The Conil Tuna Fish Route is a gastronomic festival dedicated to the exquisite almadraba tuna, a tuna of exceptional quality that has been fished on the Cádiz coasts of Conil, Barbate, Zahara de los Atunes and Tarifa since time immemorial. The distinguishing element of Conil de la Frontera almadraba tuna is the moment it is captured and the fishing method that is used.
The Conil de la Frontera Tuna Fish Route is the oldest of all those that are held on the Cádiz coastline and is also the one that opens the extensive culinary calendar for this delicious product.
Almadraba is a traditional fishing art practiced in the coast of Cádiz, and it has been practiced for more than 3,000 years. Its origins date back to the Phoenicians. It is a fixed and selective art, and one of today’s most sustainable tuna fishing techniques. It consists on using a grid of fishing nets places near the coast to catch the tuna. Its name comes for the Arabic word “Andalusí” which means a place where one hits and fights.
Witnessing this fishing art is a privilege. Scuba divers, locally known as “los ranas” (the frogs), using different maneuvers, force the fish to swim to the almadraberos, through the fishing nets up to their ending, the copo, where they are caught. After shouting “izaaaa” (raise them), fishermen start raising the fishing nets and move the boats close to each other. All of this process is called “levantá” (raising). In this moment, the tuna keep moving around, in turn, moving the water, the famous “rebotá” (bouncing). The last step is to get the giant tuna fish to the boats. There, they are stored in iced water to take them to the shore where, in less than an hour, they will be processed and cut into pieces in the processing plant located a few steps away from the pier.
If you do not have the chance to witness this fishing technique live, you can visit the Museo del Atún de la Almadraba de Conil (Conil Museum of Almadraba Tuna). It is located in a building that used to be a factory of La Chanca. A place where, since the sixteenth century, the fish is cut into pieces and preserved in salt. A series of models explain the Almadraba fishing technique.
The ‘Ronqueo’ (filleting)
Bluefin tuna is one of the most valued products today and, as with the pig, every part of this fish is used.
The filleting is carried out by the so-called filleter, who is fully familiar with both the cutting technique and the anatomy of the fish, in order to make perfect cuts and not mess the product up. The art of filleting has different cuts. You have no doubt heard of some of them, such as neck, belly and loin.
The Almadraba Bluefin Tuna, a Gastronomic Jewel
The Almadraba bluefin tuna is one of Andalucia’s gastronomic jewels. It has an exceptional quality. The Japanese consider it one of the finest delicacies. In addition, its nutritional properties make it one of the best ingredients for any healthy menu.
It is a blue fish with a high content of Omega-3 fatty acids. An ally in the regulation of cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. Consuming it reduces the risk of suffering atherosclerosis and thrombosis.
Tuna fish is also rich in minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, iron and iodine. It is also a rich source of vitamins B, A and D.
Form a culinary standpoint, the Almadraba bluefin tuna is a jewel because almost every part of it can be used. Not in vain it is called “the sea’s Iberian pig”. It can be used to prepare a vast variety of delicious recipes. It is the ideal ingredient for cold and hot appetizers and it can be the main ingredient of any menu.
If you would like to taste the Almadraba bluefin tuna prepared in a thousand different ways, make a note in your agenda to attend this year’s Conil Tuna Route. It takes place between the months of May and June.
2023 Conil Tuna Route
The Conil Tuna Fish Route this year take places from May 5 to June 4. This is its XXVI edition. The main objective is to promote local gastronomy and catering establishments, with almadraba tuna as the protagonist.
Around 40 local establishments will participate and, during the course of the route, will have specific menus for you with almadraba tuna as the protagonist, which include over 300 ways to eat this delicious product, with recipes ranging from the most traditional to the most innovative dishes.
The activities that will be carried out during the course of this route, along with tastings in restaurants and bars, will make for a fabulous tuna festival, coinciding with their passage along the Conil coast. In addition to the more purely culinary acts, visitors will be able to enjoy flamenco, music, cinema, exhibitions, show cooking…
You will be able to taste this delicious, healthy delicacy outside of its fishing period. The modern preservation techniques used by almadraba tuna production industries manage to maintain all its organoleptic qualities.
You can consult our list of Restaurants to enjoy the best Almadraba tuna at any time of the year.
Interesting facts about tuna
- Speed: Tuna is one of the fastest fish in the ocean, with some able to swim at speeds of up to 75 km/h.
- Size: The largest recorded tuna was a 3.05-meter-long, 684-kilogram bluefin tuna.
- Migration: Tuna undertake epic migrations covering thousands of kilometers. Some tuna travel from the shores of Japan to the central Pacific to spawn.
- Habitat: Tuna can be found in all the world’s oceans, from the Arctic to the Antarctic.
- Longevity: Some tuna species can live up to 40 years.
- Group hunting: Tuna often hunt in groups and can effectively coordinate their movements to catch their prey.
- Commercialization: Tuna is one of the most heavily traded fish in the world, with an industry worth billions of dollars and an annual production of around 7 million tons. Bluefin tuna is one of the most expensive fish in the world. In 2019, a single bluefin tuna was auctioned in Japan for 2.7 million euros.
- Endangered species: There are over a dozen species of tuna, including bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, and bigeye tuna. Some tuna species are endangered due to overfishing, habitat degradation, and ocean pollution.
- Taste: Tuna is known for its distinctive flavor and is a popular ingredient in many cuisines around the world. It is also well-known for its role in Japanese cuisine, where it is used to prepare sushi and sashimi.
- Health benefits: Tuna is an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, and has been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
WHERE TO STAY
Fuerte Conil-Resort is a hotel located opposite one of the most beautiful beaches in Spain, Fontanilla Beach, just 10 minutes walk from the center of Conil de la Frontera. It stands out for its unique Andalucian style, its 25.000 m2 of gardens, 4 outdoor pools, jacuzzi, tennis court and a completely equipped spa. The high customer satisfaction and its commitment to responsible tourism and quality are backed up by various national and international awards as well as companies like Booking or Trip Advisor.