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Tuna tops as US favourite fish

US - In the minds of many, tuna is the most prized fish in all the world.

At The Oceanaire Seafood Room in San Diego, a sashimi plate features maguro (lean) and otoro (fatty) versions of Spanish tuna and Mexican bluefin tuna, served with wasabi and tamari soy sauce.

"Red ahi tuna is the most popular fish on the planet," said Matt Rimel, a fisherman who serves plenty of tuna at his San Diego sushi restaurant, Zenbu. "Every restaurant from Napa to Cabo to Costa Rica has some kind of a sashimi or a seared tuna."

As chic as sashimi is in large cities, nationwide canned tuna is preferred. Americans ate 3.1 pounds of canned tuna per capita in 2005, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a division of the US Department of Commerce.

Tuna can actually come from several species of fish, including the yellowfin, albacore, skipjack, bigeye, bonito and bluefin.

The most desirable color for a fine piece of tuna is open to cultural interpretation and what people find appealing differs according to where they're from.

In Japan, where buyers have reportedly paid as much as $200,000 for a single large bluefin tuna, the acceptable color palette ranges from deep red of the blue fin, to clear bright red ahi to creamy pinkish white, the color of toro, the fatter belly of a large tuna.

In America, tastes tend to be provincial. "A lot of people judge tuna by color more than actual flavor," said Jeff Jackson, executive chef of The Lodge at Torrey Pines in San Diego. "Americans associate the color red with great tuna."

Source: The paramus Post