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If there’s one kitchen skill this pandemic has encouraged me to lean into, it’s the art of curating a well-stocked pantry. The most recent and exciting addition to my growing larder is Fishwife Tinned Seafood Co. And folks, I’m in love. The tinned brand currently offers a trio of fresh staples that are ethically sourced from small boat fisher folk and aquaculture farms and are sustainably packaged by micro canneries on the Pacific Coast. Here, cofounder Becca Millstein chats with us about why she decided to start Fishwife, shares a favorite recipe and more.

Photography by Stephanie Gonot | Styling by Amy Taylor

First, what’s the funniest thing you’ve heard recently?

I recently learned that there was a prominent 19th century New York City shipping merchant named Preserved Fish. That made me chuckle.

What prompted you to start your own tinned fish brand?

I had discovered the elegance and beauty of tinned fish when I was living in Spain during college. I lived in Granada, which is one of the only cities that still serves free tapas, and fell in love with the simplicity of tinned sardines with a crusty baguette and a glass of wine.

My cofounder and I saw that many of our peers had had similarly romantic experiences with tinned seafood and realized that no domestic brand was speaking to our demographic. So we decided to make it happen.

Where does the name Fishwife come from?

Fishwife is a hilarious term dating back to the 1600s that originally referred to the wives and daughters of fishermen who would sell their husbands’ fishy wares at the market. But due to their brash approach, it evolved into a sexist slur for loud, foul-mouthed, bossy women.

What makes Fishwife different from the other tins on the shelves?

We source our products from well-managed fisheries and responsible aquaculture farms and share 100% traceability for all our products. The fish we source tastes fresh and comes as whole delicious fish fillets. It’s nothing like any fish most folks have eaten out of a tin.

Do you have a favorite Fishwife recipe?

I really love our Matcha Ochazuke recipe by Jade Qiu. It’s so simple and elegant with the colors existing in perfect harmony.

Are there any collaborations on the horizon?

I can’t say what they are, but we have our first real brand collabs launching this spring. We are so excited to share more soon!

Any resolutions or dreams as we kick off 2022?

I’m aiming to simplify my life as much as possible and retain only elements that are delightful and that challenge me most.

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