Vintage, that means old. Old seafood. I know what you’re thinking: Mo is trying to sell me old seafood, what does he take me for? I know, it seems like a ruse. Unfresh fish is pretty much the opposite of everything we’ve ever learned about eating from the sea. But just as fresh grapes, when preseved as wine, have a new lease on flavor, so does fish.
Many seafaring cultures around the Mediterranean treat tinned fish as a high form of seafood, and aged versions of those tins have even more value. When done right, good fish—those that are caught with care, cleaned quickly, trimmed by hand and tinned in olive oil—can get more flavorful, more silky, more delicious with age.
The loin is the big working muscle of the tuna, which can get ticky tacky firm when young, softens up to silk when aged. These ones, from Ortiz, are line caught one by one by hand in Spain’s Bay of Biscay.
I first traveled to Spain to select tuna catch from the 2013 catch. We've selected a new batch most every year since, then brought them over to our warehouse in Ann Arbor to age for a few years. Get yours quick, they'll sell out in a flash.