Thursday, September 01, 2011

Why I Buy Oregon Albacore

I can't think of a better illustration of why to buy Oregon albacore than this video of a small cannery I visited on a recent trip to Astoria, Oregon.

Mark Kujala, Skipanon co-owner and the mayor of Warrenton.

The Skipanon Brand cannery, now run by the second generation of the Kujala family of Warrenton, fishes for tuna off the coast of Oregon using the hook-and-line method that eliminates by-catch, the unintended harvesting of other species. Then they bring the fish into their small cannery built by Norman Kujala on the banks of the Skipanon River in 1978.

Anna, originally from Kentucky, worked at Bumble Bee until it moved out of Warrenton.

The loins are filleted and cleaned by a small crew of local women who've been working for the family for decades. The fresh loins are then sliced, hand-packed into cans with two salt pellets and sent through the ancient canning machine. The wire cage holding the cans is lifted into a large pressure cooker that cooks the fish, which means the fish cooks in its own juice without needing oil or water to keep it moist. Then the rich broth can be added to pump up the flavor of whatever dish the fish is used in.

Is it any wonder I love this product? I'm so glad to have found out about it!

Details: Skipanon Brand albacore can be found at the Saturday Beaverton Farmers' Market, ordered online at their website or found at many stores around the state. Most markets have other brands of Oregon albacore available. They're well worth looking for or asking about.

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