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Kvarøy’s tin it to win it as canned fish moves upmarket

Fishwife smoked salmon retails at around $13 (£9.40) for a 100g tin. Photo: Stephanie Gonot, styling by Amy Taylor.
Fishwife smoked salmon retails at around $13 (£9.40) for a 100g tin. Photo: Stephanie Gonot, styling by Amy Taylor.

Boutique salmon producer Kvarøy Arctic has teamed up with two “tinned fish evangelists” to launch a high-end, high-priced tinned salmon with a difference in the United States.

The Norwegian company’s fish is brined in extra-virgin olive oil, natural sea salt, organic garlic salt, and organic brown sugar, smoked in small batches over a mix of beech, maple, and birch wood, hand-packed, and canned at a family-run cannery on the central coast of Washington.

The product was launched yesterday by the Fishwife Tinned Seafood Co., founded by former music marketing director Becca Millstein and television writer, podcaster, and comedian Caroline Goldfarb.

It is being sold for around US $13 (£9.40) for a 3.5oz (100g) can.

Caroline Goldfarb, left, and Becca Millstein.
Caroline Goldfarb, left, and Becca Millstein.

‘Conservas culture’

Millstein and Goldfarb fell in love with the artful culture around European conservas (the Spanish word for “preserves”, used in the US for high quality canned fish) while living and travelling in Spain and Portugal.

But when they visited the canned seafood aisles of their local grocery stores in the US, they found that the available options were either pricey imported brands, or outdated, domestic brands with opaque sourcing. They started Fishwife with the twin goals of bringing the allure of “conservas culture” to the American table and building new ethical supply chains for the next generation of tinned seafood.

“This is our first tinned seafood collaboration and we’re thrilled to be partnering with a team as vibrant and visionary as Becca and Caroline,” said Kvarøy Arctic’s strategic development officer Jennifer Bushman.

“Conservas are a staple in cultural foodways that we’re seeing an increased demand for in the US. The recipe for this version of Kvarøy Arctic salmon with Fishwife captures the freshness and brininess of the Arctic circle with the perfect balance of smokiness ideal for the fall and winter seasons.”

Salmon ‘done right’

Millstein said: “We chose to work with Kvaroy Arctic on this project because we believe in supporting the most future-facing partners in the aquaculture space. From their pioneering work using fermented microalgae as a sustainable source of omega-3’s to their laser technologies that eliminate the use of insecticides (Stingray), Kvaroy provides a fantastic example of what salmon rearing looks like when done right.

“With this partnership, we hope to help consumers gain a clearer understanding of the factors that combine to create a responsible aquaculture program, and why aquaculture already is and will continue to be a vital source of sustainable, nutritious, and absolutely delicious seafood.”

The smoked salmon will join Fishwife’s current offerings of smoked albacore tuna, hook-and-line caught off the Pacific Coast, smoked rainbow trout raised responsibly in Idaho, and a summertime batch of Galician sardines in extra virgin olive oil and preserved lemon.