Consorcio--- The Caviar of Tuna
Tuna is an historically famous food. The word tuna itself comes from the Phoenician “than,” meaning a big animal. For the Etruscans, it was a symbol of the ability to keep oneself afloat with one’s own strength. Salted tuna, still produced, was very famous throughout antiquity. Aristotle writes about salted tuna preserved in large terracotta jars, sold to the Carthaginians.
Throughout the Medieval period, tuna was much sought after, figuring on important tables for important dinners.
The first appearance of olive oil preserved tuna is noted in Seville, Spain in the 1400's. It was here that tuna belly, “ventresca” was preserved in olive oil after first having been boiled in sea water then let dry. The olive oil enriched the ventresca keeping it soft and flavorful.
The rudimentary technology of food canning began in Europe during the period of Napoleon’s wars. This had the effect of making food stuffs available for consumption in a state other than just salting or drying them.
The first tins of canned tuna in oil appear in Genoa Italy in 1868. Ten years later, Genoese producers had adopted this procedure to all the tuna plants they ran in Spain, Portugal & Tunisia. It is from this period that quality tuna and Genoa become synonymous. Consorcio tuna is the most highly prized tuna in Genoa and in Italy.
The Consocrio Brand - Consorcio Español Conserveo - was founded in Santoña, Cantabria Spain in 1950. Santoña is a village right on the coast of northern Spain facing the Bay of Biscay. Consorcio’s production is based on white tuna, “Bonito del Norte”, yellowfin “Atun,” and anchovies all caught in the Bay of Biscay.
The richness of anchovies from the Bay of Biscay, caught in the annual spring fishing season are salted “alle vera carne,” aged, filleted, and tinned in olive oil for the demanding Italian market. Now you can experience them at your own table.
Bonito del Norte (Thunnus or Germo alalunga) is only one of the species of the tuna family, but is the most prized. It takes its name from its long pectoral fins. With a large head, large round eyes and a brilliant body color, dark blue on its back and lighter grey on its sides, its circulatory system is similar to that of mammals, having a body temperature of 75-83 degrees F.
Bonito del Norte can only live in waters of moderate temperature. Consorcio Bonito Del Norte is fished only with rods and hooks. This means that the Bonito del Norte, white tuna, is fished one by one and not with nets. In this way its is Dolphin Safe. There is no questions of unacceptable “by catch”.
Since the fishing season goes from July to October, there is a limited amount of product produced. Culinarily, Bonito del Norte, is the most flavorful and soft textured tuna. Its color is the palest of the tunas, while blue fin tuna (thunnus thynnus) is darkest. Yellowfin, “Atun” (Thunnus albacares) is just slightly darker than Bonito del Norte and is called “light tuna.”
Bonito del Norte rarely exceeds 30 pounds while blue fin from the Mediterranean reaches 300 pounds, and due to over fishing is rapidly reaching an unsustainable future.
Corti Brothers has long waited to be able to offer Consorcio tuna and anchovies to our customers. Now you can experience the “caviar” of tuna never before seen in our market. More than a revelation in Tuna, Consorcio is the highest quality available. It is not for every day use. But, for those special times when a unique product is called for, Consorcio is the answer.
Extremes de Bonito is a delicious pate made from pieces of Bonito del Norte, capers, spices, and good olive oil to be used just as is. A chilled tin, good bread toasted and a chilled aperitif makes a delicious tapa or hors d’oeuvre. Once tasted you’ll want to keep a supply on hand for easy entertaining.