Daves Gourmet Albacore Keeps on Canning

What to Eat Right Now: Pacific Salmon

Mercury Matters

Daves Gourmet Albacore Keeps on Canning

What to Eat Right Now: Pacific Salmon

Mercury Matters


Men’s Fitness Magazine:Men’s Fitness Magazine:

“As a regular reader of Men’s Fitness, you know that tuna is a superb protein source for those concerned with performance and muscle growth, as well as a harborer of loads of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.  And when portability is an issue, nothing beats a can of water-packed tuna. What you may not know is where to get tuna that leaves the supermarket variety in its wake.  Enter this handy site from Captain Dave Greenberg, an independent fisherman who piles the Pacific out of Santa Cruz, Calif. Eschewing the commercial-fleet approach to tuna fishing—called “netting”, a process that also kills birds, dolphins and other sea creatures—Greenberg uses fishing lines, a time-consuming and tedious process, but one with many advantages over netting.

The fish do not lie trapped and/or dead for uncertain periods of time.  As one is caught, it’s hauled up, immediately bled and iced.  (Commercial fishermen don’t bleed their fish, which may cause the blood to acidify.)  Upon  return to port, the fish is hand-filleted and cooked in its own juices (without the addition of oil and sodium, a practice common in the rest of the industry), before being packed in tins. Greenberg’s dying-breed methods have netted him kudos from coast to coast.  Order his seafood (everything from salmon to oysters to baby shrimp) direct by docking at his website, which also features recipes that’ll impress even the head chef at your favorite seafood bistro.

The Baltimore Sun:

“Tuna fish, that high protein, low-cost pantry staple of every hardworking homemaker, has gone the way of artisan breads, boutique chocolates, imported cheeses and aged balsamic vinegars.  In short, tuna fish has gone upscale.  For $6.99, you can buy a 6 ounce can of Dave’s Gourmet Albacore at the new Whole Foods Market on Fleet Street in Baltimore.   High-end tuna fish is not new, but it is enjoying a new surge in popularity.  There are many reasons for the renewed interest in gourmet tuna.  Omega-3 fish oils, which are found in tuna, have received a lot of attention recently as nutritional good guys that fight cancer to heart attacks.  Some customers also like the idea of purchasing tuna that was caught by an old-fashioned hook and line, instead of a net that can catch dolphins and other collateral creatures…one such company is Dave’s Gourmet Albacore, which has doubled in size every year since it began in 1991.  Owner Dave Greenberger oversees about a dozen fishermen who provide tuna and salmon for the million-cans a year his company sells, said Crista Jones, sales manager.  The fishermen catch the fish one at a time, in contrast to commercial fishermen, who have as many as 200 hooks on their line, Jones said.   As each fish is caught, it is pulled into the boat while it is still alive, then “bled” and put in a deep freeze.  The fish are then cooked in the cans, “she said, adding, “It’s the best way you can eat a product out of a can and get all the nutrients.”  Fish caught on 200-hook lines or nets are often dragged through the water, dead, for periods of time, Jones said.  “They’re sitting in the water, warming up.  They start to decompose,” she said.  Large tuna companies often cook the tuna, then remove the bones, then can it and cook it again in the cans, she said.  That’s why the pieces tend to be small.  Dave’s Gourmet Albacore is available at Whole Foods markets in the Baltimore area and at Roots, in Columbia.

Organic Style Magazine

“If you can’t find fresh wild salmon in your market, Dave’s Hook and Line Caught canned salmon is the next best thing. Each fish is caught and prepared by hand, then packed in its own juices. Dave’s new Fancy Chinook King has just been endorsed by Seafood Watch. Buy at Whole Foods or Wild Oats markets, or directly from Dave’s:888-454-8862 or www.davesalbacore.com.

The San Francisco Chronicle

“Some independent fishermen, like Dave Greenberger, still cling to tradition. Mr. Greenberger, a weight lifter in Santa Cruz, California, who catches all his own albacore tuna by hook and line, including his Alderwood Smoked Albacore, which was second in the tasting (as “smoky” and “good texture”). He cooks, smokes, seasons and cans it himself and sells it to stores like Whole Foods and specialty shops across the country.

The New Nutrition, Dr. Michael Colgan

“The best tuna I have found is from a small California company: unbleached albacore, hand caught (not net caught), and with no oil, water or salt added.  Dave’s Albacore is the tuna to eat. 

San Francisco Examiner, Epicure

“Some of the richest, most flavorful salmon I have ever tasted from a can is found under the Dave’s Fancy Salmon label, from the Santa Cruz company, Dave’s Gourmet Albacore. The company buys strictly hook and line wild king salmon from their fishermen co-op…then packs it skinless and boneless.” -Jay Harlow

Boston Globe Food By Sheryl Julian and Julie Riven

“Top of the line: If you love canned tuna, you’ll be in heaven when you try Dave’s Gourmet Albacore available at most Bread & Circus stores. Dave Greenburger, of Soquel California, cans hook-and-line albacore without salt, oil, water, or preservatives. Some companies cook tuna before it goes into their cans, and then process the cans again, essentially cooking it twice. Greenberger’s tuna receives only one hit in the processor. The juices in the can are from the fish and should be added to your cooking. Dave’s Alderwood Smoked Albacore is an ethereal smoked version.”

Fishing For Fast, Easy Nutrition? Consider Canned

By Julianna Grimes Bottcher and Dana Jacob

We love fish. Americans are eating more than ever. And there are compelling reasons why. In light of the positive health benefits associated with fish, we’re looking for creative ways to incorporate it into our diets.

The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice a week because it’s a good source of protein and low in saturated fat. Fatty fish including trout, sardines, tuna, and salmon are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Alice H. Lichtenstein, D.Sc., senior scientist and director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center at Tufts University, says the benefits of these polyunsaturated fatty acids reach beyond heart health and link omega-3s to the prevention of a variety of health problems. Because of their anti-inflammatory, anticlotting, and antiarrhythmic properties, omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure. Ample consumption of omega-3s may also enhance mood and sharpen memory.

Eating fresh or frozen salmon and tuna are good ways to obtain omega-3s, but for an easy and economical alternative, consider canned fish. It offers the same health benefits, and the culinary possibilities go well beyond sandwiches. (CookingLight.com: All about fish )

Many varieties of each fish are available. For example, most large grocery stores carry canned (or pouched) fish. Specialty markets offer premium tuna imported from Italy and Spain. And an abundance of small fisheries in the Pacific Northwest have created a new category of canned fish available at specialty stores and via the Internet.


Many kinds of tuna are available in cans or tins, glass jars, or pouches. Pouches filled with fish and no added liquid are a popular convenience item. Pouches and glass jars allow the pure tuna flavor to shine. Most canned tuna is packed in water, broth, olive oil, or canola oil. Read the labels closely to determine whether any ingredients, such as salt or broth, have been added, and which type and cut of fish are contained.

The price of tuna varies widely and depends upon the cut of fish, fishing method, and canning process. For example, ventresca tuna, the prime cut from the fatty belly area of tuna (known as toro in sushi restaurants), is typically line-caught and canned fresh; therefore, it’s the most expensive.

Tuna varieties offer differing amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Albacore, often labeled “white meat tuna,” has the most: One (four-ounce) serving packed in water delivers 1.06 grams, while you’ll get 0.5 gram from the same size serving of albacore packed in oil. Since omega-3s are oils, they don’t disperse when the fish is packed in water, and draining the water allows most of these beneficial fatty acids to remain in the fish. But tuna packed in oil provides an environment where the fish’s natural oils intermingle with the packing oil, so when the can is drained, some of the omega-3 oils are lost. And, as we discovered, both tuna and salmon are available at varying prices, with a wide range of flavors and textures.


Canned salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids — one (four-ounce) portion contains up to 2.2 grams. Because there’s no significant difference in omega-3 levels among salmon varieties, let flavor and texture guide your choices. There are three main types of canned salmon: pink, sockeye, and king (chinook). Pink salmon has the lightest color and mildest flavor. Sockeye has brighter salmon color and flavor. King salmon, a premium fish, also called chinook, is prized for its succulent texture and supreme flavor.

Salmon is usually packed in its cooking liquid or water, but check the label to be sure. The ingredient list will reveal any additions, such as salt. Refer to the label for other helpful information; many varieties of canned salmon contain bones and skin unless labeled “boneless, skinless.” In some recipes, such as our Wasabi Salmon Burgers, it’s easy to mash the bones, and they’ll blend innocuously into the dish. The bones add a bit of calcium as well. The label should also indicate if the salmon is wild. Canned salmon allows you to serve wild salmon year-round, especially when fresh is expensive and hard to find. Wild salmon has a pure, pronounced salmon flavor. (CookingLight.com: 20 seafood favorites in 20 minutes )

Hot-smoked salmon is another alternative. As the name implies, the fish is cooked over a smoldering fire until the texture is firm and the taste is similar to that of smoked bacon. It’s available canned or filleted near the seafood section of most major supermarkets or through Internet sources. Hot-smoked salmon is different from cold-smoked salmon, which is most often thinly sliced and eaten on bagels,in salads, and used for appetizers.

Getting hooked

In the Pacific Northwest, small operations, such as Dave’s Gourmet Albacore, fish with hooks and lines. The fishermen hand-select the highest-quality fish and handle them with care. This fishing technique allows them to net small, young fish with lower mercury levels. There’s a notable flavor difference, too. Premium tuna is cut and placed in the can uncooked. The tuna at these small fisheries is usually cooked only once during the canning process. This yields a moist and pure-flavored tuna that’s packed in natural juices. These are some of our favorite salmon and tunas, and where to find them.

• Dave’s Gourmet Albacore: Albacore, yellowfin, and ahi tuna; sockeye and king salmon, regular and hot-smoked. Sold in gourmet markets and online at http://www.davesalbacore.com/.

• Vital Choice: Wild red sockeye salmon, regular and skinless, boneless salmon; albacore tuna. Sold only online at http://www.vitalchoice.com/.

• La Tienda: Imported Spanish tuna, such as Ortiz Bonito del Norte and ventresca tuna, are available at specialty food markets and online at http://www.tienda.com/.

• The Great American Smokehouse and Seafood Company: Canned chinook and hot-smoked chinook salmon, albacore and hot-smoked albacore are available. Storefront business and online only at http://www.smokehouse-salmon.com/.

• Buon Italia: Offers a variety of Italian tuna packed in olive oil, including ventresca, atwww.buonitalia.com.

Safety concerns

Of late, there have been safety worries regarding salmon and tuna. Salmon has been linked with cancer-causing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). However, both wild and farm-raised salmon contain PCB levels well below the government’s advisory level.

There also have been concerns about tuna’s levels of mercury, which is linked to neurological damage in unborn children. Although tuna is not on the government’s mercury advisory list, pregnant or lactating women and young children should limit their consumption to 12 ounces of light tuna or 6 ounces of albacore weekly. Mercury levels are generally higher in large, older predatory fish because the mercury accumulates over the fish’s lifetime.

Despite these issues, many experts believe that the health benefits of eating fish outweigh the risks. For more information about PCBs and mercury in seafood, check out “The Fish Conundrum” at CookingLight.com.

Julianna Grimes Bottcher is an associate food editor at Cooking Light. New York City–based freelance recipe developer Dana Jacobi is the author of the “12 Best Foods Cookbook.”