Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog

Things You Must Know About Portuguese Sardine Cannery

Conservas Pinhais Sardine Cannery Nuri Sardine CanSardine Factory Cannery

Portuguese loves Sardine, and this fish is considered a national icon! This small fish is everywhere in Portugal! You can find out in the local market, restaurants, souvenir stores, museums, art galleries, etc.

For that reason, our groups visit a Sardine Cannery during the trip to Portugal Cooking Vacations.

Sardine Can History

Everything started in 1810 when Nicolas Appert wrote a book about conservation methods using hermetic glass jars. Then Joseph-Pierre Colin used this idea to preserve the sardines in the canned.

In 1853, the first fish conservation company was created in Portugal. Conservas Pinhais has kept its artisanal canning method since 1920. And it makes 30,000 cans per day.

With an extensive coastline and an abundance of fish, Portugal wasn’t hard to create factories cannery, and by 1925 it estimated about 400 canneries. Only in Matosinhos (where is Conservas Pinhais), there were 50 sardine factories, which employed around 6,000 employees. During the Second World War, Portugal supplied sardine cans to the countries of Europe and their soldiers.

The dip was in the 70s and 80s. Many factors contributed to this decline. There are only 20 canneries active today in Portugal, and the quality and tradition are well-preserved!

Read more: Best Time to Visit Portugal.

portuguese sardine canneryFactory Tour in Sardine Cannery

On this factory tour, the travelers will learn everything about sardine canned by its 100-year-old method.

During the week, it is possible to see sardine cannery workers. It will be an excellent opportunity to meet the staff who are this company’s soul! The activity in place will be planned by the production team for that day. And don’t worry; the smell is not strong because the fish is steamed. Every can is an exceptional masterpiece!

Conserva Pinhais makes four types of canned sardines: sardines in olive oil, sardines in tomato sauce, spiced sardines in olive oil, and sardines in spiced tomato sauce. Even today, the fish and spices are handled and placed in the can by hand by experienced women until the labels are wrapped by hand, as is the tradition in the Portuguese canning industry.

The travelers will finish the tour with a delightful tasting in the Sardine Factory Restaurant. It is included sardines, bread, the best Portuguese wine!



Nuri Sardine Can

Nuri sardines is the bestseller from Conservas Pinhais. The tins are prepared by hand and wrapped in vintage-inspired packaging. It uses its manufactures the freshest fish and pure olive oil, tomato, and other high-quality ingredients. You can buy Nuri Portuguese Sardines at a special price at the factory store.

Read more: Best Things to Eat in Portugal?

a piece of Mediterranean Sardine PizzaSardine Can Recipes

Mediterranean Sardine Pizza

Here you have my mother’s recipe for sardine pizza. I hope you enjoy it!


For the dough:
2 cups flour
1 yeast package (11 grams)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup of lukewarm water
1 tablespoonful extra-virgin olive oil

For topping:
1/2 yellow onion sliced
1 Nuri Spiced Sardines in Olive Oil (it has chili, cloves, cloves, black pepper, and laurel)
2 Nuri Sardines in Tomato Sauce
1 teaspoon oregano
10 pitted olives quartered lengthwise


a piece of smash sardines on a plateFor the dough:
Mix the yeast into lukewarm water.
Place the flour and salt in the bowl mix with a spoon.
Add the water with yeast. Mix dough with your hand. If the dough is too wet, add some flour. If it’s too dry, add a little lukewarm water.
Knead the dough into the bowl for about 10 minutes.
Put olive oil on the baking sheet.
Roll out the dough into the baking sheet.

For topping:
Smash sardines and add oregano. I always use olive oil and tomato sauce.
Top each pizza with the smashed sardine.
Peel the onions, halve, and cut them into thin slices.
Place the onion and olives.
Let stand into the oven until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Then turn the oven to 220°C (approximately 425°F).
Bake until the underside of the pizzas is crisp, about 20 minutes.
Remove and serve immediately.

Read more: Eat like a local in Portugal.

Portuguese Sardine Cannery Food TastingCan sardine bones be eaten?

Yes, bones don’t hurt you because the fish is steamed. If you smash the sardine, the bone breaks up and undo.

Are sardines good for humans? Is sardine can good for health?

Sardine is high in protein and minerals. They have an excellent quantity of omega 3, calcium, vitamin D and B12, magnesium. The advantage is that sardine has a low risk of contamination from heavy metals such as mercury.

Read more: How can I get to Portugal?

How many sardines can you eat?

Six ounces of sardines (180 grams) contain up to 50% of your recommended daily calcium intake. If you experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS), you must eat sardine to increase calcium levels. It will help you have less pain.

Be curious! Join us on our 8-Day Small-Group Portugal Food Tour, where you’ll taste for yourself just how fabulous fish can be. You’ll never look at a can of sardines the same way again!

  • Posted in:
Skip to toolbar