Testa Conserve’s Ventresca - or bluefin tuna belly, known in Japan as toro - is the most prized part of the tuna, where the layers of tuna meat are marbled with thin strips of silky fat. Like the most precious cuts of sushi, it’s best to keep the preparation of ventresca simple to appreciate its moist, rich mouthfeel and delicate flavor. Serve as an aperitivo atop crostini, or enjoy right out of the jar with a squeeze of lemon, alongside a fresh green salad or lightly seasoned vegetables.
If you want to enjoy tuna but normally feel a bit guilty because you’ve heard how damaging and unsustainable industrial production is - read on. The Testas are hypervigilant about their supply chain. They not only fish the tuna, they process and conserve it themselves - in Sicilian extra virgin olive oil and sea salt - in their own facility in Portopalo di Capo Passero, on the southeastern tip of Sicily. There, each individual jar of tuna receives its own unique ID code, for maximum transparency and traceability.
The Testa family has been fishing in the Mediterranean for over 200 years. For them, endangering the ocean means endangering their way of life, so they applaud the European Union’s efforts to regulate bluefin tuna production and prevent overfishing. The Testas operate two of the just 21 Italian boats authorized to fish for tuna in the Mediterranean. This could not be further from intensive production; during just thirty days of the year, the Testa family goes out together on their boats for the nearly sacred ritual of bluefin tuna fishing. Using purse seine nets, they are able to target fish according to size and species, preventing damage to the sea bed and avoiding wasteful bycatch. And the good news is, the regulations are working; after years of damage from industrial producers, the population of bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean is now growing.
The Testas know the price of their tuna is high, and they believe it should stay that way; this is a precious ingredient to celebrate, appreciate, and conserve. Gustiamo is proud to partner with the Testa family to bring you a product that respects the sea and the ability of future generations to enjoy its bounty, and respects local family businesses and agricultural traditions.