How do you feel about tinned fish? If you are like a lot of people, you might wrinkle your nose and say "yuck". Here in the US, let's face it. Our tinned fish just ain't great. While researching our visit to Lisbon, I came across an interesting article in Eater magazine. After reading the article, I decided we should visit Conserveira de Lisboa.
It is a tiny little shop in the Baixa district. You have to wait in line outside. This is not an experience to be rushed, this is an experience to be savored. The shop is tiny- it can only hold one or two customers. We wait patiently in line for some French tourists to purchase their fish. The owner takes his time with each customer. He guides your through all the differences between the types of tinned fish. If you are engaging enough, he even talks about his secret stash. Those are the cans he doesn't have a big supply of. I think he might have been assessing our engagement level. After seeing how animated and excited I was, he pulled out all the stops. It was wonderful.
Scanning the store, here is what the back wall looked like. As we talked with the shop owner, we learned more about how hard the pandemic was on the business. Almost 7 months of lockdowns with almost no foot traffic on the streets. It has definitely been tough in Portugal. Matt and I did our part to stimulate his little business and bought a bunch of interesting cans. We simply don't see this kind of variety in tinned fish in our local stores. As he wrapped up our purchases, I was once again struck by how important fish is in this part of Portugal.
With out bag of goodies to take home with us, we sauntered off for more great Portugal experiences.