A major part of the exciting activities that happen daily here at Boston Sword and Tuna is tuna grading. For people who are not knowledgeable in the industry, this sounds ridiculous, you’re grading tuna on what? Their performance? It actually has to do with their quality and freshness, which results in different grades of tuna and what they could be used for preparation wise. There are many different types of tuna species but the main four we see here at BST include Albacore, Yellowfin, Bluefin, and Big Eye. Grading is also an essential part when it comes to restaurants, their menus, and how they can utilize our product. Going to any restaurant in the U.S. there is a high chance you’ll be seeing some sort of raw tuna appetizer or entrée that you can order. For chefs and restaurant owners, purchasing the correct type of tuna to make their dishes come alive and taste amazing is extremely important and we strive to be able to provide the very best. Furthermore, there are different steps you take when it comes to determining the grade of tuna and it does not just have to do with the coloring.
First off, it all starts with the reliable sources and where you’re purchasing your tuna from. Although whole display fish are available upon request, our fish are brought in headed and gutted and ready for processing. Unlike other processing facilities, many of our fish that are brought in are boat run, meaning ungraded and we take care of the grading here in Boston. Once in our facility, before sampling, temperature of the fish is taken to ensure we are receiving fresh product that has been properly managed temperature wise. Then, samples are taken from the tail end and are analyzed for color, translucency, fat content, and overall appearance. Simultaneously to the tail cut, our experienced graders are also poking the middle section of the tuna to check the meat throughout the entire fish. This helps us ensure the grade and quality is consistent throughout. There are 4 levels of grading a tuna can receive, #1 grade, #2+ grade, #2 grade, and #3 grade. The first grade being the highest, is sashimi or sushi grade, which appears as a bright red color. The second grade is not as bright but still can be used for dishes like poke or ceviche. The third grade is duller in color and not as translucent, you will be much better off using tuna like this for grilling. This process is a careful set of steps used for quality control and satisfying our customer’s wants and needs. Luckily here at Boston Sword and Tuna, we have the best of the best working diligently to ensure we deliver the top quality that “America’s one-stop-shop for Seafood” is known for!