As I tried to educate myself on the many types of tuna that are represented in the nice brands of conservas from Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, etc, it was a lot harder than I thought. Unfortunately, there is more conflicting and incorrect information out there than you can shake a stick at! After months of comparing notes with industry experts, we were able to create an accurate way of conveying the information visually. We even made it a poster!
For those who are visual learners, check out the poster or Tuna Types page on our website. For those who prefer to simply read words, below are all the types of tuna commonly found in tins, some stats, and other tidbits on everything from history to quality differences. We hope you find them as interesting in this format as our students do in our fishy classes!
Bonito (Not Tuna) = Atlantic Bonito
Max Length: 3 ft
Max Weight: 18.25 lb
REASONS FOR CONFUSION
TUNA vs BONITO
Bonito (Sarda sarda) is a smaller fish found in the Mediterranean. When a similar looking but much larger fish Thunnus alalunga was discovered in more northern waters, it was named Bonito del Norte, or Bonito “of the North”.
Bonito del Norte weighs in at a whopping 88 lbs whereas Bonito’s maximum weight is 18.25 lbs.
While “Bonito del Norte” and “Bonito” are often used interchangeably, they are entirely distinct species. Bonito is more closely related to mackerel than tuna
In the wine world, where the grape is grown is indicative of quality. Similarly, the best tuna is caught in the Cantabrian Sea. Only Albacore Thunnus alalung caught in these waters should be called “Bonito del Norte.”
Because the term “Bonito del Norte” comes with notoriety and inherent quality, inaccurate claims to it are often made…
…even when the fish is not from the Cantabrian Sea.
…even when it is an entirely wrong species! Bonito and Skipjack often referred to even by fisherman as Bonito del Norte.
Some of this confusion is inadvertent and some is not. Caputo’s asks all our suppliers the hard questions so you don’t have to