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Ventresca Tuna

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known as toro at Japanese restaurants

What is it?

For her Niçoise salad, author Jamie Schler suggests ventresca tuna, which comes from the tuna’s belly (when fresh, it’s what’s known as toro at Japanese restaurants). Packed in oil, it has a smooth, almost velvety texture and a deep, rich flavor. You can find it canned or jarred at many supermarkets and specialty food stores or online.

How to choose:

Ortiz, which catches all of its tuna by line, offers two kinds of ventresca tuna: bonito (known in America as albacore), which is more mellow; and yellowfin, which is more intensely fishy. Because ventresca’s special flavor and luxurious texture come at a price (upward of $15 for a 3½-oz. can for premium brands like Ortiz), use it when the tuna is the star, such as in a salad (like that Niçoise) or as part of a tapas or anti-pasto spread.

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