Ok, so they might not be the sexiest food product, but at Funnybones we’ve always thought that a tin is a good thing. And waddya know, after years when canned products have been seen as old fashioned and purely functional, it seems like tins are hip again. They are still affordable and practical, but oh boy, there is SO much more to them than that.
These warriors of the commercial kitchen pack a punch that is turning them from zero to heroes. Seems they are battling against food waste, bringing new products to the table and helping us fight supply shortages. Well, who’d have thought it?
We think they’ve got a lot to offer. After all - as you well know - we are on a mission to bring some of our favourite tropical veg from the Caribbean and South America to a restaurant near you. There’s a shedload of new, exciting, on trend products that are not readily available fresh in this country, but we can bring them to you in a tin.
Currently, hands down the best way for us to bring sunshine vegetables like Ackee and Jackfruit and Cactus Strips to your kitchen, is to cook ‘em and tin ‘em. They come out of that tin nutritionally comparable with the fresh vegetables, and are all ready to use in any number of dishes.
We aren’t pretending tinned goods are exactly the same as the fresh product, but they do work brilliantly in cooked dishes and even in Jamaica these products are often sold in tins. Canning may be an age-old method of preserving fresh fruit and veg but it sure does provide a really modern, tasty and healthy way to serve truly authentic Caribbean dishes.
We are in good company in our can-do approach. Waitrose recently suggested its’ customers plan one meal a week around tinned and frozen food to help reduce the waste of fresh foods. We think this is cracking advice and worth taking into the commercial kitchen. Plan a couple of meals around canned and frozen food and you’ll have more flexibility if fresh supplies fail or if footfall is not as high as expected.
And don’t forget the basics. Those workhorses of the kitchen - the beans, the tomatoes, the coconut milk – where would we all be without them? Your stack of tins is an army in waiting. Deploy the troops and let’s see some action.
We’ve picked out a few of our top tins..
Marja – our Commercial Manager
“Well, its got to be Ackee, doesn’t it? I’m Jamaican through and through, and our tinned version makes the best Ackee and Saltfish breakfast you could wish for. I also like to add it to curries, or fry it till crispy and dip it in salsa. Takes me home just talking about it…”
Tom – our Development Chef
“I’m the lucky one, I get to try all the new products, so I suppose my favourite changes every week. But at the moment, I’m loving our Nopolitos cactus strips. I like to use them in Mexican dishes to create vegan versions of favourites like Chilaquiles and Arepas. Layer ‘em up with vegan cheese, salsa, guacamole and black beans for a banging burrito.”
Chris – our National Accounts Manager
“Our tinned Callaloo makes the best thick and tasty Caribbean Callaloo soup. Recipes vary, but I like to add okra, tomatoes, garlic, sweet potatoes, onions, lentils, coconut milk and chilli. You can also add bacon if you like. Serve over rice. Yum!”