Are you tired of regular old fish burgers? Are you looking to make some serious fish patty UPGRADES in your life but are far too lazy to roll your own? Perhaps it’s time to think about your options in the frozen food department. Frozen foods, particularly ground meats which have already had their proteins mangled beyond recognition, let you get away with a lot less processing than canned foods. Plus with enough time or perhaps the right equipment make for easy enough food stuffs. That’s where Blue Horizon Wild Albacore Tuna Burgers come into play. They’re minimally processed fishy burgers that are organic (well as organic as a mercury laden top of the food chain fishy fish can be. At least they check the mercury and PCB levels of their fishes.) that are supposed to be sustainably caught and a whole bunch of other stuff that is either supposed to save the planet or make yuppies (like myself) feel good.
Blue Horizon Seafood is a company that believes in saving baby seals, through engaging in practices that, at least on paper, protect fish stocks, yield higher quality fishies, and in general reduce their overall impact on the environment. To be honest, this is all quite serious stuff to me. Not because I care about protecting mommy earth, (to be frank, no sane person is against protecting our environment) but because I care about being able to eat fish, and I want my kids to enjoy fish. Sustainable farming practices make me all warm and fuzzy on the inside because I get to hide behind the illusion that I’m helping preserve the fishes in our oceans. Unfortunately that also drives the price of fishes up. Especially big food stock fishes like salmon and tuna. (Fortunately for Marisa and I, it is entirely possible for us to get wild caught salmon when it’s in season for a very fair price). Knowing that a company that catches fishes in an ecofriendly manner definitely gives me the warm fuzzies. Plus they check their tuna fishes for mercury and PCB which is extra awesome but the warm fuzzies don’t tell me how their tuna tastes.
Foods with the minimum in additives are really catching on, especially in the Paleolithic food movement. While the Paleo food movement conjures up images of middle aged men looking for an excuse to stop shaving and cook stuff they murdered with a spear over a bon fire it’s really more of a movement about eating a diet that is closer to a pre-agriculture diet. Whether that’s a good idea or not is still up for debate but hey it’s an excuse to eat game meat cooked in its own fat. These burgers are ALMOST Paleo thanks to the lack of fillers and a minimal amount of additives. Plus it might have fish bones with Paleolithic eaters think are a bonus because nothing says caveman like getting speared in gums by an errant bone splinter. Unfortunately, it misses the Paleolithic mark because there’s some corn starch and canola oil which are some sort of Paleolithic demon foods (Perhaps it’s the food of those who worship demons?).
No matter. I’m not a Paleolithic eater but I wanted to hit on that group since these are marketed towards the gluten free market. The Blue Horizon Wild Albacore burgers are basically frozen burgers. Made out of tuna. I couldn’t quite tell if they were fully cooked or not so we decided to cook them with extreme prejudice (there’s no indication on the box, and the whitening of the fish may be due to ice crystals damaging fishy proteins. Remember, tuna are subtropical fishes and never needed to evolve freeze resistant proteins). We decided to prepare them straight up, no fancy rubs or anything. Just a little butter, a hot pan and a meat probe.
They cooked up nicely and even took on a nice brown which gave a pleasant texture to the patty. Unfortunately, even with our attempts to monitor temperature, and cook time they came up pretty dry. I’m rather glad I opted for medium cheddar with mine. It really helped add some moisture to the meal. Mayo or honey mustard would have really helped the burger along as well, but since I was here to try the patty not make a fancy meal, those options were intentionally left out of the test. It was a little sad that the burgers ended up on the dry side, but it wasn’t unexpected. Most frozen fish burgers I’ve been exposed to are either loaded with fats and oils or are fairly dry. It’s just how things work.
The Blue Horizon burger would have definitely benefited from a more traditional treatment. Perhaps a ciabatta bun with some grilled onions, a slice of provolone melted on top and mild honey mustard spread slathered on the bun. But that’s just it. As a meat product, it needs a little extra love to make it tasty. By itself it’s a dry fish patty thing. Not a bad fish patty, mind you, but a dry and fairly conventional fish patty none the less.