Albacore tuna and blue-fin tuna
- Basque Country
Eaten fresh or preserved, the albacore tuna and blue-fin tuna have always been highly prized by the Basque people and linked to fishing since time immemorial.
The albacore or white tuna (thunnus alalunga) and the blue-fin or red tuna (thunnus thynnus) are two of the best established fish in the north of the peninsula and particularly in the Basque Country. The albacore tuna has whiter flesh than the blue-fin, which means it is the more highly prized of the two. The Kalitatea foundation grants a label to albacore and blue-fin tuna in the "A" and "Extra" categories of freshness only to fish caught by traditional methods respectful of the marine environment. The fish can be recognised because it has a white security tape on its tail, on which the following information appears: the name of the port where it has been unloaded and checked; the name of the species; a control number that identifies the boat which caught it, the unloading date, the checking team that selected it and the symbol of Eusko Label-Kalitatea, guaranteeing its quality.
- The range of fresh fish appears above all between June and October.
- The albarcore and blue-fin tuna are caught in the waters of the Cantabrian Sea. Obviously, because of the presence of the coast, they are mainly associated with the provinces of Bizkaia and Guipúzcoa and, within these, in the ports of Guetaria, Ondarroa and Fuenterrabía.
- Albacore tuna is delicious eaten with dry white wine, rosé and young red. The choice will depend on the method of preparation and the ingredients accompanying it.
- 'Marmitaco' (fish and potato stew)
- The categories recognised by the Label are:
- 'Extra' category:
- the fish shows intense pigments, bright colours, glossy skin and a rigid body.
- Category 'A':
- the characteristics of the fish are the same, except that there are slight losses of pigmentation, colour and consistency.
- Rich in proteins.