Portugal has a privileged relationship with the sea. With an enormous stretch of coastline, to be exact 943 km in mainland Portugal alone, many activities owe their existence to the ocean. The national canning industry is one such example. The ANICP organisation has done a sterling job promoting this industry. And this has led to all kinds of projects.
To promote the national canning industry, Portuguese canned foods and traditional methods of food preservation. These are the goals of CAN THE CAN, a project born in 2012 in Lisbon that aims to be more than just a restaurant. “We have shown that Portuguese canned foods are a unique product, rich in traditions and quality, that can be used through a combination of fresh ingredients with a focus on the quality of preparation and presentation”.
With an outstanding view over Terreiro do Paço, where the city embraces the river, Can the Can lives and breathes portugality. Currently, chef Pedro Almeida holds sway in the kitchen. Here one can also find the restaurant’s own-brand products, as well as various published works such as the book EAT&ART, which explores the affinities between gastronomy and contemporary art, or THE BEST I(N) CAN, with innovative recipes that make use of the products of companies affiliated with ANICP, the National Association of Canned Fish Industries.
The project came about thanks to Can the Can and has the support of the ANICP. Seal of the Sea intends “to study and bring back techniques in fish preservation and to innovate through tradition”.
Furthermore, Seal of the Sea is championing the kinds of fish considered ‘minor’, preferring to use those which are looked down upon by the consumer. “It is also important to build awareness of where the fish we work with come from, consume according to the season, make it our priority to know how to best prepare the fish, while learning about the species and methods of conservation so as to obtain the best results”.
“A cultural platform, open to all, a national and international reference in the context of the canning industry. A multivitamin cultural infusion for total brain nutrition. Do not plan your visit, just keep visiting! You don’t even need a ticket…” This is how the Canning Industry Digital Museum introduces itself: as an open, free and digital space, a flagship for the Portuguese canning industry.
So says the museum website: “This project’s mission is to investigate, study, protect and preserve the material and intangible heritage of all there is to know about the canning industry and through its efforts promote and build awareness of its incredible history”.
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