Mojama is salted tuna from the loin of the animal, the richest part of the animal. There exist many various species of tuna: yellowfin (Thunnus Albacares), and the better known red tuna (Thunnus Thynnus) which can weigh more than 200 kgs (441 lbs.) when it is alive. The result is obtained after submitting the tuna to a curing process that involves seasoning and air-drying.
There are two types of mojama:
- Extra Category: The mojama is produced from the interior part of the loin, that is to say, the part that comes in contact with the spine of the fish, which contains less fat.
- First Category: The mojama is produced from the exterior of the loin, the area that is contingent to the “extra.” This type is characteristically fattier.
The color of mojama on the outside is a dark brown, but when cut, it reveals a garnet color. It has a smooth texture, a soft odor, and it tasted slightly salty, like blue fish.
The municipalities of Cristina Island and Barbate are responsible for 75% of the production through all of Andalusia, together with Indicación Geográfica Protegida. In the IGP, “Majoma de Isla Cristina” includes Cristina Island, Lepe, Cartaya and Ayamonte, and the province of Huelva.
To obtain this certificate, the producers have to go through the proper processes of washing the fish, carving the fish, washing the individual pieces, salting the fish, washing again to obtain the desired level of salt, pressing the fish, curing it by drying, peeling them, and then the final selection for packaging.
It is usually served in slices that are more or less two cm thick with olive oil (so as not to dry out the pallete).