You Get: 2 6 oz Tins of Bluefin Tuna
Fisherman: Keper Connell
Location: Rye, NH
How It’s Harvested: In the long history of Bluefin Tuna harvesting, fisherman have used seine nets, long lines, fish traps, and many more tactics to catch these behemoths of the deep blue (world record 1,496 lbs). All of these methods have environmental impacts that have led to the most stringent harvesting regulations here in the US. Keper catches one fish at a time using one rod, one hook and one bait. It is specific, intentional and responsible.
How They Taste: There are three unique cuts that can come from Bluefin (the fattiest of Tunas) – akami (lean), chutoro (medium fat), and otoro (fattiest). You will find that each tin will vary depending on the cut: the leaner will highlight the beefier quality of Bluefin, while the fattier cuts have an unctuous mouth feel – think Foie Gras – with a subtle minerality. Overall, we find that this tuna, which in tinned in olive oil, begs to be eaten right out of the can!
Why it’s Unique: Simply, there is nothing like it. Most canned tuna is either albacore or yellowfin (in some European brands). Keper sees the whole process through (the with help of ICO), from catching, tinning, to your plate. What separates the best fish from the rest is not necessarily its handling in your walk-in, it is how the angler handles the fish right after harvesting. Keper takes the time to “swim” the tunas behind his boat for up to an hour to “cool” them down. Typically, when caught, Bluefin can fight so hard that heat/lactic acid can build up in their system to the point of cooking them from the inside out. Instead, by hooking them and slowly swimming them behind the boat, he mitigates that risk. Once the fish is aboard, he uses the Japanese tradition of ikijime. Ikijime is a process that is known to be the most humane way to dispatch the fish while retaining its quality. One day on the boat with Keper singing Tina Turner and belting war cries while fighting fish, you’ll know how truly awesome he is.
Story: Keper is not your average fisherman. His family has owned restaurants outside of Washington DC since he was a child. His father would drive to Portland, ME to get the best seafood for his diners hundreds of miles away. This commitment to quality and providing something unique has been in Keper’s blood his entire life. The opportunity to take his 20+ year passion for Bluefin Tuna and his love for the European tradition of tinning, has led to a one of a kind product, and we are stoked to have it!