Gulf of Maine Conservas Tinkers (Atlantic Mackerel), Maiden Voyage Edition


Just about everything we offer has a story, and this product has a really good one. Since we began offering conservas we have made a few friends along the way, and Keper Connell of Gulf of Maine Conservas has been one of the best. He keeps inviting me out to fish on his boat, and I keep looking for ways to ship tomatoes to him. We trade industry information and we value the opinions and insights of each other not because we always see things the same way, but because our mutual interests are so well-aligned that another perspective deepens our understanding. Which is a long, roundabout way of saying that he’s a great guy and I’m glad to have met him, and we talk on an ongoing basis about things related and unrelated to ordering another case of product.

A while back he sent me some prototypes of new products. They were very exciting. One of those products has gone beyond the prototype stage and into the “first run” stage, the Maiden Voyage if you will. If you have any experience doing things for the first time in small batches you know that there are things you only learn from doing it. Which is something of a Catch-22 for a very small business. How do you sell a product that doesn’t exist yet? How can you be sure you have a viable product until you actually make it?

“The best way to do something is to do it.”–Joseph Standing Eagle

He did it, and sent me some from the very first batch to try out. It’s excellent. I told him, “I can sell this.”

The cook time and the recipe and the quality of the fish and the olive oil are spot on. But he’s not happy with how it looks in the tin, and has learned valuable lessons for the next batch. He wants you to see how gorgeous the markings are on these mackerel, so going forward the fillets will be skin-on (this batch they’re skinless). And he wants the fillets to be packed with more elegance and grace into the tins before they’re sealed and processed.

But nothing will change about the flavor of the fish, which is fresh, clean and has a distinctive back-of-the-mouth sweet-bitterness as the aftertaste finishes which is the tell-tale sign of richness.

Hook-and-line caught off the coast of Rye, NH, by one fisherman whose commitment to sustainable fishing practices is total. He doesn’t just talk the talk or walk the walk, he fishes the fish.

There are only a very small number of these Maiden Voyage Tinkers available. We will also carry the next batch, which will have some small aesthetic improvements.

We will also carry any product Keper Connell is willing to put his name on.

Get your can while you can,  or better yet, get two cans: one to try right away, and one to compare side-by-side with the next iteration.

6 oz tin

In stock (can be backordered)


Ingredients: Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus), Calivirgin Extra Virgin Olive Oil


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