REVIEW: TUNA!

People seem to be fascinated by tuna.

It might be that their interest in tuna comes from how funny sounding the word is: tuna.

Is it that a large percentage of their flesh and bones knit together from the childhood consumption of tons of the less than elusive tuna?  School children for decades have been fed gallons of tuna noodle casserole (or for those of you in Minnesota "hot dish"), sandwiches, salads, ice cream sundaes and malteds.

Well… those last two … not so much.

Speaking of being less than elusive, the other day I was talking with a priest friend and we determined that we are, in a sense, both ecclesiastical versions of Charlie the Tuna.  No matter how hard we try, churchy powers that be just don’t want what we are offering.  I need a photoshopped image of Charlie in clerical dress, a cassock or something.

Yah, I know.  I am about as much of a beatnik as Jaws.

I’m kidding of course, but you get the idea.  There’s humor in tuna.  Tunny is funny.

Chickens are funny too, but right now we are talking about toooooonah!

So, I thought it was important to alert you to a TUNA REVIEW.  WDTPRS needs more entries about tuna … and moose… but especially tuna.

Without ever having put tuna on my wish list, I have actually been given cans of tuna for Christmas. I have been sent cans of tuna by readers of WDTPRS! Tuna is important.  A friend alerts me to new tuna products!

Here is a TUNA REVIEW by way of Meanwhile, Back In The Kitchen.

This tuna has the advantage of being named after a region in Italy.  Can’t be bad, right?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Best. Canned. Tuna. Ever.

I am not kidding.

As my family knows, I am darned picky about tuna. Years ago, there was a brand usually sold to restaurants that I was able to get over the internet.

Mothers routinely would call or corner me and ask what I did to make tuna salad that their kids loved and mentioned to their mothers. "Easy," I said. "Just use albacore and real mayonnaise."  [Yes, folks.  Stick with real mayo for this.  But let’s not devolve into dressing disputes here.]

You would not believe how many faces of disgust I saw at the mention of real mayo. Our country is so messed up.  [A powerful indicator to be sure.]

However, I digress. My beloved tuna was discontinued, at least for public purchase. Sadness ensued. Accompanied by a quest to replace it.

I have been able to do so to varying degrees, finally settling for a kind sold at the Central Market. For $6 per can.

It was worth it. Just believe me. Not equal to my restaurant tuna but close enough. Then, of course, The Central Market discontinued carrying it in favor of their own brand which, you should excuse me, is something my cat would enjoy but not something I care to eat myself.  [Bad tuna in a can is nearly indistinguishable from cat food.]

Yes, HEB, just take it. Your tuna is not all that.

Back to the internet I went. Where I found Lazio tuna … which I completely bought myself. (Hark! Can you hear the angels singing?) Oh. my. goodness.

I didn’t know canned tuna could taste so very, very good.

I bought the oil-pack … just to be an anti-politically-correct-American.  [Of COURSE the oil-packed tuna!] As I said, the angels sang.

A canned filet with none of that weird stuff in the bottom of the can. A flavor where you can tell it actually came from a tuna … while still being distinctively canned tuna. Delicately salted but enough that you can tell there is salt. And packed in oil. Like when I was a kid! Although that wasn’t olive oil when I was a kid. I think it was … soybean oil? However, I digress again. Just believe me that this is a glorious products.

Go get yourself a sample.

Okay.  Now I have to find this stuff.

In my first search I found a Charlie the Tuna screensaver.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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37 Responses to REVIEW: TUNA!

  1. Baron Korf says:

    Long week Father?

  2. Fr. John Mary says:

    I guess I’m also a Charlie the Tuna, Fr Z…
    Just pray, do my work, and try to stay out of trouble:<)!
    But we’re too poor to pay $6 a can for tuna. Sounds heavenly.
    But we eat the cheap tuna, anyway!

  3. Geometricus says:

    Vincenzo!! Vincenzo!!! Where are you? Commissioner Gordon, turn on the bat signal. We need Vincenzo.

  4. Konichiwa says:

    I like tuna sashimi. “It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend…”

  5. Jaidon says:

    “…chicken of the sea…”

  6. jasoncpetty says:

    As good Texans we’d never have touched it, but my wife and I got turned onto the oil when making our pilgrimage to Santiago. (N.B.: They don’t sell tuna in water anywhere from the Pyrenees to Galicia.) A loaf of old-ish bread (soaked in oil it’s brand-new again), some canned tuna, a bottle of wine with the screw-cap (didn’t want any cork misadventures) and a clementine to finish. Joyous meal.

    We only get the tuna-in-oil now.

    Santiago, ora pro nobis.

  7. Andy F. says:

    I’m totally feeling ya on that whole sorry Charlie bit. I often ponder my work in the Church and wonder if it will ever be welcomed on a broader scale. It seems the hippies win again and again.

  8. Andy: Ironically, Charlie was the hippie!

  9. Marysann says:

    Let’s give canned tuna the proper respect that it is due as the main ingredient of tunafish casserole, that mainstay of Friday night menus in the days of meatless Fridays! Tunafish casserole, macaroni and cheese and Mrs. Paul’s fish sticks were Friday dinner staples in my childhood home. Evidently tunafish casserole was also very popular at Lutheran church suppers, too. Garrison Keillor has a great parody song, which can be found on the Prairie Home Companion website, called “I’m a Lutheran Boy” in which he mentions tunafish casserole, and sings that “the golden tie that binds us is cream of mushroom soup.” (For those who have never made tunafish casserole, cream of mushroom soup is another important ingredient in it.) I don’t serve meat on Fridays in our home, but I admit that I have gone beyond tunafish casserole.

  10. Emilio III says:

    I thought it was rather easy to find at http://www.laziotuna.com/shop.cfm

  11. viennaguy says:

    Good Lord, Father has finally lost it.

  12. viennaguy: You clearly don’t understand the importance of tuna. But, there is still time for you.

  13. Emilio: I would like to find in some place I frequent some store which carries this fine tuna!

    We need good tuna reviews.

  14. Navarricano says:

    I absolutely LOVE tuna! And it is VERY good for you!

    Here in the north of Spain, very near the Bay of Biscay and the Cantabrian coast, I get the best, most mouth-watering tuna you can possibly imagine. Yes, it’s oil-packed. Swimming in it, in fact. Been eating it for nigh on 11 years now and my cholesterol and blood pressure are just fine, thank you. Must be all the wine we wash the food down with here! :-)

    There are two kinds here, ATÚN, which is the everyday variety packed in tins, and BONITO, which is a fish in the tuna family that provides a meaty filet which can be roasted or grilled and is … just … delicious.

    Unfortunately, I think that there are some pretty severe restricitons on shipping it into the U.S., Father, or I’d send you a care package with some.

  15. Vincenzo says:

    “I need a photoshopped image of Charlie in clerical dress, a cassock or something.”>

  16. Anne M. says:

    I had a Sorry Charlie watch when I was a kid. I hadn’t thought about that watch in years. Thanks for the memory.

  17. chironomo says:

    When I think “Tuna”. I always think of the scene from Pinocchio when they are inside the whale, and when the whale opens his mouth and all the fish flow in, Giapetto yells “OH Look! TOOOONAAAAA!”. It is a funny sounding words, kinda like “Balogna”….the only word that pronounces an “a” as “ee”.

  18. chironomo says:

    Vincenzo… is he the rector of “La cathédrale engloutie”?

  19. Bryan says:

    someone has to say it…might as well be me:

    “You can tuna piano, but you can’t tuna fish”.

  20. Lynne says:

    Excellent Vincenzo! Oh Bryan…

  21. Amy MEV says:

    How funny. As you posted this, my brother-in-law was calling to let me know that he found tuna at our local grocery store that does NOT contain soy (something we tried very hard to avoid eating. It is often disguised by the words “vegetable oil”.) I’ve always wondered what the “real” stuff (the big slabs you see on “Iron Chef”) taste like, as I can’t stand the stuff in the cans.

  22. Brian Day says:

    WDTPRS needs more entries about tuna … and moose…

    OK, the tuna review is in the can (rimshot). So when is the review of moose coming? Is it anything like elk? There is a German restaurant locally that serves elk as a special once a year. It is a little gamey but has lots of flavor. I wou8ld be interested on how the two compare.

  23. Rouxfus says:

    I thought perhaps I might mention that this post brought to mind the opening line of the famous song from Carmina Burana “Oh, for Tuna!”, but then I decided to carl the whole thing orff.

  24. Tominellay says:

    The Star Kist cannery was in San Pedro, California, the Port of Los Angeles, where there was a huge fishing fleet. My tax-preparer father was often paid for his services at tax time, by our cousins in San Pedro, in cases of Star Kist fancy albacore, in oil…

  25. I love it, Vincenzo! Especially since Charlie looks so happy in his vocation. :)

    And when you think of it, all of those food mascots that are the food animals themselves are… wellll… sorta kinda almost Christ figures… sorta….

  26. Random Friar says:

    Careful in Spanish restaurants. “Tuna” in Spanish refers to the fruit of a cactus (prickly pear). “Atún” is the Spanish for the fish.

  27. And we’re all little fish, because Jesus is _the_ fish. Insert liturgical early Christian mosaics here.

    Sigh. I need to get more sleep, if I can’t see an Ichthys right in front of my face.

  28. Geometricus says:

    Suburbanbanshee: Speaking of food mascots that are the food animals themselves…it always kind of creeped me out when I thought about it, but BBQ places often have a pig mascot roasting a…pig. Famous Dave’s comes to mind…

    http://www.mypage.com/services/places/images/famous+dave_1225092106.gif

    Does that count as a kinda, sorta almost ANTI-Christ figure?

  29. Mrs doyle says:

    I’ve found a great open sandwich for lunch – get some tuna in brine and drain.
    Mix some real mayo and a few tablespoons of sweetcorn kernels.
    Toast some nice bread, or half a ciabatta place the tuna mix on top and slice some nice cheese on top and grill. YUMMO!

  30. dcs says:

    Famous Dave’s comes to mind

    Yes, the worst of it is that the pig in the picture is actually licking his chops!

  31. taximom says:

    On the website ItalianconnectionUSA.com you can find Tonno Flott from Sicily….not like Tonno Nostromo back home, but good! I must say that we are spoiled, because our neighbor goes fishing a lot, and he gives us FRESH tuna in oil, in glass jars…the best we’ve ever had.

  32. We should all try different kinds of tuna, on a schedule, and then comment on it, review it.

  33. Jbuntin says:

    I was raised in Southern California, close to Seal Beach. I remember eating fresh smoked tuna from a shack on the pier. I’ve never tasted any tuna that good since.

    What a good memory of me and my dad. Thanks

  34. irishgirl says:

    Ah, Vincenzo, you struck paydirt again! Love it!

    Never ate tunafish on Fridays-in fact, I didn’t like fish at all when I was a kid. Know what I had for Friday dinner? Cereal with milk!

    Nowadays when I hear ‘Tuna’ I think of Bill Parcells [former coach of the Noo Yawk Giants]…that’s his nickname.

    Okay, call we weird….

  35. relee54 says:

    Just finished my Friday night fish dinner. It doesn’t get any better than a fresh sushi grade tuna steak brushed with olive oil, dusted with freshly ground black pepper and then quickly seared rare on a hot grill. It is so heavenly that I really can’t consider giving up meat on Friday a sacrifice. Forget about the stuff in cans Father Z!

  36. relee: Ah.. sushi grade tuna. Not always easy to get that grade of fresh tuna. And just as dried herbs and mushrooms have their flavor, so does a certain grade of canned tuna.