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Champagne. Wagyu. Caviar.
If we had to name some luxury food items, these would probably be at the top of our list. We know they’re expensive, but there’s something else we acknowledge: they’re worth it.
But what about bluefin tuna? It’s more costly than other fish, but is it worth it? Oh, yeah – and we’re going to show you why.
Read on for why the bluefin tuna price, although high, is worth every cent.
How Much Does Bluefin Tuna Cost?
You may have heard staggering news reports about the cost of bluefin tuna.
It’s true that in 2019, a 612-pound bluefin tuna sold for an incredible $3 million at Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji fish market. While this is not a typical price, it shows how prized bluefin tuna is as the very best tuna fish out there.
The bluefin tuna price that restaurants and customers pay depends on several factors. These include where the fish is from, the company you buy it from, and how sustainable it is.
These factors make it difficult to give an accurate average price for bluefin tuna. Not all bluefin is equal.
Over the last 20 years, there have been huge efforts to improve the sustainability of bluefin tuna. In the past, overfishing had depleted stocks. Now, these conservation efforts have seen it rebound to levels not seen for over 50 years!
Why Is Bluefin Tuna Expensive?
There are a few reasons why bluefin tuna is expensive.
First of all, it’s completely different from the average tuna that you buy canned at the supermarket. That type of tuna is albacore tuna. A typical adult albacore weighs 80lb.
Contrast that with the record-breaking bluefin tuna that sold a the Tokyo fish market in 2019. That whopping example weighed 612lb!
Clearly, they are different species and take a very different amount of time to grow to maturity. In fact, they are very slow-growing. It’s also impossible to breed bluefin tuna in captivity.
Most facilities catch juvenile wild fish and then raise them in pens. This process takes years before they are ready for harvest. Also, there are strict quotas on how many producers can harvest each year.
It’s important to buy bluefin tuna only from a reputable source. Each fish will have a barcode that allows you to trace it back to the farm it came from.
Another reason for its high cost is that it is a highly prized product. It has several features that make it a delicious experience to eat. Initially popular in Japan, it has now become a symbol of luxury the world over.
Why Bluefin Tuna is Worth the Price
While we use the word delicious to describe many food items, there are a few we have special words for.
The words used to describe bluefin tuna include exquisite, balanced, succulent, tender, savory, and buttery sweet. It’s highly prized for sashimi and sushi but can also be cooked to create other dishes.
Bluefin Tuna Quality
The highest quality bluefin is often exported to Japan. This is due to the high demand for excellent fish for sushi and sashimi. This fatty fish is especially prized for its toro cuts.
These cuts are from the belly, which is the fattiest part of the cut. Just as there are different types of steaks that vary in price, there are different cuts of bluefin. This is another factor that determines the bluefin tuna price.
The fatty cuts are especially famous for their excellent flavor. ç is deep red, with a rich flavor. These cuts of fatty fish are exceptional to eat as sashimi.
They simply melt in the mouth in a pleasing cacophony of umami and sweetness. This is where you can truly appreciate why purists say that there is nothing to compare to the flavor and texture of bluefin.
Choosing the Best Cuts of Bluefin
The most prized and most expensive cuts of bluefin are from the toro or belly area.
The otoro is the premium cut of this luxury tuna fish. It is a small belly cut closer to the head of the fish. It is famed as the fattiest part of the fish, with a fat content of around 30-40%.
Just like fillet mignon in beef, the scarcity of the cut means it commands the highest price.
The second most expensive cut is the chutoro. Higher quality than akami, it has a high-fat content and is extremely tender.
It’s a well-balanced cut that is prized for combining both sweetness and umami. The rich meat providing the savory umami bass notes, while the meltingly sweet fat provides the sweet top notes.
Akami is more plentiful on the tuna and can come from the back or the belly. Akami from the back is said to be softer than that from the belly. It has a high mineral content giving it a richer, meatier flavor than the otoro cuts.
Why It Is Worth It
Like other luxury foods, tasting is believing.
Words can only do so much to paint a picture of how exquisite bluefin tuna really is. It’s not just about flavor; it’s about mouthfeel and texture.
An increasing number of people outside of Japan have developed an appreciation for top-quality sushi and sashimi when you enjoy bluefin tuna, whether as sushi or seared, you are transported to another place.
It’s an intoxicating combination of sweet and savory that will leave you wanting more.
The Bottom Line: Why The Bluefin Tuna Price Is Worth It!
Now we’ve explored its background; it’s clear why the bluefin tuna price is higher than other fish. Raising this special creature is a labor of love – but it’s all worth it in the end.
Bluefin tuna is a luxury experience everyone should try. Source it from a sustainable company following the highest welfare standards, and you can enjoy it with peace of mind.
Bluefin stands for quality, delectability, and sustainability. It’s simply a cut above the rest and is the bluefin supplier of choice for sushi chefs around the world.
Contact us today for more information about how we can serve you.