Toro is the fatty underbelly of he northern bluefin tuna. The northern bluefin tuna is an important source of seafood, providing most of the tuna used in sushi. It is a particular delicacy in Japan where at one auction, a single giant tuna sold for more than $100,000 on the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. It is also popular in Taiwan, particularly in the town of Tungkang. As a result, some fisheries of bluefin are considered overfished, and this problem is compounded by the bluefin's slow growth rate and late maturity. The Atlantic population of the species has declined by nearly 90 percent since the 1970s. The bluefin species are consequently listed as ones to "Avoid" on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program.
To supply sushi markets, the bluefin tuna is reported to be fished at 4 times the sustainable rate. Numerous ranches across Mediterranean harvest juvenile Bluefin indiscriminately fattening them offshore to improve the quality of meat. The industry is worth 220 million dollars a year. Each female produces 40 million eggs and these bluefin ranches pose a serious risk to the population of bluefin in the seas, by wiping them out at all stages of their life cycle.
Toro is the holy grail of all sashimi. It's the underbelly of the bluefin tuna, and it's the most scarce (toro is only about 8% of a tuna!), delicious, and, therefore, expensive, sashimi that there is out there. For years, I've been hearing about how bluefin tuna is auctioned off for hundreds of thousands of dollars in Asia, usually won by chefs, and how people flock to those chef's restaurants to pay top money to eat that toro. It wasn't until pretty recently, though, that I actually … more
This stuff is a little expensive. I mean 7 slices for $ 25-30, but it is well worth it! It is the kind of sashimi that is so smooth and so succulent that I cannot get enough of this stuff. I usually have it with a side of hot steamed rice. So good!