Almadraba fishing methods are compatible with responsible fishing: the average size of tuna caught is 180–200 kg and the average age is 14 years old. Therefore, only tuna that have had a long life and have reproduced are caught. In other words, these tuna have gone to the Mediterranean to lay their eggs for many years (10–15) and have performed their work of reproducing. Due to the season when the fishing takes place and the size of the mesh used for the nets, no fish weighing less than 70 kg are caught.
The system ensures that there is no danger to the large populations of cetaceans that inhabit these waters, as it is a completely open art.
“Ronqueo” is the name given to the traditional cutting up of the Atlantic bluefin tuna, and the word itself is reminiscent of the sound the knife makes as it hits the backbone of the fish.
We should mention that this cutting up is done manually; that it is done bit by bit, depending on the degree of fat covering the muscle and not necessarily following a plan of differentiated muscular pieces; and that the different parts of the Atlantic bluefin tuna are extracted both to be eaten fresh and to be used for making products.
24 pieces in total are extracted–making use of almost 100% of the fish. This is why it is known as the “pig” of the sea (in Spain, there is a saying that every last bit of the pig is made use of and hence the reference). The different cuts have varying degrees of fat–but all of them are tasty.
It is tuna par excellence. It can be more than 3 metres long and weigh up to 700 kg. The muscles that power its migrations have become a gastronomic delicacy.
Throughout history, the Atlantic bluefin tuna has been valued as a food for humans. Its market value was already high in the times of Ancient Greece and we know that the Phoenicians traded its meat.
The tasty red meat of Almadraba tuna has gained gastronomic prestige that positions it as one of the star products on the gourmet market.
The meat of the Atlantic bluefin tuna is red in colour and specimens can weigh more than 200 kg and be up to three metres long. In Spain, it is considered the ‘fine ham of the sea’ as it is top-quality and every little bit of it is used.
The backbone of the tuna contains the bone marrow fluid, with a gelatinous texture and unique taste.
Flesh from the inner part of the operculum. It has an average fat content of 20%. Like the brain, it is characterised by its non-uniform texture and intense flavour.
Flesh stuck to the bone located at the bottom of the head, just below the jaw. It has a high content of connective tissue, so its texture is not uniform.
Flesh stuck to the bone that surrounds the bottom of the mouth, the jaw and the neck. It has a mild flavour.
4 loins are obtained from each tuna: two from the upper back and two from the lower back. They have an average fat content of 12%.
Due to the ease with which loin can be cut, it is an ideal piece for dishes using raw meat. The outermost parts are notably spongy.
The end of the upper loin, inside the animal’s head. Two fillets of meat are extracted from each tuna head. Their average fat content is 30%.
This meat is characterised by having a lot of fatty streaks and connective tissue, so it is appropriate for cooking. It has an intense flavour.
Two belly cuts are obtained from each tuna, taken from the undermost part of the animal. They have an average fat content of 35%.
They have a juicy texture and are considered one of the most flavoursome parts of the tuna.