Bonito Tuna - Bonito del Norte from Spain: Rich in Omega-3 with an exquisite flavour and soft texture

Bonito is a medium-sized peciform fish belonging to the tuna family. Other varieties of tuna include the aku, yellowfin, skipjack, mushmouth, oceanic bonito, striped tuna or victor fish.

Bonito Tuna Nutrition Information:

Bonito Tuna is very low in fat, making it a great choice for those on low-fat diets. Bonito tuna is also a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are well known for their heart disease fighting properties. When packed in olive oil, bonito tuna retains all of its flavor, with the added bonus of providing a health intake of cholesterol reducing virgin olive oil.

Bonito del Norte – Health, Taste and Tradition.

Bonito del Norte is high quality tuna, characterized by an exquisite flavour and softer texture than the rest of their species. The tuna is line-caught in the Bay of Biscay and then hand-packed by local artisans.

Spanish tuna fishing is a tradition which goes back centuries, where northern Spanish fishermen would sail out to sea using small rowing boats and fish the prized bonito using a method called trolling. A new method called live-bait was developed towards the middle of the century, and was practiced by the fishermen of the Basque country and Cantabria.

Both methods 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. This time-honoured tradition also ensures that the seabed is not damaged and that other species are not accidentally captured. Bonito tuna is fished from July to October, when it is at its best.

Bonito Tuna verses Regular or Skipjack Tuna

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 colour, 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 recognisable by its pink / grey in colour.

Whist 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.

Bonito tuna is an essential component of the mediterranean diet. It provides comparable levels of protein, minerals and vitamins of red meat with much lower fat. Bonito tuna is a great source of omega-3 and linoleic acid, both essential in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and very helpful in reducing cholesterol.

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.

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