This is Highly recommended, a column dedicated to what people in the food industry are obsessed with eating, drinking and buying right now.
It was the goth squid that got me addicted Güeyu Mar.– Fork-tender tentacles bobbing in a pitch-black sauce that tasted of the sea and campfire smoke. As a six year old Madrid transplant, I had eaten calamares en su tinta (squid in ink sauce) in Abuelas’ kitchens, neighborhood taverns, and starchy gourmet restaurants, but it never tasted like that. How in the world could such a delicacy come from a can?
Güeyu Mar, the came on the US market in December (full list of retailers Here), is not like other conservative companies you may have heard of. While most traditional canning factories steam their seafood before packing it in water or oil, Güeyu Mar cooks his sardines, cockles, squid, what have you, over a live oak flame. This step gives every bite an intoxicating smokiness that reminds me of sunny Mediterranean seafood huts and beach grills before the pandemic.
Once the seafood is cooked, it is either soaked in thick green arbequina olive oil Canena Castle and sealed or intended for meals in a can, like sardines in escabeche (garlic vinaigrette) or that blissfully chthonic squid that Güeyu Mar calls Calamares de Otro Planeta (“squid from another planet”). I always have a couple of Güeyu Mar cans in the closet when hunger strikes – and not motivation. Lately I’ve been dipping whole cans of cockles in linguini for a quick, smoky vongole and filling mine Bread with tomato with sardine loin.
If these cans sound cheffier (and more expensive) than most, it’s because they are like this: Güeyu Mar is named after a well-known person Fish restaurant in Playa de la Vega, Asturias. His chef, Abel Álvarez, doesn’t compromise on the quality of the ingredients, and this approach also applies to his cans.
Friends who have eaten at Güeyu Mar tell me it’s a Spanish seafood Eden – imagine a converted stone house in the middle of nowhere overlooking the Cantabrian Sea. Traveling to Asturias may be off the table for now, but with a can or two of Güeyu Mar Conservas – and a bit of imagination – you’re basically halfway there.
Güeyu Mar Grilled cockles
Would you like to shop in person? Find Güeyu Mar in brick and mortar stores across the country Here.