Frozen California Vana Select /16oz Tubs
This product is available during these seasons:
Vana is a darker, more liquid form of uni. We process this product in house from fresh sea urchins. We do not recommend using this product for sushi purposes. Very popular in the Pacific Islands, vana can be used to provide texture to a variety of dishes including pastas and soups.
Sea urchins are bottom feeding echinoderms that are found in every ocean around the world. The urchins we process, Strongylocentrotus franciscanus, range from dark blackish purple to red in color. They are covered with short to long spines. The diameter of the shell can get up to six inches. The average weight of a sea urchin is one pound. California sea urchins are found right off the coast, usually in kelp beds in depths of 50 feet.
Sea urchins are harvested for their uni. Inside every sea urchin is the prize: bright orange to pale yellow "tongues" of uni. Commonly referred to as roe, these soft golden tongues are actually the urchin's reproductive organs. Uni has long been considered a delicacy in Japan and sushi bars worldwide because of its sweet flavor and succulent texture that melts in your mouth. In some cultures, uni is considered an aphrodisiac!
The exact technique of processing uni is a trade secret that has been perfected by Catalina Offshore Products. In fact, our business started nearly 40 years ago with owner Dave Rudie diving for sea urchins and seaweed. Sushi bars from across the country know that the best uni sushi comes from Southern California, and Catalina Offshore Products. We keep our product in coolers that are maintained at 32 to 35 degrees Fahrenheit until it is packed and shipped daily. We pack in insulated containers with gel-ice for best quality.
We carry three different grades of uni.
Uni Grades: The gold and premium grades of uni are always fresh, and the vana is frozen unless otherwise requested to be fresh. All uni tastes good and can be eaten raw.
California Gold: Bright yellow/orange, firm texture (formerly A-Grade)
California Premium: Mild yellow color, softer pieces (formerly B-Grade)
Vana: Dark color, melting soft, also known as Vana (formerly C-Grade)