In a nutshell: The perfect gift for all seafood lovers. Showcasing some of the best Arroyabe products so you can create a seafood tapas party or just try a different tin whenever you feel like it.
Bonito del Norte
Fillets of Bonito del Norte (white albacore tuna), individually line-caught in the Bay of Biscay, then preserved to a traditional recipe by a Basque Country family firm. For centuries, Bonito del Norte – or white albacore tuna – has been fished off the Basque coast of northern Spain. It was here, in the little port of Bermeo, that Rufino Arroyabe set up a canning business, back in 1898. The firm is still family-owned today and the exceptional white tuna it produces epitomises the ideal of slow food.
First, the fish are caught, one by one, using a rod and line. Not only is this the time-honoured way, it’s the most ecologically responsible, too, as this low-impact method doesn’t disrupt the seabed or inadvertently capture any other marine species, such as dolphins or sea turtles.
Arroyabe’s fishing practices also influence the quality of its product. It only uses fish caught on day boats, meaning the tuna doesn’t need to be frozen to maintain its freshness before it reaches port.
Back on land, each fish is cleaned and prepared by hand and every jar is manually filled by an experienced worker, who carefully chooses the best pieces of tuna to include. The result is oceans apart from those woolly-textured, water-packed tins that you’d pick up in the supermarket. It’s a high-quality product that’s taken time to prepare – and which we suggest you take time to savour.
Premium Edition Spring Anchovies
Great Taste 2019 2-Star Winner
The very best Cantabrian anchovies, caught using artisanal fishing methods in the Bay of Biscay, salted in barrels then preserved in olive oil.
There are anchovies, then there are Cantabrian anchovies. Renowned worldwide for their meatiness, smooth texture and intense flavour, these superior fish have been caught off Spain's northern coast for centuries. Arroyabe has been a standard-bearer for quality Cantabrian anchovies for more than 100 years. The fish are caught during their spring season using purse seine nets, a traditional surface-fishing method that respects marine sustainability. Back at port, the fish are packed with salt in wooden barrels for months to allow their deep, umami-rich flavour to develop. They are then filleted and packed by hand in top-quality Spanish olive oil. The result is oceans apart from those stringy, aggressively salty supermarket anchovies, which you would only ever consider cooking with or putting on pizzas. These are the real deal, with a smooth, beautifully balanced flavour that makes them great to eat just as they are.
Cockles in water
Finest-quality cockles, with over 40 simply preserved in water. Among the speciality products offered by Arroyabe are these delightful cockles. Carefully selected for their size, they've been delicately cooked to preserve their fresh, briny taste. They're then packed in nothing more than salt water, to allow their natural flavour to shine through. Not only are these cockles delicious, they are packed full of health benefits, too. Rich in calcium and iron, they are also a great source of the vitamin B12, which plays an important role in brain function.
Bonito del Norte Ventresca
Finest-quality white tuna belly – the very best cut there is – from fish individually line-caught in the Bay of Biscay.
Yellowtail Tuna Ventresca
Yellowfin tuna belly – the very best cut there is – from fish individually line-caught in the Bay of Biscay.
Details: 6 tins including 2 Tins of Premium Edition Anchovies (50g and 80g) + Cockles in water (115g) + Bonito del Norte Ventresca (120g) + Yellowtail Tuna Ventresca (120g) + Bonito del Norte (111g)
For centuries, the warm waters of the Gulf Stream have shepherded shoals of tuna to the Bay of Biscay, on the 3,000-mile journey from their spawning grounds in the Sargasso Sea. And for just as long, they’ve been caught by Basque fisherman during their June-to-November season. For the past 120 years, the best of this catch has been preserved by Arroyabe, a family firm from the fishing port of Bermeo. As well as tuna, they preserve anchovies, cockles and garfish – also known as needlefish, due to their long and pointed snouts.
At each stage of the production process, Arroyabe employs production methods that would be familiar to the firm’s founders. Tuna, for example, is caught the original and best way using rod-and-line, a low-impact method that doesn’t damage the seabed or capture other species, as would happen with trawling.
As you would expect, all its products are certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
The fish is then hand-prepared by skilful and experienced workers who carefully select the best pieces to use. Most are packed in olive oil, which enhances the fish’s smooth texture and savoury flavour. Some are packed in water, which brings down the product's calorie count, while some are packed in escabeche – a pickle sauce of oil and vinegar, a traditional method of preserving fish that was used before the advent of sterilisation.
Whichever you choose, you can be sure of the quality. For decades, Arroyabe’s seafood has been widely appreciated in its homeland, where it graces the menus of the Basque Country’s restaurants, txoko clubs and pintxo bars. Now you can enjoy it at home.