When you prepare for a celebration at your property at La Manga Club, perhaps you like to serve succulent, substantive fare that delights your guests’ palates with a multitude of flavours. Or maybe you prefer items that stand out individually for their unique and unparalleled taste, as intense as they are exquisite. Today we’d like to introduce you to mojama, an absolutely delicious salt-cured tuna produced in the seaside Cartagena Region, particularly in the municipalities of Cartagena and Mazarrón. This artisanal product revives methods of food preservation employed by the Phoenicians and Romans thousands of years ago.
Mojama is a traditional product of the areas that still employ the Almadraba fishing technique. This practice consists of creating a labyrinth of cloth nets through which migrating tuna pass, normally near the coast. Once captured, they extract between one and two dozen strips of meat from each fish, press them in coarse salt for a couple of days, and subsequently remove the salt. They are immediately wrapped in moist bags for an additional couple of days, then washed well and left to dry in the open air between 15-20 days, depending on whether the wind is coming in from the east, south, or west. And with no additional work, as if by magic, this unique fare is ready for the table. Though the preparation methods may be basic, its magnificent taste is anything but.
If you want to delight the family and friends that come to your property at La Manga Club, mojama needs barely any accompaniment. You can present it alone, cut into thin slices drizzled in good olive oil, or, if you want to add a special touch, combine it with dried fruit like almonds or walnuts. Salty and with a texture that is both smooth and soft, mojama can also be a wonderful ingredient in salads, creating perfect contrasts with juicy foods like tomatoes.
Tuna roe and mojama
Though it may well be the true culinary star, mojama combines well with other items from the sea. With tuna roe, it becomes a cold tapa that shares its protagonism equally, ideal for those occasions when you want to serve something a bit different. Play with the intense colours, flavours and textures of both products to make the dish as beautiful as it is delicious, and don’t forget to add a few almonds as a finishing touch.
If you prefer to enjoy your mojama with a good artisanal bread, try it as a paté. You can make it yourself at your property at La Manga Club, mixing the crushed tuna strips with powdered semi-cured cheese, olive oil, and almonds. Other recipes substitute the oil for butter and the almonds for walnuts, for example, or add spices like thyme or white pepper. If you dare, experiment with ingredients that inspire you and prepare a paté that you’ll never tire of.
Together or in combination with other ingredients, mojama is a delicacy that you must try, especially now that you live or spend part of your time in the Murcian Region at our La Manga Club Golf Resort. If you want to know more about the history of mojama, we suggest a visit to the Roman Salt-Curing Factory of Mazarrón, a museum where you can see the archaeological ruins of a 4th Century industrial complex where they made salt-cured foods and other preserves. What’s more, Puerto de Mazarrón celebrates Red Tuna Day every year. In June, they organize a number of gastronomic events featuring this wonderful fish, combined with cultural activities and various performances.