Tunas aren’t all the same. They differ according to variety and also according to how and where they are caught. Find out why out our tuna differs from others.
White Tuna in Olive Oil is a favorite among our products. We follow up the entire production chain in order to ensure, stage after stage, the highest quality for our products. Right from their ocean habitat to our dining table! Think of this article as a sea shanty − as a story of the sea and sailors!
An uncontaminated stretch of ocean water, and a fish species with gourmet-appeal!
Our search for a tuna species that will meet all our quality exigencies took us eastward across the Bay of Biscay to the Cantabrian Sea, a windswept stretch of ocean water abounding in fish, located between the colder seas of the north and temperate tropical waters. These well-oxygenated, cold waters are rich in plankton and are densely populated by fish (anchovies, sardines, mackerel, bass, the rhombus, shellfish and mollusks).
This stretch of water lying off Spain and France is the ideal habitat of the Thunnus alalunga, one of the most sought-after tuna varieties (also known as the White Meat Tuna given its white flesh with very light pink nuances). It is particularly admired for the extraordinarily tender consistency of its flesh and delicate flavor (it is known as a “butterfish”!).
Being in the right place at the right time
With the arrival of spring, every year the Thunnus alalunga leaves the cold waters of the north and heads to the warm waters of the Antilles. One stage of their journey brings them here to this stretch of ocean. It is here that we fish our special White Meat Tuna, between June and October.
Here, the encounter between cold and temperate currents engenders an extraordinary variety and quantity of fish species, marine flora and planktons. This wealth of nutrients enhances the qualities of the already firmly fleshy “outward journey” tuna fish. Following the casting of the ova, the tunas are more slender on their “return journey” back north once more. Their flesh is poorer and not suitable for production of our white-meat tuna product, White Tuna in Olive Oil.
There is no such thing as quality without respect for the environment
Our Thunnus alalunga catches are obtained only after adopting traditional sustainable methods, while fully respecting the marine ecosystem and the principle of conservation of species. Unfortunately, harmful methods of tuna fishing are frequently adopted (e.g. longlines − also known as boulters or spillers − and FAD (Fishing Aggregating Devices)), which trap even protected fauna indiscriminately (e.g. turtles, dolphins and very young fish). Sustainable methods for tuna fishing, acknowledged as such by Greenpeace itself, are traditional angling or use of the seine, which must target only the schools of the species in question, without damaging the seabed.
Processes upgraded in view of the excellence of the white meat tuna
Because of the nutrient properties, the taste and the softness of the Thunnus alalunga, and the need to safeguard these qualities, careful processing is required.
"The catch is immediately frozen, cut and cleaned and its ventral portion is removed (to be processed apart). The tuna is boiled in water and salt for about three hours and is then left to cool. The process is not aggressive: this being a way to safeguard the fish’s nutrient properties. Cleaning by hand then takes place, to select the perfect fillets and slices. These must be in an integral state with no sign of processing whatsoever. The slices are arranged along special production lines for canning. The more delicate fillets are packaged by hand in glass jars. Olive oil is added to both products before being subjected to heat sterilization."
Roberta Risso, a Fratelli Carli quality control operative
Single-piece fleshy fillets: the secret is in the manual handling
The real experts are the people who carry out the meticulously lengthy manual operations thanks to which our tuna is perfectly preserved.
Let the expert tuna packager speak: “A soon as the catch reaches the packing plant I engage in the initial manual cleaning and cutting operations. I then remove the ventral portion of the tuna and slice the fish into fillets. I supervise the cooking stage, which is never aggressive and which must conserve the fish’s nutrient properties. I then cut the slices and fillets from the rest of the tuna. Packing is a time-consuming process requiring skill. I carefully arrange the fillets one by one and make sure they remain intact (this is especially important for the very fragile ventral portion).”
The high nutritional value of the tuna
Our tuna is processed where it is caught. This enables us to conserve, unaltered, the key characteristics and nutritional properties of the fish. Thunnus alalunga boasts high protein content (27%) and low-fat (15%) flesh, and considerable amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are to be consumed in accordance with correct dietary indications (e.g. oleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid, generally referred to as Omega 3). Thanks to these nutritional characteristics, this tuna increases our HDL-cholesterol, or “good cholesterol” (as opposed to “bad cholesterol”). The vitamins of our white meat tuna belong to the B and A groups. This product is a valid source of minerals (iron, calcium, potassium and phosphorus). It goes without saying that our tuna products are completely preservative- and additive-free.
ID kit: white, delicious and digestible
You need only cast a glance over our white meat tuna fillets and slices to appreciate their firm consistency, wholeness and uniformity of color (white-pink), indicating prime quality fare. You will appreciate the pleasingly delicate fragrance, just as your palate will perceive just how harmonious the flavor is, and the product’s amazing tenderness of consistency. It all but dissolves in your mouth! Carli Olive Oil enriches the tuna, and conserves it optimally, without masking the flavor in any way.