I have made a vital discovery. There are only two ways to eat tuna – completely raw, as in a tartar, or completely cooked, as I ate it at the Osteria della Tonnara in Carloforte. I’m not sure the world will take my view with the seriousness it deserves, but there we go.
As you can see, it had been braised in a tomato sauce beefed up with capers and bay leaves. It looked like braised steak. It flaked away into meaty stratas, kept succulent and juicy by the light, focused tomato sauce. It was stonking, and stonkingly good.
Considering I’d already eaten another Carloforte speciality, La Bobba, a voluptuous, heavy-gravity soup of dried broad beans and zucchini souped up with chilli oil immediately before it;
and eight antipasti before that (anchovy fillets on strips of red pepper; sardine fillets simply dunked in the juice of a properly ripened lemon, and its peel; smoked swordfish; tuna in olive oil with potato and French beans;smoked mosciame (tuna fillet); involtini of zucchini with bottarga; a slice of fried swordfish with chopped fresh tomatoes; sformato of melazane filled with zucchini, onion and tomatoes for the keenly interested) it was something of a miracle I clattered through the braised tuna with the pleasure I did.
There was a small pudding, these pastries halfway between a bagel and a cake, decorated in a style reminiscent of my daughter’s childhood parties, served with a jug of moscatel.
It was all very nice, very nice indeed, in a most agreeable, cool, light room. Ah, the burdens of research. And now for somewhere to kip.
Osteria della Tonnara, Corso Battellieri 38, Carloforte. Tel: 07855734
(it’s also known as Ristorante da Andrea
PS. Since I wrote this I have evolved my opinion. Out goes raw tuna, too. Fully cooked tuna only, And seared-on-the-outside-raw-in-the-middle tuna is a complete abomination to be avoided at all costs.