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[whitespace] Mia Myhre
Photograph by George Sakkestad

Working for Scales: Mia Myhre shows off Dave Greenberger's latest creation: Jalapeño salmon sticks.

Guess That Tuna

Santa Cruz fisherman Dave Greenberger keeps finding new uses for the harvest of the Pacific Ocean

By Janet Blaser

ONE MIGHT think being a fisherman could get a little tedious--day after day out there in the ocean, nothing but you and the water and those fish. But Dave Greenberger has taken a simple premise, found pleasure in doing what he loves and turned it into not only a profitable business--Dave's Gourmet Albacore--but also a veritable service to mankind.

You see, the albacore and salmon Greenberger line-catches way, way out at sea (much farther and at deeper depths than most commercial fishermen) contain significant amounts of the valuable omega-3 fish oils that have been shown to be so beneficial to our heart health. The fish are bled immediately and refrigerated at subzero temperatures--all to ensure the freshest, best-tasting product possible.

Once Greenberger's vessel, the Jeanette, gets into port, the fish are hand-filleted and packed into cans at a custom cannery. Dave's canned fish contain no filler, no flavoring--just what nature gave to the fish, nothing more. (Anyone who takes a minute to read the label of most commercial brands of tuna will be surprised to find ingredients like soy protein and vegetable broth. How the USDA allows that I don't understand, but hey, that's our government at work.)

Dave's products have received rave reviews locally and nationally because they are, simply, really fresh and healthy. "Dave's always thinking of new things; we're never bored around here," sales manager Crista Jones says. "He'll take a salmon and think of all the different ways to use it--fresh, smoked, whatever. He's really inventive that way."

And that is why you never know what you'll see next sporting the cheery blue-and-yellow Dave's label. Like "hot dogs" made of salmon or albacore--perfect for quick weekday dinners or barbecues. Or his newest brainstorm--Salmon Jalapeño Sticks--set to appear in a host of convenience and liquor stores soon. Made from fresh smoked salmon and tangy jalapeño bits, these are geared for people who are short on time but still interested in eating healthy. They're convenient and delicious to boot.

Right now, the tasty snack sticks can be found at farmers markets everywhere (Crista does five a week) or at one of Dave's two retail locations: at the Santa Cruz Harbor (11am-7pm, Wed.-Sun.) or at the Capitola warehouse, open by appointment only. For information about anything, call 475-5847 or visit Dave on the web at www.davesalbacore.com. The website provides a tour of the whole operation and detailed explanations of each product, as well as dozens of recipes to try. Confused? Don't know what to order? Relax--just call and request the new catalog.

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From the September 22-29, 1999 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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