March 28, 2018
The Can Issue
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Depending on who you ask, a can of food might represent a sterile version of the real thing—or it might represent a treasure that’s traveled over oceans and across borders to arrive, bursting with life, in your kitchen. A can might hold a lackluster lunch you can eat at your desk, or it might hold an artillery of nutrients that you can depend upon to fortify you if everything else goes terribly, terribly wrong.

Sure, cans can be filled with San Marzano tomatoes and black beans, but they can also hold loaves of breads and entire chickens. In the TASTE Can Issue, we learn that they can contain a lot more, from perfectly caramel-y, creamy condensed milk to vibrant mango puree and smoky chiles. We learn that Spam, which has existed as more of a punch line than a food for years in the United States, comes in a whole array of little-known flavors like chorizo and hickory smoke—and that the teriyaki flavor is not bad in musubi. We find out how so many canned ingredients were woven into the fabric of everyday Filipino cooking, and why preppers take comfort in their stockpiles of cans. For when shit is really hitting the fan.

A can might appear on the surface to be just another small, familiar object of daily life, but it can contain a whole lot of flavor, comfort, history, and baggage. We hope you’ll stick around and pop a few open with us. —Anna Hezel, Senior Editor

Colonialism in a Can

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Colonialism in a Can

There’s a shame-free exuberance and practicality in the Filipino transformation of canned food—even as it harkens back to America’s checkered occupation of the Philippines.

A Tiny Can Full of Smoke

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A Tiny Can Full of Smoke

Canned chipotles are an extremely dependable grocery-store staple, and the smoked peppers are going to change the way you think about veggie burgers.

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