António Jacinto Ferreira first came to Olhão in 1918 as a young teenager, initially supplying fresh and salted fish to Alentejo before specialising in the production of pates and fish preserves. It would have been a tough business to break into since at its peak in 1925 there were around 400 canneries in Portugal. His first brand of tinned fish – Jupiter – was created in 1947 and is still sold in Portugal.
It is though what António created in 1950 I want to tell you about. He used a photograph of his youngest son, Jorge Ferreira, to create ‘Good Boy’ for the international market. And what I love most of all is that Jorge’s 7 year old face is still on the tin!
In 1954 António Jacinto Ferreira bought out ‘La Conserveira do Sul‘ and it became his master company. He retired in the 1970s, but his company remained a family business. Today, nearly seventy years after he took over the company, his grandchildren are running it. Quite an achievement given there are only now around 20 canneries left in the whole of Portugal. They still use traditional methods for much of the production, including for their limited editions the hand wrapping of the tins. The pate from their main brand, Manná, is one you regularly see in restaurants. Canned fish is part of Portuguese life, it also accounts for one third of their seafood exports.
If you want to learn more about the La Conserveira do Sul, the manufacturing process or even taste the products themselves then book a tour in their showroom on Avenida 5 de Outubro in Olhão. Or if like me you are not sure when you are next going to be in the Algarve, watch the video below.