22 February 2010
“Para su pagina web!” was the cry from Antonio holding up a full cured tuna fish one Friday morning in his pescaderia. Antonio is also a glazier so one of those surprising situations you have to get used to when customers come into the fish shop and order a pane of glass for their new window…
Antonio is passionate about all things seafood, in season you can experience what can only be described as a highly impressive seafood spread with fillets, shellfish, snails, crayfish and the odd monkfish head carefully parked right in the centre of the display, usually with an unfortunate sardine or anchovy spiked on its teeth. Tuesday sees Antonio doing his rounds in his van, packed with all manner of fresh delicacies, a pair of scales and a large enough float for his euros. It was one Tuesday afternoon (that would be 7.00pm) when he passed by the office to explain in great detail his highest quality bacalao salt cod and his special order “Bonito tuna”
Now, we are already familiar with Antonio’s fabled “bacalao” but this time he presented us with some fabulous examples of full fish salt cod, high grade and weighing a very impressive 2000g. We were advised that the “orejas” or ears of the cod (those are the two flaps on the widest part of the opened fish near the top) are the best part for flavour as well as more recipes for the fish and techniques for getting the “soaking” process just right.
The real star of the exercise though was the enourmous “Bonito Tuna”. Antonio skillfully removed a sliver of flesh from the cured tuna loin and presented it to us as a mini tapa to taste test. Rustic, artisan and just as it should be but boy, the flavour, and the texture! With a little negotiation we purchased a 2kg Bacalao and a quality loin of cured tuna plus some complimentary tapas >>> a lesson in cured fish
Over the following weekend we devised various tapas, unfortunately with this Bonito tuna there are few (if any) cooking possibilities, quite possibly a good thing as the flavour of the fish is exquisite.
*Bonito and Philadelphia Spinach wraps
*Bonito and Apple Toasts
*Bonito and Avocado
*Bonito Summer Salad
When the following Tuesday arrived we were invited to photo shoot some full tuna fish before Antonio began his rounds, this time we were in the fish shop so took the opportunity to snap some hanging bacalao too. The full tuna comes as an open fish, the back is tied on two bamboo canes, fillets and half fish are also available.
It is worth noting that Bonito is very different to “Mojama” (air dried tuna loin) each have exceptional flavour with the Bonito being more moist than the air cured loin.
If you fancy a loin or two of Bonito tuna (pic here) then it is special order, however it is available most Tuesdays and Fridays so don't hesitate to get in touch ~ we guarantee it will be worth the wait.