Canned Fish Is The Easy Way To Enjoy Seafood At Your Next Picnic

Canned fish on wooden board
Canned fish on wooden board - Fcafotodigital/Getty Images

Few meals are as rewarding as a wonderful picnic. Whether you're heading out by yourself, with a loved one, or with family, if you're going to the beach, the park, or your backyard, and whether you're taking a football or a book, enjoying a meal under the wide open skies is an amazing experience. There are, of course, foods that you should avoid bringing on your perfect summer picnic, and those are generally perishable foods. It might seem like seafood would be on the list of picnic foods to avoid, but nothing could be farther from the truth.

Canned fish is actually a brilliant way to enjoy seafood on a picnic, and we're not just talking about cracking open a can and digging in. With just a little preparation, it's possible to make an unforgettable seafood dish to enjoy on a summer afternoon outing. Even if you're a little skeptical, stick with us, and we'll change your mind — there's everything to love about taking canned fish on a picnic. Not only is it an easy-to-pack addition to a picnic lunch, but it can be as family-friendly or as classy as you'd like it to be. It's versatile, healthy, tasty, and impressive.

Read more: 12 Underrated Types Of Fish You Should Try At Least Once

What Makes Canned Fish The Perfect Picnic Food?

canned fish on picnic napkin
canned fish on picnic napkin - Dustypixel/Getty Images

When it comes to planning a picnic, canned fish is a practical thing to include. It's affordable, compact, easy to stack, and it won't spill and make a mess. If you're hiking out to your picnic spot, you won't be carrying much additional weight, and once you're a few miles into your walk, you'll be grateful for that. Perhaps more importantly, it's shelf-stable, nonperishable, and doesn't require ice or refrigeration.

There are also plenty of opportunities to get creative: Canned fish isn't just about tuna anymore, and you can find seafood, including anchovies, salmon, mackerel, and even clams and mussels, widely available. Did you pick some up on a shopping trip, then forget about it in the back of the pantry? Canned fish lasts around five years, so using it on a picnic is an absolute win.

If the idea of cracking open a can of anchovies on your picnic sounds like a weird one, here's some food for thought: It's been wildly popular in Europe for a long time. Spain and Portugal, in particular, are known for their high-quality tinned fish, which is often enjoyed as part of a casual tapas spread or in bars and restaurants. These meals include canned delicacies like smoked salmon and sardines hand-packed in olive oil, which can be turned into delicious dishes more nuanced than your typical tuna sandwich.

Canned Fish Can Easily Be Turned Into A Delicious Picnic Food

ceviche on a tostada
ceviche on a tostada - Juanmonino/Getty Images

Let's talk about some ideas and examples to get you started. Canned anchovies are widely available, and just a few seasonings can elevate those little fish into something incredible. Pack some parsley and red pepper flakes, and sprinkle them on anchovy-topped garlic bread drizzled with olive oil. Simple, right?

A niçoise salad is another great, picnic-friendly way to enjoy canned fish, and it's incredibly versatile, too. This French salad usually calls for ingredients like hard-boiled eggs, green beans, and tomatoes, and although the origins of the niçoise salad are hotly debated, it's generally agreed that canned tuna is vital. But that's not to say you couldn't use anchovies, salmon, or trout in your version. Other picnic-friendly canned fish ideas include packing the rolls, vegetables, and sardines for a bánh mì or even using canned fish to whip up a fun ceviche. Traditional ceviche ingredients — like onion, tomato, lime, and cucumber — are all picnic-basket friendly, and mixing up a batch on-site is easy.

Serving canned fish at a picnic can be as simple as setting up a fishy charcuterie board, complete with a mix-and-match group of different fish, raw vegetables, crackers, various cheeses, and some lemon for drizzling. There are plenty of ways to use canned fish, and it just so happens that many are perfect for a picnic. Add a bottle of wine or some fresh lemonade, and enjoy!

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.