Here in the US, tinned tuna is a low end commodity usually sold in supermarkets. In Spain it’s at the complete opposite of the culinary spectrum. Tuna in tins, especially these from the 4th generation family firm, Ortiz, are one of the jewels in the country’s culinary crown. The best cuts of the fish are filleted on the boat and quickly tinned in good olive oil. The olive oil adds flavor and makes the texture silky over time, unlike water, which tends to leach flavors from the fish. Bonito, or albacore tuna, is the most mellow and highly prized.
Ortiz saves its biggest, fattest fish for bigger tins. The tuna loins are cleaned, cut and packed, all by hand. This is special occasion tuna, when presentation—and volume—count.