SAN FRANCISCO — Sardines swirling in preserved lemons. Mackerel basking in curry sauce. Chargrilled squid bathing in ink. All are culinary delicacies long popular in Europe that are now making their mark on U.S. menus.
The country’s canned seafood industry is moving well beyond tuna sandwiches, a pandemic-era trend that began with Americans in lockdown demanding more of their cupboard staples.
Since then, the U.S. market has only expanded, fueled by social media influencers touting the benefits of the high-powered protein food in brightly colored metal containers. On the TikTok channel Tinned — Fishionado, Kris Wilson posts recipes for quick meals, including one mixing leftover rice, soy sauce, avocado and a runny egg with a tin of smoked mussels from the Danish company Fangst.
Tinned fish, as it’s called in Europe, is now a regular offering on menus at wine bars from San Francisco to Houston to New York, where patrons scoop the...