Health, Taste and Tradition
Bonito del Norte is premium Spanish tuna, line-caught and hand-packed by local artisans in a centuries-old tradition.
Generations of northern Spanish fishermen have sailed the Bay of Biscay in small boats, fishing the prized bonito using a method called "trolling." Another fishing method, "live-bait," has been practiced for nearly as long in the region, notably by the fishermen of the Basque country and Cantabria.
Both trolling and live-bait are traditional techniques in which the fishing rod is used to catch bonito tuna one by one, allowing the best quality tuna to be selected at the time of capture. These tuna fishing methods also ensure that the seabed is not damaged and that other species are not accidentally captured.
Bonito tuna is an essential component of the Mediterranean diet. It is characterized by an exquisite flavor and softer texture than other tuna. The tuna belly is considered by many connoisseurs the most tender and delicious part.
Bonito tuna provides comparable levels of protein, minerals and vitamins to red meat with far less fat, making it a great choice for those on low-fat diets.
Bonito tuna is also a great source of Omega-3 and linoleic acid, both essential in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. When packed in olive oil, bonito tuna retains all of its flavor, with the added bonus of providing a healthy intake of cholesterol-reducing virgin olive oil.
Bonito Tuna vs. Regular or Skipjack
The main culinary differences between regular tuna and bonito del norte is the smooth texture and richness of taste. Bonito tuna is also a whiter color, not to be mistaken with “light tuna” - an intermediate quality. Both Yellowfin and Bonito varieties of tuna are far superior in taste and texture to canned skipjack tuna which is recognizable by its pink/grey color.
While skipjack tuna can reach up to 50kg, and Yellowfin Tuna (also known as ahi tuna or light tuna) can reach up to 135kg, it is rare to find Bonito tuna which weighs more than 12kg.
Although it is only fished in the summer, preserved bonito del norte can be purchased year round, with no difference in quality.
In the kitchen, the versatility of bonito tuna is enormous: it is ideal for preparing snacks, toast, kebabs and snacks, and as an ingredient in salads, sauteed vegetables, tortillas, pasta and rice.