, and create possibilities.
When you peel back the tin of one of these delectable delicacies, we promise you’ll be able to taste the distinction. No matter if you’re drawn more to Sardines with Lemon, humanely harvested Octopus, or Mackerel Fillets in Olive Oil, the overall selection is designed to interest the most discernible palette.
As an example of what Jose Gourmet has set out to offer the world marketplace, take for example their Mackerel selections. Mackerel is abundant in Portuguese waters, allowing for sustainable fishing and culinary diversity. Traditional Portuguese cuisine has a plethora of ways to prepare it, to which most Americans haven’t yet been introduced. This fish is tasty, versatile and healthy, and holds a place among the most famous delicacies on the planet.
In addition, successive scientific studies have revealed great benefits in the consumption of clean fish including the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, maintaining weight and blood pressure, reducing rheumatoid arthritis, and increasing cognitive performance.
Present any one of these Jose Gourmet selections in its unpretentious open tin paired with the proper libation (hint: we can help with that) and you’ve just created a truly memorable dining experience in and of itself. Omega-3 rich and often a bit salty, preserved fish from Jose Gourmet is known to enhance the flavor of your favorite wines, given the general acidity of fermented grapes.
As you begin to think beyond your typical sardine or pilchard, those found in most everyday grocery stores, perhaps it’s time to explore the subtle nuance of more meticulously prepared seafood. Afterall, whetting your appetite for sophisticated tinned fish and encouraging your exploration of new food is what we’re here to help you with at MEATBAR.