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Best Canned Tuna?

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What is the best, most delectable canned tuna?

Maybe I am just not a huge tuna fan, but none have really 'knocked my socks off'.

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  1. I would go with the OIL packed imported from italy tuna. They have a real tuna taste and are not dried out like the water packed american products. Try it paired with a great italian white bean salad, not fancy, but soooo good.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Karen

      I've been buying Starkist in the vacuum pouches, and I think it's rather good. I've tried the garlic and herb, which wasn't too impressive, and the hickory smoked, which was very good.

      1. re: Karen
        t
        TraderJosephine

        I particularly like Trader Joe's Tongol Tuna.. it's light, it's flavorful, it's deeeelish. Enjoy!

      2. Tuna Guys has very high quality and tasty tuna. Tuna Guys adds no water or oil to its canned tuna. The liquid in the can is the natural juices from the tuna. Tuna Guys is available at www.TunaGuys.net and www.TunaLovers.com

        Link: http://www.TunaLovers.com

        4 Replies
        1. re: Norm

          I ordered a sampler pack of Tuna Guys tuna with mixed results. The Spanish style is excellent, found the smoked to be a little dry.

          My favorite tuna is a nice Italian import packed in olive oil. Simple, moist and flavorful.

          1. re: Annie M

            I thought there were all mediocre.

            1. re: The Rogue

              Italian import tunas or Tuna Guys? If you mean Tuna Guys, I agree - I was disappointed. If you mean the imports - I disagree, to me they're a flavorful treat...

              1. re: Annie M

                I meant the tuna guys.

        2. Wild Oats sells a hosue brand in either sunflower oil or water with ginger. Great texture (filets), good taste and all for $1.99. Otherwise, go with a good Italian import.

          1. I saw Giada De Laurentiis make a pasta dish w/ the Italian imported tuna packed in oil. It looked very succulent and meaty, not at all related to the pallid, mealy, dry American canned tuna. I would def. use that kind for a European dish that called for tuna--like a pasta dish or nicoise salad.

            However, if I'm going to make my good ole American tuna sandwich w/ mayo, I opt for Trader Joe's brand packed in water. Doesn't taste as "chemicalized" as Starkist, Bumble Bee, etc.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Carb Lover

              I actually bought a can of tuna with a gold wrapper from an Italian Market, wondering if that is the one Giada used on her show. Unfortunately, it didn't thrill me. The meat was in very small shreds and was dark pinky/red. I think I may prefer albacore.

              1. re: Funwithfood

                a lot of Italian, (packed in Italy), is small dark flakes, the jars of tuna loin is very expensive, upwards of $8-12.00 for about a 5 0z jar, but very good for a special salad, etc.

              2. re: Carb Lover

                I have only made tuna salad once with TJs tuna packed in water with no salt added. We liked it a lot!

              3. I really like Dave's Gourmet Albacore. Lots of varieties -- my favorite is the canned albacore in olive oil or the gourmet albacore in its own juices. I also like their canned salmon -- it's the only canned salmon that I like. They have a wide variety of products some of which are sold at Whole Foods (at least in the SF Bay Area Whole Foods.) And if you're ever in Santa Cruz, they have a great outlet store just across the parking lot from Costco.

                Here's a link to their website:

                Link: http://www.davesalbacore.com

                1. The Italian ones packed in olive oil are very good; I especially like As do Mar. But for me the most exquisite is Ortiz brand from Spain, also packed in olive oil and available in cans and in glass jars. The ultimate is Ortiz ventresca which sells in NYC area for about $10 a can.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: erica

                    At that price you should just buy fresh tuna!

                    There are two basic things that determine what your tuna is going to taste like: what species of tuna it is and how (and in particular, with what) it's packed.

                    We did a tuna tasting a while back and tasted a range of tunas. In the end we all liked the European tunas the best, because the species they use is more flavorful (of course if you prefer a really mild tuna, you might find them a bit strong). I believe all the European tunas were packed in olive oil, which raises all kinds of questions of whether its the tuna or the oil that gives it flavor; however we did prefer the European tunas to the American brands packed in olive oil.

                    The best American brand was Tuna Guys, which is very high quality fish and well packed, but which is a milder variety and doesn't gain any flavor or moisture from being packed in olive oil.

                    All the others were cat food in comparison, except for the tuna in a pouch, which any self-respecting cat would refuse to eat. It was nasty.

                    I believe there was a report on our tasting on the general topics board, but the search engine isn't turning it up.

                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      Was this your tuna tasting link Ruth?

                      http://www.chowhound.com/boards/gener...

                      Anyway I was searching for Julia Child's comments that she preferred olive oil for tuna because it improved the taste and the tuna maintained its texture instead of falling apart like the water based brands.

                      Didn't find that (but I can still hear Julia's voice on the tv show when she talked about the awful water packed tuna). I did find this interesting page on premium tunu with one can at the price mentioned.

                      In the link below it says

                      "Professional taster David Rosengarten is excited about luxury canned tuna. This is not tuna for your everyday sandwich. This stuff is in a league with foie gras and caviar.

                      David says canned tuna of this caliber can be divided into three categories: ventresca tuna; premium tuna packed in olive oil; and premium tuna packed in its own juices."

                      There's a Santa Cruz tuna ($5.95) that he likes -
                      Dave's Home-Style Santa Cruz Albacore Fillets

                      Link: http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/...

                      1. re: Krys

                        The Santa Cruz tuna you mentioned is from Dave's Gourmet Albacore, the tuna packer that I talked about in another message under this subject heading. I really like their products.

                        1. re: Krys

                          I don't know where the original post is, but last summer about 10 of us got together and tasted many, many tunas. Below are my notes of the event....

                          Short Version Recap
                          The brand was less important than the type of tuna. Albacore tuna is very mild & dry. Tongol tuna is only slightly more flavorful & less dry an albacore. Most tasters preferred the European tuna which was substantially darker, moister and more flavorful. Buy Spanish or Italian tuna in olive oil

                          We tasted tuna lightly mixed with a small amount of homemade egg-based mayo, a homemade tofu-based mayo and Greek yogurt – all three were very good, although the egg mayo was very rich. A number of tasters were won over to using a light or non-fat yogurt.

                          FYI – I was appalled that the olive oil in the Trader Joe’s Albacore in Oil was rancid. Also, the Starkist “drainless” tuna that was in the foil pouch was disgusting – the texture was like catfood and the flavor was very poor.

                          Below is more detailed info…
                          * Complete List of the 17 tunas we tasted
                          * Tuna Species Guide
                          * CI Tuna Article Recap
                          * Basic Tuna Salad Recipes
                          * Chowhound Tuna Salad variation postings

                          ________________________
                          List of Tunas at the Tasting

                          Trader Joes
                          Trader Joes Chunk Light Tongol - No Salt (0.99)
                          Trader Joes Chunk Light Tongol - Salt (0.99)
                          Trader Joes Solid Light Albacore in Water – No Salt (1.39)
                          Trader Joes Solid Light Albacore in Water – Salt (1.39)
                          Trader Joes Solid Light Albacore in Olive Oil (1.59)

                          Safeway
                          Safeway Solid White Albacore in Water (1.85)
                          Bumble Bee Solid White Albacore in Oil (1.99)
                          Starkist Solid White Albacore in Oil (1.99)
                          Chicken of the Sea Solid White Albacore in Vegetable Oil (1.79)
                          Starkist Premium Chunk White Albacore in Water in a Pouch (2.19)

                          Whole Foods
                          Dave’s Albacore Fillets in Olive Oil (6.79)
                          Flott Solid Light Tuna in Pure Olive Oil (3.29)
                          Genova Solid White Tuna in Olive Oil (2.89)
                          365 Tuna Solid White Albacore (1.49)

                          Brought by tasting attendees
                          Safeway Select Tongol Chunk light in water (1.30ish)
                          Tuna Guys Solid White Albacore Tuna (2.50ish)
                          A’s Do Mar Tonno Trancio Intero All’Olio D’Oliva (2.00ish)

                          _________________________
                          Tuna Species Guide from - http://www.atuna.com

                          Albacore Product Characteristics: Due to its white colored meat albacore is also called " the chicken of the sea". As canned product it is quite popular in the States, where it is marketed as "White Tuna". The meat has a somewhat dry of texture, and the taste comes close to the taste of chicken meat.

                          Bigeye, Northern and Southern Bluefin tuna are generally used fresh, not canned.

                          Bonito Product characteristics: The bonito meat has a firm texture and a darkish color, however small / young bonito can also have quite a light color, close to that of skipjack. This is one of the reasons why it is sometimes used as a cheaper substitute of skipjack tuna, especially for canning purposes. The bonito has a moderate fat content.

                          Skipjack is the most popular tuna for consumption. Normally dolphins do not swim together with the small skipjack, which almost makes it a guaranteed dolphin-safe species. Product characteristics: The meat of the skipjack has a somewhat darker of color sometimes even slightly pinkish. It has a relatively tender texture, and is has somewhat more a fishy taste then some other tuna species. The small size of the fish gives small loins and chunks. Making it excellent for canned tuna chunks.

                          Tongol Product characteristics: The meat is quite tender and has an almost white color. It has not too much taste. It is by some more appreciated as a canned product then the somewhat drier albacore meat.

                          Yellowfin Product Characteristics: In cooked form the yellowfin meat tends to have a to very light yellow/brown color. The structure of the meat is quite firm, and the taste is mild. If the fish gets larger then 10-15 kgs the meat tends to become slightly darker and somewhat dryer. The large size of the yellowfin make it well fit for solid pack in cans. Yellowfin is the second tuna species is terms of volume and popularity. It is a big fish, which can swim at very high speed, which may be one of the reasons why in some areas, dolphins and large full-grown yellowfin swim together. Through extensive measures from the side of the tuna industry, and the creation of some very good monitoring programs. Fortunately the volume by-catch of dolphins has become insignificant now in relation to the its natural mortality, and was below 500 dolphins on a global basis.
                          _______________________________________________

                          In July of 1998 Cook’s Illustrated did a blind tuna tasting and found that in for their tasters texture had more of an impact than flavor - mushy tuna scored much worse than flaky tuna. They were looking for a good "tuna salad" tuna. They tested the chunk light and solid white varieties packed in water and made by Bumble Bee, Chicken of the Sea, Geisha, StarKist, and 3 Diamonds.

                          White vs. Light
                          Chunk light is less expensive than solid white. CI tasters found only one of the five chunk light samples acceptable. In general, chunk light tuna is made of skipjack tuna and/or yellowfin tuna; skipjack contributes a stronger flavor than yellowfin.

                          Light - Tasters found that the chunk light often included an aftertaste of the tin can. They found the most telling difference between white & light tuna was the texture. White tuna you could eat with a fork, while with light tuna you really need a spoon. When blended with mayonnaise, light tuna breaks down even more (some tasters were reminded of cat food). So light tuna, has a distinct "lack of chew" and it holds on to moisture well so when making tuna salad, you should use much less wet ingrediants or it will become mushy/oozy.

                          White - Solid white, which usually has large meaty chunks, is exclusively albacore tuna. Some white tuna products promote themselves as “Fancy Albacore” or “Premium Albacore.” This is a marketing strategy since there is no difference.

                          Solid white was the tuna of choice among tasters for its mild flavor, milky-white appearance, and full flakes.

                          _________________________________

                          In July of 2002 Cook’s Illustrated did a tuna in olive oil tasting....

                          They three categories of tuna in olive oil: light (bluefin, yellowfin, or skipjack tuna), white (albacore tuna), and imported "white tuna" (bonito tuna).

                          As with the previous tasting (above), tasters did not like the light tuna because of the metallic can taste and mushy texture. The big surprise was that Dave's Albacore Fillets came last place.

                          The three favorite tunas were made by Ortiz, a small Spanish company. Ortiz uses Northern bonito white tuna fished off the coast of Spain (which is not used by American companies)
                          ________________________________
                          Basic Tuna Salad Recipes

                          CLASSIC TUNA SALAD
                          Makes about 2 cups, enough for 4 sandwiches
                          2 (6-ounce) cans tuna
                          2 T lemon juice
                          1/2 t salt
                          1/4 t black pepper
                          2 T minced red onion
                          2 T minced dill or sweet pickles
                          1/2 small garlic clove, minced or pressed
                          2 T minced fresh parsley leaves
                          1/2 Cup mayo
                          1/4 t Dijon mustard
                          Drain tuna in colander and shred with fingers or fork until texture is even. Put tuna in a bowl. Mix in lemon juice, salt, pepper, onion, pickles, garlic, parsley. Fold in mayo and mustard until tuna is evenly moistened.

                          Curried Tuna Salad
                          Makes about 2 cups, enough for 4 sandwiches
                          2 (6-ounce) cans tuna
                          2 T lemon juice
                          1/2 t salt
                          1/4 t black pepper
                          2 T minced red onion
                          1 medium apple, cut into 1/4-inch dice
                          1/4 cup currants
                          2 T minced fresh basil leaves
                          1/2 cup mayo w/ 1 T curry powder mixed in
                          1/4 t Dijon mustard
                          Drain tuna in colander and shred with fingers or fork until texture is fine and even. Put tuna in a bowl. Mix in remaining ingredients (except mayo/mustard). Fold in curried mayo and mustard until evenly blended.
                          ________________________

                          Recommendations from old Chowhound.com postings…

                          It is of my opinion that FRITOS are the ultimate complimentary food to tuna salad, like mcdonald's fries are to cola. i noticed this as a wee child. i eventually started mixing in fritos (a bit crushed) directly into my tuna salad right before i ate it. nice crunch, saltiness. you should really try it.

                          for fancier tuna, i like to include sun-dried tomatoes, shallots, capers, red bell peppers... (not all together, of course
                          )_____________________________

                          I add diced medium spicy giardiniera to tuna salad (mayo, lemon juice, celery, sweet pickle relish also).
                          ______________________________

                          I love chopped water chestnuts or sunflower seeds for crunch. And no matter what those other people say, you must use mayo.
                          ______________________________

                          Tuna - how about a toasted bagel, crisp romaine lettuce, tuna + mayo + avocado + red onion + red bell pepper. (I like the hot bagel + cold topping thing) :)
                          _______________________________

                          I've always liked to add shredded carrots and raisins to my tuna salad in addition to mayo (only Hellman's), lemon juice, celery and black pepper. When I feel like I need more veggies in my diet, I've also added shredded cabbage. If I don't add my raisins, I someimes like to add some minced garlic.
                          ________________________________

                          I mix a lot of various things into my tuna salad, depending on mood and what I have on hand, but an all time favorite is: FENNEL SEEDS. so delish. they go great with the tuna and also give it a little....not quite crunch, but texture. such a treat when you bite into one. this is good in a simple tuna salad with just some chopped celery and a little mayo.
                          ________________________________

                          I like this recipe for tuna salad with caramelised fennel, ricotta and parsley that I found on a cooking blog (link below). I add in chopped black olives and a dash of lemon juice or vinaigrette.
                          http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archi...
                          ________________________________

                          My mom used to make tuna with mayo, red onion, celery, and red apple. I never knew it was "different" til I had friends over as a kid and made them what I thought to be normal tuna. It's so yummy. Also, curry powder makes a great addition. I can't remember if my mom put curry in with that other mix, but I know that I now make tuna salad sometimes with just tuna, mayo, white onion, and curry powder... good flavor and onion crunch. But, more importantly, give the apple thing a try. It's so damn tasty
                          _________________________________

                          There is a recipe in the new basics cookbook which has tuna, chopped egg, red onion, green grapes, lemon, mustard and a little mayo (salt, pepper). it is really odd and super-delicious.
                          ___________________________________

                          Try chopping some kimchee and adding it to tuna, along with a little chopped onion or scallion and just enough yogurt to hold it together (the thicker the yogurt the better).
                          ____________________________________
                          For tuna, chopped fresh dill, lime juice, chopped red onion, and a WEE bit of mayo and dijon. Simple, and doesn't need a lot of mayo to be tasty. I also like to do a "Middle Eastern" thing with tahini, lemon juice, garlic and chopped parsley.
                          _____________________________________

                          I like mayo, dill and garlic powder.
                          _____________________________________

                          Instead of mayo (of which I am not a fan of) I use ranch dressing. From there I get creative adding fresh herbs, or small diced veggies. Then I usually throw the sandwich in the toaster with a slice of cheese, or grill it to make a tuna melt...yum.
                          _____________________________________

                          chopped celery, bell peppers, olive oil, capes, chopped Italian parsley
                          sour cream, dash of horseradish, toasted sesame seeds, chopped scallions
                          _____________________________________

                          I like to substitute mashed avocado for mayo and add olives or capers.
                          _____________________________________

                          I make a mayo-free "mediterranean" tuna salad by adding diced Kalamata olives, diced capers, chopped parsley, a little diced tomato (preferably a "drier" tomato like a plum tomato), and dressing it with a bit of olive oil and lemon juice, lots of black pepper, and a pinch of dried oregano, crumbled betw. your fingers.
                          If feeling especially ambitious I'll add a chopped rinsed anchovy and a bit of raw onion.
                          _____________________________________

                          At Columbus Bakery they make a low-fat tuna salad with dried cranberries, finely chopped apple, and a yogurt based dressing. It's very popular. I used to put a slice of leftover jellied cranberry sauce on tuna sandwiches too.
                          _____________________________________

                          I like to add some wasabi flavored mayo, sweet relish, diced hard boiled egg, finely chopped celery (or a dash of celery seed) and red onion to taste. If the result is too zingy, you can mitigate with some plain mayo or yogurt. I have to admit, though, Coyote's suggestion of dill is pretty seductive . . .
                          _____________________________________

                          I put some red or spanish onion in my cuisinart, pulse, add a can of tuna, some mayo and lemon juice and dill (weed or seed), salt and freshly ground black pepper, pulse again a time or three, and I do this at least a couple of times a week. Sometimes sub in olives for the dill.
                          _____________________________________

                          I put in celery and some prepared horseradish sauce in the tuna or chicken salad. When my husband fixes tuna salad, he puts in a bit of curry powder. Both ways jazz it up quite a bit. D.
                          ______________________________________

                          1. re: Pssst

                            Superb and exceptionally helpful reply -- thank you!

                            1. re: Pssst

                              So funny about Fritos and tuna ... a childhood favorite of mine as well.

                              When I buy tuna I am making comfort food. I like Starkist Gold Solid Light in water. It is solid, there is only a little water. You can take the lid off and pour the water off without holding onto anything because the tuna is, as the label says, solid.

                              I used to do albacore, but stopped for environmental/health reasons.

                              Also like Wild Planet, don't find it much different than Starkist (but I think I have mixed them--so my opinion may not be valid).

                              I do think the tuna slush that Bumble Bee et al sell is an abomination.

                      2. What a great topic. I bookmarked it, and put a shortcut on my desktop. I'm having a warm Quizno's right now. Like they say, it ain't Number One, but it is tuna.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Shep

                          I didn't read all the posts but thought I would post some links to the best canned tuna in the world. (Bonito Del Norte from the North Coast of Spain!) Basically a tuna but it's caught seasonally and at a younger age than most other tuna's.(always buy tuna with 3% or more fat labeled on can/less than that it's an older tuna)

                          .mostly Spanish companies although Goya & La Fe both offer bonito del norte from Spain. ...not sure where in Spain it's from but it looks similar

                          Arroyabe - Bermeo, Spain - www.arroyabe.com
                          Jose Serrat - Bermeo, Spain - www.serrats.com
                          El Batel - Ondarroa, Spain - www.consalegria.com
                          Ortiz - Ondarroa, Spain - www.conservasortiz.com
                          Ormaza - Bermeo, Spain - www.ormaza.com
                          Albo - Vigo, Spain - www.albo.es
                          Salica - Bermeo, Spain - www.salica.es
                          Escuris - Puebla del Caramiñal - www.escuris.es
                          La Fe Foods - www.lafefoods.com
                          Goya - Seville, Spain - www.goya.com

                        2. Just tasted American Tuna at Whole Foods today. Very fresh and tasty tasting. We bought one can at 5.99 a can... not cheap, perhaps an "anniversary tuna salad." ;)

                          1. Anything that says Ventresca. Its that simple. They basically cut a can shaped cylinder straight from the belly steak (Toro), and pack in olive oil. It traditionally comes from Spain, and is about 15 bucks for 4 oz. Central Market (in Texas) has a house brand from Thailand that is almost as good for $5. Ive tried Ortiz white tuna (Bonito), and while flavorful, it still has that dry your mouth out feel. The belly fat of the Ventresca style is moist and arguably the best way to eat tuna hands down. A few peices, salt and pepper, maybe a few capers. Cant beat it.

                            http://www.amazon.com/Ortiz-Ventresca...

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: ZeTerroir

                              does anyone know why TJ's discontinued their tongol tuna? And any opinion on Wild Planet brand tuna? My local stop and shop is now carrying it.....

                              1. re: janie

                                Agreed...problem is that once you've had Ventresca, you can never really go back to 'regular' tuna again. Tastes like you're eating fishy chicken.

                                1. re: janie

                                  I tried the wild planet and thought it was excellent--best quality canned tuna I've ever had

                                2. Wegman's Solid White is the _only_ one I buy anymore. And it's the only one anything like the soild filets that were once StarKist and Bumble Bee...both of those previously decent supermarket brands now rank as _the_ worst of the worst (whether in can or pouch).

                                  And the Wegman's isn't packed in those downsized cans that seem to be prevalent these days.

                                  1. I like Chicken of the Sea. Be sure to check out their website, chickenofthesea.com. They have great recipes on them. Here's my favorite:

                                    Bloody Mary Tuna Salad

                                    2 (5-oz.) cans Chicken of the Sea® Premium Select Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water
                                    1/2 cup V-8® Vegetable Juice
                                    1/2 cup Celery, diced
                                    1 1/2 Tablespoons Horseradish
                                    1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
                                    1/2 teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper

                                    Just mix the ingredients together and chill.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Scream

                                      I used to like Chicken Of The Sea, but these days their "solid white" just isn't anymore. It's the same flakes and scraps (packed in too much water) that most of the other brands have become, maybe still marginally better than the others.
                                      Too bad, because it really was a _very_ good product at one time.

                                      1. re: The Professor

                                        Actually, had I created the recipe myself, I would have just used regular tuna in there, as opposed to Albacore. I don't think Albacore has as much flavor as the the regular. Funny, that seems to be the way with all "white meats". The darker, the better, I guess.

                                      2. re: Scream

                                        with a bit of herdez (or fresh) salsa - on a corn tortilla - that's how we ate our tuna as kids in Mexico

                                      3. I don't doubt that Italian packed tuna is very good. But for normal tuna uses, I prefer Costco's Kirkland brand. This is albacore, and I like it very well.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: sueatmo

                                          I agree with sueatmo. Kirkland tuna is excellent.

                                        2. If you want to try a good-to-very-good one that's easy to find and won't break the bank, try Cento tuna in olive oil. Not as wonderful as the gourmet options that some posters mentioned, but it's pretty good -- and far better than the water-packed stuff that that many of us grew up with.

                                          1. As do Mar (from Portugal) is our current favorite. The TJ's yellowfin, which is also packed in olive oil, is good but a step down.

                                            1. I like the imported stuff in olive oil. ONE time found it in a jar at TJ's and splurged... something like $5 but probably about twice the size of normal can. Big "sticks" of solid tuna in olive oil... delicious! NEVER saw it at TJ's again?!?

                                              Whenever I'm in the supermarket, will always check to see if the "good stuff" is on sale... rarely is... but will buy a few cans when it is on sale. Just yesterday noticed JARS on a higher shelf... brand is Tonnino. Either in water or olive oil... $4.99, 1.7 ounces more than regular can, a bit pricey but really tastey. Will definitely buy more next time I'm shopping. Don't know whether it's a "new" product for the store or I just never noticed it?? Funny thing is, when I checked out their web site... could buy on-line for over $9 a jar... same size??

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: kseiverd

                                                I just bought a bunch of those "sticks" (solid filets) in olive oil at my local supermarket in the half price bin. Packed in tins, described as Nostromo Premium Yellowfin Ventresca/belly. It was the "hand packed" on the label that reeled me in, how bad could it be if they give it that much loving care. It was GREAT! And marked down from $6.50 to $3.25, I picked up about 10 and glad I did. I'm getting SO weary of the Bumble Bee/Chicken of the Sea contigent, if not for my husband's addiction to tuna sandwiches I would just eat grilled fresh for the rest of my life!

                                                1. re: coll

                                                  I have never seen any Bumble Bee that wasn't just mush, but Chicken of the Sea has gone noticeably downhill in the past few years. I've started buying the Starkist solid light, either the gold, or I think it's called Gourmet Select. Just had a chance to compare the two side by side ... I thought they were extremely similar, but the color of the gold label was a rosier pink. (I used to eat albacore but stopped for mercury reasons).

                                                  1. re: foiegras

                                                    I remember the Bumble Bee solid being really solid, while the other brands were almost indistinguishable between the grades. They do sell one of the big brands at BJs, canned filets, it was at least twice the price of the grocery but that was pretty good.

                                              2. I concur with jill00 about the Cento brand- it's decent Mediterranean tuna in oil. Tasty, consistent, and still under $2 a can. A good choice for those of us who need to consider the cost.

                                                1. I've been trying to figure out what happened to the canned tuna of my youth - while reading all the spew about every single major vendor of tinned tuna. It is all watery mush - shredded tuna.

                                                  I found the answer at the procedures at the FDA to determine what can be called "chunk" tuna.

                                                  The bottom line is that the canners are allowed to compress the contents of a can of tuna with a hydraulic press to a pressure of 384 pounds per square inch for one minute. As we all squeeze the water out over the sink by cutting the lid free and squeezing with our fingers - all we need to do to duplicate the canner is to press the lid of a typical 5 oz tin with around 1 1/2 tons of pressure - 3322.27 pounds to be precise. Say the entire weight of your compact car all concentrated on that little 3 1/4" lid.

                                                  With these specification they could make "chunk" tuna out of dehydrated tuna POWDER!

                                                  There is no "best canned tuna."

                                                  FYI:
                                                  [Code of Federal Regulations]
                                                  [Title 21, Volume 2]
                                                  [Revised as of April 1, 2012]
                                                  [CITE: 21CFR161.190]
                                                  TITLE 21--FOOD AND DRUGS
                                                  CHAPTER I--FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION
                                                  DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

                                                  SUBCHAPTER B--FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION

                                                  PART 161 -- FISH AND SHELLFISH

                                                  Subpart B--Requirements for Specific Standardized Fish and Shellfish Sec. 161.190 Canned tuna.

                                                  1. Solid white albacore in water. When you open the can the tuna is actually a real piece not 'compressed'.

                                                    1. I know this is an old thread but as I was going to start a new thread on this very topic I thought I would just bump the old one. I have to say the best damn canned tuna I have EVER had is American Tuna brand canned tuna which also happens to be the only brand of canned tuna still made in the USA. Not only is the tuna canned in the US but the fish are all caught off the coast of California by American fisherman and the company is a co-op founded and run by six families of commercial fisherman right here in San Diego.

                                                      In other brands you get a lot of loose flakes and little parts but with American Tuna you could one whole solid steak of tuna right in the can. It's pole caught, sustainably harvested, and follows the strict guidelines of both federal and state laws. Frankly, it's the only brand of tuna I buy and I doubt you'll ever find a better one on the market. So help support American industry and buy American.

                                                      http://www.americantuna.com/

                                                      7 Replies
                                                      1. re: oerdin

                                                        " I have to say the best damn canned tuna I have EVER had is American Tuna brand canned tuna which also happens to be the only brand of canned tuna still made in the USA."

                                                        Are you sure about that?
                                                        http://davesalbacore.com/seafoodfaq.php

                                                        1. re: Steve Green

                                                          Here's two of the best common in stores around here.
                                                          Both are excellent IMO.
                                                          Both packed in water, both solid white albacore.

                                                           
                                                          1. re: Steve Green

                                                            Wild Planet is also from the Pacific Northwest. I can't imagine there's a huge difference between the various boutique pole-caught tuna canneries.

                                                            1. re: ferret

                                                              The above-mentioned Tuna Guys is also caught/packed in the US.

                                                              1. re: ferret

                                                                i've never seen any of those brands in NYC, just wild planet and the other typical ones--the website for american says wholefoods sells it, never seen it in ny--who sells the dave's tuna?

                                                                1. re: janie

                                                                  I really doubt there's a difference in the higher-end market. They're all tapping into the same source(s) and utilizing roughly the same methods. Most of the smaller labels are mail-order or otherwise have limited distribution.

                                                          2. Try Wild Planet - they don't add any water or oil - just 100% tuna and it is the #1 Greenpeace brand for sustainability- I see it at all the natural foods stores and Costco

                                                            1. Since I've relocated, I've found Genova brand tuna, packed in oil. I believe this is Italian style tuna, and I love it. The cans are a bit small, and if I am hungry enough I can eat the whole tin for lunch. This is a flavorful meaty tuna. I drain off the oil, and I enjoy it over a salad.

                                                                1. In my experience the Italians and Spanish have the best canned tuna. It seems to have a fresher texture and flavor than that found in America. I do need to ask why canned tuna. Fresh or smoked is soooooo much better IMHO. Go here for some fun with tuna and lots of other food, but bring your wallet. Enjoy!

                                                                  http://www.igourmet.com/shoppe/meats_...

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: hisacane

                                                                    Why canned tuna? Because it has it's place. It's often a different fish (the fresh tuna commonly found in my area is usually yellowfin, canned is albacore - or occasionally skipjack) with its own flavor profile. It's also shelf-stable and readily available.

                                                                    In any case, it's not an either/or decision, you can enjoy both.

                                                                    1. re: ferret

                                                                      It was a staple of my childhood that I still enjoy. And reasonably-priced, if I don't follow the advice in this thread ;)

                                                                  2. If I cannot get good Italian tuna or I refuse to pay the price, I now buy wild canned sockeye salmon. Lower in Mercury than tuna, and for my tastes much better tasting, made like tuna salad for sandwiches, salad plates, etc., than the water packed sawdust that now passes for tuna.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: ospreycove

                                                                      Do you separate out the bones & skin? I'm not a salmon person, but working with canned salmon has always seemed like so much work to me ...

                                                                    2. I don't know what the best canned Tuna is but I love
                                                                      Albacore Tuna.Albacore has a different taste than regular
                                                                      tuna.

                                                                      1. I like Albacore thats the best to me.I just bought some Bumble Bee Albacore Tuna in Oil.I wonder why doesn't the company let the natural oil stay on the Tuna.This Tuna was packed in Vegetable Oil.I want some yellow Fin Tuna from TJ and its packed in Olive oil.