The Hawaiian Ahi that we offer is unmatched in quality and sometimes so rare many have never seen tuna like this. So we needed a grading system that goes beyond the current standards. There was nothing that could respectfully gauge the worth of such a superior catch, so we started a true Certification process.
For generations, tuna has been graded on a number system that was first introduced by the Japanese Market. This numbering system is mainly based on color. It is the most common grading system and is still in use today. The standard grade would be from low-end to high-end, 2, 2+, 1-, 1, 1+ and 1++. We too used this system until it wasn't good enough. Because the numbering system is based on color, it is not a suitable grading scale for Hawaiian Ahi, simply because the natural color of tuna can be faked and/or preserved.
For a 100% all-natural, natural caught, natural cut tuna, we need to go beyond just the color. Color is still very important as we tend to eat with our eyes first. All of our Hawaiian Ahi will be a gradient of Red. Our grading requirements start higher; you will not find a number 2 color equivalent in our scale. Well, number 2 just does not sound appetizing. In addition to color, we look for excellence in four other factors: Translucency, Water Content, Fat Content and pH levels.
Color is a direct indicator of health.
Translucency determines how clean their environment is.
Water Content dictates a nice sticky, hearty product, with a long shelf life. You can expect 7-10 days if kept cold and dry.
Fat Content will determine your flavor experience, giving you that buttery sweetness.
pH level is an indication of flavor balance. Too little, then there's no flavor, too high and it will taste burnt.
We gauge all 5 factors, creating a true grading system for our Hawaiian Ahi. Our grading is as follows, starting at the top.
Red Sear is a nice solid red, from skin side to the inside, and then gets darker up the grading scale. Red Ahi is a favorite amongst sushi restaurants and steakhouses alike. Bright Red is the standard that we grade everything else. Premium will satisfy the most critical of patrons. Ultra will be thoroughly saturated with subtle purple undertones. If you've never had Ultra, then you have never seen anything like it before.
Ultra grade is very rare and accounts for 2-3% of the entire tuna population. There is no equal on the numbering scale. If it was a standard grade on the number scale, it would be a 1+++ (triple plus).
By having such an extensive grading procedure, we embark on creating the first certified grading system for tuna. So why stop there? We implement the same system to all the fish we catch! Which is why we have at least 14 different, sashimi-grade items to offer.