Most Of The World's Canned Sardines Come From This Country

It used to be a rare occurrence to see tinned fish on a restaurant menu except for cultural reasons or as a gimmick. Even at home, most kitchen pantries were likely bare of many offerings besides a forgotten can of tuna. According Eater, though, tinned fish has taken a new spotlight on restaurant menus, grocery store shelves, and in home kitchen pantries. The outlet reports that tinned fish is found to be a good pairing with many natural wines.

One of the most popular tinned fish options is the humble sardine. The Strategist ranks several brands of sardines in its list of canned foods that chefs keep in their pantries, and The Toronto Star claims that the small fish has even been a longtime favorite picnic snack for beach-bound Portuguese. The small fish are a great option to have lightly dressed with some crackers or a piece of bread, to top a salad, or paired with its tinned aquatic cousins in a tuna salad.

Morocco is one of the world's largest sardine producers

Serious Eats reports that some of the finest tinned sardines and fish come from the Iberian Peninsula. Those producers may win in quality, but in quantity they lose to their Southern neighbor Morocco. Morocco World News reports that the North African country produces more than 850,000 tons of canned sardines annually which makes up more than half of the world's sardine supply. According to Morocco World News, stuffed fried sardines that are laced with garlic and ginger are also a popular street food in Morocco.

​​Executive Manager of Moroccan canned sardine producer MIDAV Mehdi Dhaloomal reports that Morocco has "exclusive" access to the sardine species sardina pilchardus walbaum, otherwise known as pilchard sardine (via Morocco World News). This is a type of sardine that is only available near Southern Morocco and Bretagne, France. According to Crown Prince Seafood, pilchard sardines are often caught between summer and fall, and are known for their delicate flavor and firm texture. Morocco World News notes that Moroccan sardines are most commonly found in the United Kingdom. The news outlet reports that Morocco's exports make up 60% of the country's sardine supply.