Week 15: Yellowfin Tuna

13 Apr

Let’s not be crazy – I’ve had tuna. But just tuna in a can, which is of course not the same thing at all as fresh tuna. I’ve ordered tuna just once in a restaurant (I’m not sure what kind) and it was served  rare, and I just didn’t like it very much.

This weekend I was in Portland, ME and had dinner at the lovely Street and Company. The place is adorable – on an old-fashioned cobblestone road in the Old Port, it has an open kitchen and a fireplace in the main dining room and is known for their excellent seafood.

We ordered two glasses of wine and Andrew ordered mussels marinara with linguine. I decided to try one of the specials that night, which was a yellowfin tuna bolognese. When I was a meat eater, bolognese was one of my favorite dishes. Since I haven’t eaten meat in nearly four years, I was so excited that they offered a seafood version, since I’d never considered that you could make bolognese with fish. The waitress assured me there was no stray meat in the dish but told me it did taste just like traditional bolognese.

I like to make sure the seafood I eat or purchase seafood is fished or farmed in ways that don’t harm the environment. I use Seafood Watch to make sure I’m making a good choice (they even have an app!). Seafood Watch notes that yellowfin is usually a good choice and has a healthy population, but asks that you choose yellowfin caught with troll or pole-and-line, which have very low levels of bycatch (unwanted fish and other animals caught accidentally in fishing gear and discarded overboard). They recommend that US Atlantic troll or pole-caught yellowfin tuna is the “Best Choice.”

Yellowfin tuna is found in tropical and subtropical oceans across the world. It’s often used in raw dishes, including sashimi, or is served seared rare. According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a 200-pound yellowfin tuna can swim at 23 miles per hour. Also, tuna may use a mineral called magnetite, which is found in their snout, to help them detect the earth’s magnetic field for better navigation. Interesting, huh?

Anyway…I ordered the yellowfin tuna bolognese:

And it was amazing. The pasta was homemade and perfectly al dente, the sauce amazing, and the tuna was delicious. Of course it was covered in tomato sauce, basil, cheese, and tons of other goodness, but I tried to taste it alone to get just the taste of the tuna. I loved it.

The yellowfin bolognese tasted just like the traditional bolognese I remembered. I cannot wait to attempt to make this at home!

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