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Bonito de Burela and Hake on a skewer. Respect for fishing

Talking about Bonito de Burela are bigger words. Unique specimens, smooth, bright and compact, with superior flavor and undeniable quality.

Taking advantage of the end of this year’s Bonito season, I am writing a few lines so that you can get to know first-hand my experience last month in Burela. One of the most beautiful gastronomic escapades that I have lived in my blogging years.

Not only for knowing and seeing in person two of the fish that I like the most, the bonito from Burela and the pincho hake, but also for living for a few days with wonderful people, in love with their work and the sea. Good people as my mother would say, who makes our visit to the fishmongers, not only to buy nice, the best of the day.

My trusted fishmongers in Madrid whenever any fish arrives from Galicia tell me, ” Alfonso, I have set aside these mackerels or sardines for you .”

When some Burela bonito comes to her, I already have it prepared and cut just the way I like it, she doesn’t even ask me what I’m going to buy. In July I took home a nice 8 kilos that he has given for 28 servings. That is why you have seen this month of July and August the blog full of recipes with bonito. I am passionate about its flavor, texture and softness.

A simple grilled slice is already a delight but we cannot forget the bonito with onions , the bonito with tomato is delicious or in that popular stew of Basque fishermen, the marmitako . In Burela we prepare it in tartar  and in Compostela we try a delicious empanada.  A discovery of the friend Xusto, the roll of bonito or in the form of a pot , are a guaranteed success in any home.

My adventure started in Madrid with a stop in Compostela and those who have followed me on social networks, the next morning, 4.00 in the morning to see live, from the arrival of the ships at the port, unloading, labeling, auction (one of the main attractions of the burelesa fish market that continues to be done lively (as you will see in the video, Javier is a teacher) and its subsequent loading so that we can all enjoy its qualities in our homes.

Bonito de Burela. Blue prince

  • Also called Thunnus Alalunga or albacore which is how the species is known. Shares stardom with bluefin tuna.
  • Those of their species are born in the Sargasso, a year they go to the surroundings of Madeira, Azores and the Canary Islands and, after winter, at the end of their second spring they swim up the Atlantic, to the Bay of Biscay. From June to September, Spanish fishing boats set sail in their search, follow him and tempt him with colored lures.
  • They chop one by one, in appropriate hooks for specimens weighing about eight kilos on average. Fresh and chilled, soon they arrive at Lonxa de Burela. markets such as Burela. Being this fishing town the Galician capital of Thunnus Alalunga, the beautiful of the north and one of the European references. Friend Xusto said that “6 out of 10 bonitos that are auctioned in Galicia are sold in the Burela market.”
  • The bonito from the north seduces palates, for its texture, for its flavor and for everything that sailors and marketers take care of, so that it reaches the tables with everything that distinguishes it.
  • It is different from other tuna species and the same northern albacore that the French and Irish catch with pelagic nets. This industrial fishing reduces the quality of the bonito, which gains presence and prestige if it is caught as always, trolling, with a hook, one by one, and from the sea to the boat’s refrigerators.
  • Sergio López , manager of the Organization of Fishing Producers of Lugo . He explained to me in a short interview the work that gives one by one fishing the bonito with trolling and the difference with the picaresque of French and Irish: “ the European Union eradicated surface flying. Then the Galician and Spanish boniteros already warned about other networks prohibited in Spain but allowed in France and Ireland: those of pelagic trawling. For years they have competed with advantage in the same fishing ground. This industrial art, with gear that comb the surface of the sea, catching everything they catch, multiplies the catch capacity of the Galician trolling, with traditional hooks and one of the best ways to fish sustainably. You always have to try to do things well so that our generations can enjoy this wonderful fish . ”
  • In addition to its flavor, it shines for its nutritional qualities. Steamed, 100 g. it has only 4.7 fat, 30 protein and 64 water. Heart healthy, provides vitamins and minerals, and 164 calories per 100 grams.
  • You can distinguish the bonito from Burela thanks to the green labels provided by La Consellería do Mar , a symbol of quality as you will see in the video that I show you below.

Sustainable fishing for bonito from Burela. The trolling

  • Thanks to the respect of previous campaigns, this year there are so many Thunnus Alalunga, and so close to the Cantabrian coast, that in recent days the Spanish fleet catches an average of 250 tons per day. Of the 33,600 granted to the European Union, Spain had 15,015. And we are about to close the 2018 campaign as a good year of fishing.
  • Markets and consumers will miss the high range of fresh northern tuna, which is traditionally caught by Basques, Cantabrians, Asturians and Galicians.
  • One by one, it bites on trolling or bait hooks and is immediately hoisted on board and refrigerated.

Skewered hake. Origin, texture and flavor

Perhaps the skewer hake is the most sought after hake in the markets, and in high restoration.

Xusto García advised us and informed us a little about this hake, he told us that “ the pinke hake is caught one by one, with a hook, it does not receive any blow in its catch, it does not suffer friction against nets, nets or other catches. Thus we find a hake without hitting, which does not suffer any flaking, the pigmentation remains intact, and the firmness of its meat is unmatched enjoying world fame. In this way specimens with a fresher presence of fish are obtained, with a silvery color and brilliant reflections.  ”

  • The form of fishing that is used for this hake is the skewer or longline . This technique consists of a line or line with hundreds of hooks where the hake bites and hooks. This fishing gear is very respectful of most discard species and has many advantages.
  • This method considered artisanal causes less suffering in the animal when dying than other more industrial fishing gear. Thanks to this, the entry of the rigor mortis in the fish is delayed and, when it breaks, it keeps it longer, with favorable final consequences on the flavor and texture of the meat.
  • One of the most famous ports for its pincho hake is the port of Burela. There it is unloaded from the same fishing ground, baptized with the name ” Hake from Burela “, that is, hake from the Burela skewer .
  • Gastronomically speaking, the hake takes advantage of everything and there are thousands of recipes, the most common being the breaded hake , hake Galician , hake in green sauce , stuffed hake or Basque.

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