One of the best-tinned tunas we have ever tried and still, after all this time, one of the unbeatable selections in the category. So much flavor here, and where most fatty cuts of fish focus on richness, this is a bit leaner, with more depth of flavor. An excellent pairing with white wines with high acidity Olasagasti is delicious and one of the finest tinned tunas available today.
We have tried close to 30 different kinds of Conservas or tinned seafood, mainly from Spain, held to a higher standard and more popular than fresh seafood in the region. It has been challenging finding a Conserva that is comparable to the incredible Ramon Pena tuna belly that we also offer. After an immense amount of research, we have found what we think is the next step, Olasagasti. Olasagasti has been canning fresh line-caught fish by hand in the Cantabrian Sea in Basque Country for 125 years. It started with Salvadore Orlando, who was sent by his father, a native of Sicily, to introduce long-standing salting techniques to the Cantabrian coast, where it was still unknown. While in Spain, Salvadore married a Basque woman, Simona Olasagasti, and the legacy of Olasagasti was born. Today Matteo Orlando still sails the ship under his grandmother's maiden name as one of the premier purveyors of Conservas in Spain. It starts with the traditional Basque fishermen or arrantzales using old school fishing techniques to protect the ecosystem in the dramatically rough Cantabrian sea known for its very flavorful fish. Every day at dawn, the best fish from the days catch is selected for the canning process. Each fish is individually and traditionally broken down by hand in their facility just a few kilometers from the fishing ports. Olasagasti has an overly scrutinizing quality control, and by looking at the fillets, you can tell that this is something special. Olasagasti is also one of the few permitted to tin fish on the Basque coast. Due to government regulations, every aspect of the production must be traceable back to the exact fish and were the first to be certified by Europes Aenor 20 years ago, which requires annual audits for quality certification. Ventresca is the belly cut of the fish, and there is a remarkable flavor here with no harsh aroma, with beautiful large white fillets of yellowfin tucked nicely in olive oil. There is a fantastic brininess, influenced by their early days of salt curing, which completely enhances the fish's delicate flavor to a mouthwateringly delicious level. The briny flavor plus the belly cut's richness has an umami effect on the palate that hooks you in for more. This is also slightly leaner than Ramon Pena, which means there is a little more texture to this, but by no means chewy. This has such a fresh and traditional feel like being in Spain 100 years ago and pairs exceptionally well with Blanc de Blancs Champagne. There are tons of simple recipes for this type of tuna, like Spanish tomato salad, grilled sandwiches, or just straight out of the can with your favorite wine. It is a very healthy choice loaded with vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. It's an incredible addition to the home pantry, and if you tried the Ramon Pena, this is a must, satisfying even the pickiest gourmand._