Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Not all Tuna in a tin or jar is the same. Viva Ortiz

I have yet to have better Tuna in a tin or jar than that produced by those Basque masters Ortiz since 1891.

They pack authentic White Tuna, Bonito Del Norte, from the dense tuna banks in the waters off of the coast of the Basque Country. The fishing boats of Ortiz, capture the fish using traditional methods, which respect the environment and avoid hurting dolphins or any other marine species. Bonita Del Norte, the albacore tuna, (Thunnus Alalunga) is the most oceanic species in the tuna family. They are all warm blooded, pelagic and migratory and they form shoals. The Atlantic White Tuna carries out two migrations in its lifetime, which are easily differentiated by its stage of maturity. Then they return towards their places of origin. Bonita Del Norte fishing takes place in the Cantabrian Sea during the summer months when, coming from the Azores Sea, the fish appear annually in the waters of the Bay of Biscay, where they tend to be located on the warm side of the thermal waters, feeding on horse-mackerel and mackerel eggs and larvae. They cook and pack the tuna in olive oil to preserve the tuna's highly prized flavour. The most prized cut of tuna, is the belly or "ventresca" as it is called in Spain. The tuna's belly has the highest fat content, and so it is the richest in flavour and the silkiest in texture. (The belly of the tuna is also the most highly sought after cut in Japan for sushi and sashimi.) There is only a small amount of this delicious cut on a fish, and so the price is significantly higher, but your salads and pastas will be taken to new heights of flavour.

Ortiz also have excellent normal Bonita del Norte tins and Jars that are much cheaper
but still in a different league to most Tuna sold in the UK with the exception of some very good artisan Sicilian products.

Ortiz tuna can be found in Sainsbury's and many good delis around the UK. I don't think that John West even sees the Tuna that Ortiz rejects !

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