A: Our wild salmon, King and Sockeye, are caught in the Pacific Northwest region. Specific harvest locations are surrounded by the coastlines of Oregon, Washington and Alaska. Since all our salmon is wild, we catch our salmon wherever the season is most abundant at the time. During the summer months we take advantage of the abundant local season right here in Santa Cruz California. The local area of catch goes from the Monterey Bay Sanctuary area to the Big Sur Coastline. Both our salmon and albacore are caught in their ocean habitat where their oil content is at its greatest. This high oil content enhances the flavor and nutritional content of the fish.
Similar to the salmon species, the area where tuna is caught in its migration pattern dictates the oil content of the flesh. Our Albacore Tuna is also caught in the Pacific Northwest Region where the tuna flesh has its highest oil content. This is unlike many competitors' tuna products, which are frequently caught in the South Pacific region where the oil content is unfavorably low.
A: Dave's Gourmet Albacore employs the most sustainable & responsible methods available to harvest our seafood. The process of harvesting both our albacore and salmon are among the most primitive and discretionary methods when it comes to selecting the best. We use a specialized 'Hook & Line' technique, also known as 'trolling'. Each line ran uses only one single hook, so as soon as a fish bites the hook, it is immediately reeled in, and landed aboard the boat.
We then flash freeze our tuna at sea allowing us to reduce the number of times necessary to cook the fish for processing. In terms of our salmon harvest, we freeze all of our salmon at sea unless it is coming in locally. This method facilitates the highest preservation of the natural oils, nutritional content and flavor of the fish.
A: There has been a lot of talk about the unsafe mercury levels in "Tuna" recently, which has become a growing concern for many tuna lovers. In order to understand the facts behind these serious statements we must first understand that the "Tuna" with unsafe levels of mercury are by no means a lump sum. There are many different species within the genus of Tuna. The specific species that contain these unsafe amounts of mercury are found in older Yellow Fin, Blue Fin and Albacore. All the aforementioned species can reach a long life span of over 40 years. As these fish get older they tend to migrate to warmer pacific waters and live. It is in these circumstances that they have seen higher mercury levels. These fish are very old and have had many years to accumulate mercury into their bodies. However our albacore is 'hook & line' caught off the Pacific Northwest Coastline and the Monterey Bay Sanctuary area. When albacore are younger they stay in the colder Pacific waters. All the albacore that we catch and process from the colder Pacific waters are specifically between the ages of 2-5 years old. Mercury levels in such fish are at minimal trace levels, some non-detectable. We have conducted mercury tests on both our salmon and albacore, which can be viewed in our HEALTH & NUTRITION section.
A: It is not difficult to compare Dave's canned Gourmet Albacore with other commercial brands.
A: Our quality canning methods greatly prolong the shelf life of our canned fish. Both the canned albacore tuna and wild king salmon have shelf lives of approximately 8-10 years! In fact, the longer you are able to store your cans before eating them the better! By letting the cans slightly age, the natural juices and oils can settle into the fish, which increases its soft flakey texture. The shellfish we carry have a shelf life of 2-3 years. There is no apparent expiration date on each can; the expiration date is found within the cannery code.
A: The best way to store your leftovers is to put them in a separate container, such as, Tupperware, plastic wrap or zip-lock bags and store in the refrigerator.
A: When stored properly, our canned albacore and salmon can be stored 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
A: All of our seafood is vacuum-sealed. All of our fresh and fresh-frozen seafood is packed in Styrofoam boxes with ice blocks.
A: Our seafood is vacuum packed directly after it is filleted. If you receive a frozen product it can be stored in your freezer for 3-6 months. Our fresh seafood can last in your refrigerator for up to 10 days. Our smoked salmon and albacore can be stored in your refrigerator for up to 6 weeks unopened--once it is opened it will last 10 days in a sealed container.
A: On rare occasions, small crystals having all the appearances of pieces of broken glass may be found in canned salmon. These crystals are colorless, transparent and tasteless. They vary in size, sometimes being so small as to impart only a slight grittiness to the salmon and at other times being PI inch in length. These crystals have been identified as magnesium ammonium phosphate, which is the natural occurring mineral, Struvite. Although these crystals resemble pieces of broken glass, and are often mistaken for glass, they are harmless even if swallowed.
The separate chemical substances capable of uniting to form crystals of magnesium ammonium phosphate are always present in the bodies of all animals, including human beings. It is only under certain conditions that these substances unit to form the crystals. Struvite crystals have been found to be sixty times more prevalent in wild Chinook King Salmon than in any other species. (References: Canning Memorandum; Continental Can Company, Inc.) Dave's Gourmet Albacore understands your concerns and assures you that the crystals are perfectly harmless and readily soluble. Some containers add acids and chemicals to their products to eliminate this crystal formation. Our company is committed to keeping our products as natural and pure as possible for you, therefore we choose not to use any chemicals in the canning process.