“We are in the middle of peak tuna season in the north, an exceptional catch credited as the flagship of the summer season in our kitchens”

White “bonito” fish is closely related to Basque fishing tradition and culture. Our companions, fishing vessel “Itsas Lagunak” (friends of the sea), trail the cool northern waters catching tuna, one by one. They respect the fishing ritual that has been tradition for centuries in the Basque Country so much so, they are credited as one of the best suppliers of “Bonito del Norte” (literally tuna of the north).

June to early October is the season that tuna migrate north to cooler northern Atlantic waters, notably the Cantabrian coast, to reproduce and find food (anchovies, chicharros and verdeles). The tuna is captured by selective fishing at the height of its flavour, tender texture and exquisite flavour.

A true delicacy for the soul but also recommended from a nutritional perspective because of its high content of omega 3 fatty acids.

The “arrantzales” (fishermen) of the “Itsas Lagunak” boat, capture the tuna one by one using fishing hooks from the side of the boat. Catching tuna individually is considered the most sustainable and ensures that each is the right quality and size. It also preserves the texture of the fish and prevents harmful by-catch and bruising from nets. Lastly, it is a respectful and beautiful way to maintain the intangible heritage that is constituted by artisanal fishing and the wisdom of our ancestors.

At SAGARDI, we make the most of this exceptional product.

For example, our “Marmitako” de bonito, an incredibly popular and typical Basque dish; a hearty boat stew brimming with flavour, born from ancient Basque fishermen while out at sea.

Another classic dish from our Basque cuisine is “Bonito con tomate”; traditional, simple and tasty. A perfect option to enjoy the delicious, smooth, white meat of the bonito combined with seasonal tomato sauce and fresh Ibarra chillies. Summer is a time when you really get to appreciate Basque Cuisine in all its fine glory.

Off the menu, you can often find “Grilled Bonito Ventresca”, a subtle dish with a greasy touch that is a true delight for the palate. The oak charcoal grill and our classic San Sebastian are your best allies’.

Different ways to enjoy a wonderful seasonal product with a lot of history and tradition. Just some of many dishes that connect us to true Basque cuisine. On egin!