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Good canned tuna

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
Canned tuna has always been a no brainer for me. Quick, easy to make into a healthy tuna sandwich luch, and pretty tasty. But lately I've been finding my canned tuna to be suffering from poor texture, flavor, and little bits of bone here and there. I remember canned tuna used to be pretty darned good. Anyone else thinking the same thing? I usually buy starkist packed in water, hoping to find a better brand.

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post #2 of 44
I find if I stick to tuna chunks in brine and stay away from flaked im happy with consistent quality. Even with supermarket own brands. - I only ever use it for sandwiches anyway, so i'm not about to get all cheffy about it. In saying that, I wouldnt be without it.
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post #3 of 44
Try the new bags of tuna. I tried starkist and chick of sea both were good . It just tast fresher to me I bought chunk lite and solid white both were good.
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post #4 of 44
Most of my tuna is stockpiled :blush:, so I'm not eating recently packed stuff. But what you describe sounds just plain wrong. You should contact the processsor with the serial codes from the cans to let them know that something is amiss.
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post #5 of 44
also an advocate of big chunk in water. Also remember to be dolphin safe:p
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post #6 of 44
No matter what kind of tuna I'm using, I always empty it into a good size bowl and run cold water over it, swish it a couple of times, then drain it in a strainer. JUst a quirk of mine. With the tuna I usually buy [Chikn of the sea, maybe?], I have not experienced any thing such as the OP has described. However, if I did notice something wrong I would notify the company right way.
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post #7 of 44
I feel your pain. The last time I bought a commercial brand, and I beleive it was Chicken of the Sea because I remember thinking, Sorry Charlie Never Again!, the can contained mostly tuna water with what amounted to less than two actual tablespoons of tuna, once I strained that away. I was furious.

Since then I've found the best canned tuna, though: Trader Joe's house brand. It's well seasoned, and one can will actually make a sandwich!
post #8 of 44
It won't help you with restaurant quantities, but I've switched to Whole Foods Tongol Tuna. It seems to a cut above the other chunk lights. It actually looks like flakes of fish. My family doesn't like the stuff in the bag, they say it is too fishy.
post #9 of 44
We experienced the same thing about ten years ago. Canned tuna started looking and tasting like something that was scraped off the cannery floor. Tried all kinds of brands and kinds (albacore in water, solid white, etc.) Finally started canning my own and love the results. It costs more but the results are superior to anything from a can. It takes most of a weekend to can three years worth of tuna but it's time and money well spent.
post #10 of 44
I can live with the pouches of tuna (also salmon, etc.), but I can't tolerate water-packed tuna. It tastes like fishy sawdust to me.

The best tuna I've enjoyed is Italian tuna packed in olive oil. No fishy taste, and a very mild seasoning from the oil.
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post #11 of 44
The pouch stuff actually tastes like tuna; much better than canned and really no more expensive, especially when you consider it's almost all product (not water).
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post #12 of 44
This is the only canned tuna I can eat now. Anything else is just cat food to me. Expensive (a little cheaper here in the UK) but I like it as a treat once a week, much as the Spanish people do. Either with a simple tomato salad or flaked into a tomato sauce and tossed with linguine.:lips:
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post #13 of 44
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions. I will buy both Trader Joe's and Wholefoods tuna to try out. I like to avoid the oil packed ones because of extra calories it adds.

What annoys me most about this tuna I have is that a 6oz can is labeled as containing 2.5 servings :confused:. Am I really supposed to find another friend and a half to share this 6oz with? (mos of which is water anyway). Ridiculous.

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post #14 of 44
+1 on that for me too. Some Spanish brands are also excellent. Unfortunately the Progresso canned tuna is not so great, and the one time I had Star-Kist oil-packed it was hideous.
post #15 of 44
Why is Italian tuna better?
Because it's dark meat tuna. Dark meat tuna tastes like tuna, is not dry, even if packed in water (as it is sometimes here) and is not like sawdust.
(Well, dark meat everything is generally better)
It doesn;t have to come from italy, it just has to be dark meat.

Try this in your next sandwich:
chop celery, carrot, red onion, tomatoes. Parsley if you have it. You can use the green of scallions if you don;t have onions, or you can leave it out completely. Add well drained dark meat tuna. Add good mayonnaise and a little lemon.
I thought it was the way everyone made tuna salad, but apparently not.
Do not mush up the tuna, leave it a little chunky, just small enough to fit in a sandwich.

Or do it the italian way - just open the can, dump tuna and all its dripping oil into a crusty roll. Eat. You can actually do that with dark tuna, although all that oil is too much for me. My husband has fond memories of this sort of sandwich. Sometimes they may add some sliced tomato.
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post #16 of 44
Americas Test Kitchen once had a taste test and I believe Chicken of the Sea came pretty close to the top with bumble Bee in last place. Might be on their website.
post #17 of 44
How about BumbleBee? Personally I like to use Tuna in oil, because it has a better flavor. I drain off the oil first, of course.
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post #18 of 44

Take a look at the best tuna I have ever had.  (link deleted)

post #19 of 44

My tops is one that the Wegman's chain sells.  Talking "standard" canned tuna, not a high end product which is a whole different world.  What I like about it is you don't have a ridiculous sodium level, the whole thing is a solid chunk, it's not Albacore (mercury dangers, esp with larger ones) and it's great base for salad, etc and it's pretty inexpensive, considering it's all meat and hardly any water.  If you don't have a Wegman's around, Look for ones that don't have Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein.  Not only does this add unnecessary sodium but is typically found in the cheaper near-shredded nasty type tunas to enhance flavor. I would imagine in capacity they benefit from subbing in even a small amount of the HVP for the actual fish protein on a cost basis. 

post #20 of 44

WalMarts Great Value brand tuna actually is better than chicken of the sea etc. I got tired of mush tuna so I tried the generic and was surprised at the quality.

post #21 of 44

I always purchase clover leaf solid white albacore tuna in water and have never *knock on wood* had a problem with it. From what I understand all tuna is now shipped to China to be processed and canned - I'm not sure if this is 100% fact or just speculation, but perhaps your brand has ended up in a cheap Chinese cannery, hence the odd taste and small bones.

post #22 of 44

My favorite is Clover Leaf solid white in water but will buy other brands of solid white - right now I have Ocean's and Gold Seal - both products of Thailand.

 

Rinse tuna in water, then lemon juice and water again - improves flavor - works really well with cheaper tuna. 

post #23 of 44

Lets all be on the same beginning.

Are we talking chunk light or white? solid white, or flaked white, Bonito, in oil or water or dry pack.  Each one is different and different qualities of brand.

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Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #24 of 44

 

Good Morning,

 

I have found the most notable difference in:  Cuca Brand Ventresca in Evoo which is the Tuna Belly Section of the Tuna, from The Iberian Peninsula, is the best I have had. It is on pricey side, however, well worth it as there is a huge texture and taste difference.

 

It is jarred verses canned, which I prefer as well.

 

I believe  the following corporations export to the USA:

 

Cuca

Isabel

Ortiz

 

Have nice wkend.

Margaux Cintrano.

( Margcata. )

 

post #25 of 44

I prefer solid, packed in olive oil.  When on sale, I'll always pick up a can or 2.  The BEST I ever had came in a jar... from Trader Joe's... not TJ brand and have never seen it there again??  First thought was... at about $5... kind expensive.  Then I realized it was almost the same a 2 normal sized cans.  It was big"sticks" packed in olive oil.  Had seen somebody cooking with tuna from a jar on TV... can't remember who.  When I saw it on the shelf, decided to try it out.  Shoulda bought more than one can.

post #26 of 44

If we are talking high end tuna, there is a whole world out there.  (Like Margcata mentions).   I just started buying tuna, salting it and then pressure canning it with some loose ideas from this blog

 

 

 

 

post #27 of 44

While it's cost prohibitive if you buy fresh fish it's hard to go back to any canned product after you get used to catching your own and steaming fresh tuna for tuna salad. I usually end up doing this after I've had some in the freezer too long.

For canned Tuna we usually rely on the Costco Solid White albacore in water. I did notice that a local Italian market here now has a large display of imported Tuna tins but I haven't tried any yet.

 

Dave

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post #28 of 44

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayakado View Post

It won't help you with restaurant quantities, but I've switched to Whole Foods Tongol Tuna. It seems to a cut above the other chunk lights. It actually looks like flakes of fish. My family doesn't like the stuff in the bag, they say it is too fishy.

 

+1

post #29 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

Canned tuna has always been a no brainer for me. Quick, easy to make into a healthy tuna sandwich luch, and pretty tasty. But lately I've been finding my canned tuna to be suffering from poor texture, flavor, and little bits of bone here and there. I remember canned tuna used to be pretty darned good. Anyone else thinking the same thing? I usually buy starkist packed in water, hoping to find a better brand.

Blue fined tuna belly. Seriously one of the most tastiest things I have ever had. It's 60 bucks a can, one of my rich lawyer buddies gave me it and I was in disbelief.

Once I tried it though, I can understand why rich people would buy it!! 5 star quality ALL THE WAY!
post #30 of 44
I like the tuna in olive oil best. Good flavor and the oil is a good addition to many pasta dishes with tuna. Italian brands if you can find them. For me I keep 4 or 5 cans of this sort of tuna in my pantry that I get from an italian specialty market.

I keep some albacore water packed cans for sandwiches and such. Costco's brand is pretty good, packed by Bumblebee as I recall.

I like foil pack tuna quality too. No paying for water weight or oil weight so the price isn't quite as high as it seems at first glance. This tends to be something I buy for a targeted dish, not what I keep on hand. I do like it for those primitive camping situations as it's a low waste packaging and won't generate the volume of garbage to pack out nor stink much until I can reach a dumpster. Unless I'm mixing it with pasta, then I probably want the oil pack.

Lidia has shown canning her own tun in glass jars on her program a time or two. That would give you the fine control on the grade and quality of tuna you want to store.

While my sister was in Japan, she found some very high grade canned tuna and began enjoying canned tuna again. Now that she's in Korea, I think her consumption has dropped again as she can't find the same quality.
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