There are different techniques to catch White Tuna. At Conservas Ortiz, we only use traditional fishing methods that ensure fish quality and freshness, and selective fishing.
Our White Tuna is individually line-caught, using live bait and trolling techniques.
Fishing sustainability in our seas is one of the problems currently facing the environmental sector. At Conservas Ortiz, we are committed to safeguarding the future of our catches and the species’ regeneration process. That is why we use the traditional live bait and seine fishing technique to catch White Tuna and ‘encircling’ for anchovies.
The first technique uses fresh and alive bait to attract the fish more effectively. This bait is usually made up of small fish.
The first step is to retrieve the bait from the sea carefully. This is done by using nets and then placing them in nurseries where they can live for several days. The fishermen use hoses to simulate a school of fish to create the movement of the fish.
When fishing begins, the fishermen line up on one side of the boat. The rods are fitted with a short line, and the hooks are already prepared with live bait. When the school is made up of very large fish, they are fished in pairs.
Live baiting is a traditional fishing method that anglers have used throughout history in the Bay of Biscay.
On the other hand, the encircling technique uses a large rectangular net to surround the shoal of anchovies.
White Tuna (Thunnus alalunga), also called Longfin Tuna, stands out for its fine flavor, smooth texture, and white flesh, which have been appreciated in the Bay of Biscay for centuries.
It is a blue fish that lives in temperate waters, at a medium depth, and in the Bay of Biscay, it is caught during the summer fishing season (from July to October).
As for Tuna (Thunnus albacares or Thunnus obesus), it is a larger fish belonging to the tuna family and is of good quality, although different from White Tuna. Its flesh is darker and has a tougher and more compact texture.
Two dorsal fins, generally well separated, are a common characteristic of tuna. Its back is dark blue, and its belly is silver, without spots, which allows it to blend in with the aquatic environment.
There are different species within the tuna family, such as Thunnus thynnus, usually known as Bluefin Tuna; a variety highly appreciated in Japanese cuisine and very rarely canned since it is mainly used fresh.
The ventresca (belly) is the softest and most delicate part of the White Tuna. It is a triangle-shaped section on the fish’s underside near the head. The difference lies in its characteristic flavor with a much finer and more delicate taste than the rest, resulting in an exquisite delicacy.
We prepare our white tuna belly fillets using traditional methods, with great care and attention to detail. Our most expert hands are in charge of carefully cleaning, selecting the best fillets one by one, and hand-packing this unique quality product.
When it comes to tasting it, a simple way to prepare white tuna belly fillets is with a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil. However, it also opens up many possibilities for preparing exquisite salads, appetizers with piperrada (onion, tomato, and peppers), with poached tomato and onion, ratatouille, etc. In terms of pairing, given the tenderness of the belly fillets, we can assure you that a young red wine or an aged white wine with its complexity would delight the palate.
Yes, anchovies and boquerones are the same species (Engraulis encrasicholus). In general, the term ‘anchovy’ or ‘bocarte’ is used in the north of Spain, while in the southern half of the country, ‘boquerón’ is used. Moreover, the same term is usually used when they are presented fresh or marinated in vinegar, whereas if they have undergone the salting process, they are called anchovies.
Yes. The freshly sterilized product undergoes a series of changes in flavor due to the interaction between the fish and the liquid in which it is bathed (olive oil or escabeche). As months go by, the White Tuna in olive oil becomes more mellow and tasty; that is why a White Tuna with a year of aging is better than at the first moment.
These changes are more critical during the months following sterilization. That is why at Conservas Ortiz, we keep the products in a ‘quarantine’ until they are perfectly matured to be enjoyed at their best time and flavor. It is an essential part of the process that requires patience and a solid commitment to the best quality.
A canned product is a product that has been packed in a hermetically sealed container and heat-treated (sterilized) to ensure the destruction or inactivation of any microorganism. As a result, the product can be stored at room temperature for an extended period of time. The shelf life of these products in perfect condition is several years. A great example of this is canned fish.
On the other hand, a semi-preserved product is a product kept in a watertight container that has undergone a treatment that stabilizes it for a limited period of time. An example is the Anchovy in brine as well as in olive oil, matured by the effect of the salt. They are placed in barrels separated by layers of salt, and to ensure that the salt penetrates well, a weight is placed on top of the barrels.
The result is that water escapes from the meat, and a series of transformations take place over a period of six months until they mature, modifying their aroma, texture, and flavor. As they are not sterilized products, they should be kept cool or refrigerated.
The cans, jars, or trays of Anchovy fillet or salted Anchovy should be kept in a cool place or in refrigerated spaces. However, we recommend eating them at room temperature, taking them out of the refrigerator some time before serving, to enhance their flavor and ensure that the oil is not semi-solid due to the effect of the cold.
Once opened, anchovies can be kept refrigerated for a few days as long as they are covered with oil, ensuring that they maintain their full flavor.
In the case of salted anchovies, they should be kept in their container submerged in brine.
Jar lids have a ‘safety button’ – also called a click-clack – consisting of two embossed circles, visible on the center of the lid. A jar’s contents are in good condition if the center of the metal lid (safety button) is not inflated. If it is ‘inflated,’ it should not be consumed, as air may have entered, and therefore the deterioration process of the product may have started. We can detect it if we hear a click-clack sound when exerting a slight pressure on the safety button.
If we hear a ‘pop’ when we open the can, it means that the can has lost its vacuum and is therefore not suitable for consumption.
We recommend taking into account the following indications to make sure that a canned product is in perfect condition:
- Reject any product with a convex bottom.
- Reject those with leaking contents or perforations.
- When opening them, check that the appearance, color, and smell are those of the product and the canned preparation.
The best-before date is indicated on products with a very short shelf life and must contain the day and month of expiry. It is forbidden to sell them from the day after the expiry date, and they should not be consumed.
The use-by date is indicated for medium and long-life products such as canned and semi-canned products. This date indicates the moment up to which all the properties or characteristics of the product can be guaranteed and must appear together with the preservation and storage conditions.
Canned and semi-canned fish products are anisakis-free since they are subjected to heat treatment and freezing techniques that completely eliminate the parasite.
The canning industry has a series of particular obligations in this respect, and at Conservas Ortiz, we strictly follow the current regulations and submit our products to rigorous quality controls.
In addition to the analyses performed when the fish is delivered, there are a series of standardized controls during the process and constant quality inspections on the final product. In addition to these controls, we have implemented a series of best practices in the production process that are observed and recorded on a daily basis. The method applied is different depending on the type of product.
The boquerones, for example, are subjected to a freezing process prior to freezing at -20ºC for the time necessary to eliminate anisakis.
The products of White Tuna, other bluefish, and shellfish are put through a sterilization process that reaches 120º, which guarantees the total elimination of the parasite.
Salted Anchovies undergo a maturation process to reach a salinity sufficient to eliminate the parasite completely.
Do you want your Conservas Ortiz ready-meals to be tender and juicy? Heat them in a bain-marie. Place the bag in a saucepan with water and put it on the heat. Keep it on the heat for 2 or 3 more minutes after it starts to boil. Finally, serve your recipe in a soup dish. The result is a juicy dish, evenly heated and ready to eat in 2 minutes.
They can be washed with water or dry cloth to maintain their flavor. The washed anchovies are dried with a dry cloth to drain the water. The tail and the part of the gut are cut with the help of scissors to shape the fillets. Next, the anchovy is opened in its two halves, and the central bone is removed. Finally, put them in a container and cover them with oil, preferably olive oil.
Stuffed peppers have a wide range of serving possibilities beyond the classic starter at a celebration. We suggest using one or two stuffed peppers to accompany rice or pasta dishes.
Our preparation process is totally natural and handmade; it is based on traditional techniques whose origin dates back to more than 130 years ago.
Once the fresh anchovies have been beheaded and gutted, they are placed in layers separated by salt and left to mature in barrels for a minimum of 6 months until they reach their optimum maturity. This process gives the anchovy its characteristic and intense flavor.
As with wine, cheese, and ham, the maturation time in the cellar is one of the key factors in achieving the great aroma, intense flavor, and meaty texture of the Anchovy. After the maturation period in the cellar, expert hands carefully individually fillet the anchovies with a knife.
The anchovy is opened in half, the tail is removed, and the bones are cleaned. Thanks to this careful preparation, we get anchovy with a compact meat and an intense flavor. This results in an exquisite delicacy, with an intense aroma, meaty texture, and an unmistakable flavor.
Salted anchovies require some previous steps before serving (see the last question). Marketed whole in containers, they are arranged in layers separated by salt. Their preparation for consumption requires some work since they must be cleaned – if desired with water – and filleted. Salted anchovies maintain a very characteristic flavor and smell, making them the most sought after by haute-cuisine and by experts in the field, as they retain their authenticity and 100% of their taste.
On the other hand, the Anchovy fillet in olive oil is ready to eat. It has already been cured and is packed, filleted, and submerged in olive oil.