Discover the secret behind the red tuna
A whole community facing the sea
When the first rays of sun start to be reflected in the cold waters of the Bay of Cadiz, the fleet heads to the trap watching for the tuna caught in the complexity of their networks.
The history of Thousands of years rests on this fishing art, that during generations has been a support for this region. Since Phoenician times, thousands of fishermen come to the meeting with the bluefin tuna on its way through the narrow, to extract the riches of the sea.
The silence of the morning is broken by the constant murmur of gear, accompanied by the hoarse voice of Captain. The pace accelerates, making perceptible the tension in the atmosphere, a prelude of what is to come.
Inland, the bustle of traffic wakes the sleeping city. The market starts its daily racking, observed by the watchful eye of the one who will wear the white jacket later on and embark on the task of squeezing every last bit of flavor of what eventually ends on his basket.
Hours before any diner cross the doors, kitchen staff hurries in the preparation of meals service. The rhythmic clatter of the knife against the table, seething pans and the crackle of the fire accompanying the silence of the maximum concentration.
Each in his position, he begins the “Lift”. In seconds, the ocean, so far calm, breaks in an explosion of foam, and the thunderous roar of the fins hitting the surface, signs that everything has begun. Dozens of men work as one, each fulfilling its mission, with the speed and precision that only experience granted. There is no room for nerves, there is no margin for error. In a blink, a beast of hundreds of pounds can ruins the day. Within minutes bluefin tuna are taken to the cellars of the boats. The sea becomes calm. Again, the impassive silence surrounding the trap that patient waits for new tunas. A few miles away, the accurate knifes of the ronqueadores will end the working day at sea.
The first commands comes, follow by seconds and a thirds, a prelude to an endless succession of dishes that will print a frenetic pace to the kitchen. As an orquesta director waving his baton, a firm voice rises above the bustle, setting the rhythm, creating a symphony that harmonize the kitchen, where instead of notes results in Tatars, tatakis, morrillos grilled, etc. …, with the look of small works of art on porcelain canvas.
The journey that began with the sun waking up the ocean, ends in the dish for a diner who will enjoy the almadraba red tuna. Fishing and gastronomy form the backbone of a community that, in and out of the sea, have as an engine the wild red tuna from the almadraba.
Life in fishing villages of gulf of Cádiz revolves around the almadraba, a traditional fishing gear with three thousand years of history which consist in the capture of tunas through a circuit of nets when tunas go through Strait of Gibraltar way to the Mediterranean Sea to spawn and it is just then when is allowed its capture.
The “levantá” is the exact moment in which it is produced the capture, and mainly it is carried out several times between April and May. In the “levantá” the boats are placed in circular shape, with a net called “copo” in the middle of them. The circle becomes narrower until the water “break to boil” due to the frenetic activity of tunas. Is when the sailors with the cry of “! Arriá, arriá¡” lift the nets while the copeadores (experimented sailors) start to capture the tunas, offering a surprising spectacle.
Ronqueo of Red Tuna
Ronqueo is the process of tuna quartering. In total it is extracted 24 pieces, it is used in reality to the 100%, for that reason red tuna is known like the “pig” of the sea. The cuttings are made according to the zones more or less fat, but is true, all of them are tasty.
Cuts tuna click zoom