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the Best Canned Tuna?

j
Joni Jul 5, 2006 03:20 PM

What is your favorite brand of canned tuna? Cook's Illustrated just did an article on it..but I forget what they named as #1. Thanks.

  1. Scagnetti Jul 5, 2006 06:08 PM

    Without a doubt, the Tuna Guys.

    http://www.tunaguys.net

    4 Replies
    1. re: Scagnetti
      n
      nellie lovett Jul 5, 2006 08:16 PM

      I second the Tuna Guys

      1. re: nellie lovett
        e
        ExercisetoEat Aug 8, 2007 02:00 PM

        A third vote for the Tuna Guys. I can eat it straight out of the can it's so good.

      2. re: Scagnetti
        BobB Aug 10, 2007 12:56 PM

        Is their tuna packed in water or oil? I just looked at their Web site, but there is no indication.

        1. re: BobB
          j
          jaikod Mar 25, 2009 11:50 AM

          It's packed in neither. The natural juice from the tuna itself is the only liquid you will find in the can. All of their tuna is sashimi grade and dolphin safe. Plus it's delicious! Being from the Pacific Northwest, I'm a bit of a cold water fish snob and Tuna Guys is definitely my favorite. Especially the smoked albacore... I have to use 2 cans if I want to prepare something with it because I can help gobbling up at least half a can the second it's opened!

      3. a
        Akatonbo Jul 5, 2006 06:16 PM

        Any tuna I buy in the local Italian deli (can't recall a name) is better than supermarket canned stuff - although I do like Genova, which is Chicken of the Sea's premium yellowfin.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Akatonbo
          lrohner Aug 12, 2009 04:11 PM

          I agree. For my day-to-day tuna needs, it's Genova or nothing.

          1. re: lrohner
            alkapal Aug 13, 2009 06:45 AM

            that's my everyday tuna, too. i'm not going to fork out 9 dollars for a small tuna jar, like these premium brands mentioned here. i'd buy fresh tuna or grouper or red snapper instead -- or scallops or shrimp.

            1. re: lrohner
              j
              jnic3933 Aug 31, 2009 07:49 AM

              try Pastene if you like Genova. A bit harder to find unless you go to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx

            2. re: Akatonbo
              g
              guygirl94 Jun 2, 2010 02:06 PM

              I just happened to have a can of Genova yellowfin in oil in my cupboard, so I was excited to give it a try. I think I may have purchased it at Trader Joes. Anyway, my first taste was immediate dislike. It tastes like a salt bomb. I am so disappointed. I'll have to order some tuna from the tunaguys once I have saved up enough dough.

            3. carswell Jul 5, 2006 06:24 PM

              Rio Mare solid light tuna in olive oil.

              http://www.riomare.com/eng/index.html

              Probably not the crème de la crème but far superior to any North American canned tuna I've tried. And it's widely available, at least here in Montreal.

              2 Replies
              1. re: carswell
                t
                tster Oct 4, 2006 04:46 PM

                My mom brought me back rio mare tuna from Italy and I love it, but can't find it anywhere locally. Any idea's how I can order it online (I can't find any links on their website) or where I can purchase it in Washington DC?

                1. re: tster
                  Robert Lauriston Oct 4, 2006 05:15 PM

                  http://froogle.google.com/froogle?q=r...

              2. applehome Jul 5, 2006 09:35 PM

                Tre Torri Ventresca Di Tonno
                $32 for a 10.8-ounce can

                Ridiculous, I know, but you said favorite... not what I eat every day.

                In general, I don't like albacore - even the gourmet packed ones, like Tuna Guys (they now have yellowtail - I'll have to try that). My favorite canned tunas are either the yellowtail or the Meditteranean (Spanish/Italian) which are most often big-eye. The Ortiz Bonita Del Norte is a good brand available in many places.

                6 Replies
                1. re: applehome
                  galleygirl Jul 6, 2006 01:23 PM

                  Hey Applehome, have you tried Zoe Diva Yellowfin Ventresca? It's imported from Spain, and is like, $2 or $3 cheaper than the Ortiz ventresca...

                  1. re: galleygirl
                    applehome Jul 6, 2006 06:07 PM

                    Do you get that locally?

                    1. re: applehome
                      galleygirl Jul 8, 2006 03:12 AM

                      I hate to admit it, Whole Foods, $6.99 a can...
                      packed in Spanish olive oil

                      1. re: galleygirl
                        maillard Jul 8, 2006 02:02 PM

                        Is this an oil-packed or water-packed tuna? I would love to find a local replacement for my oregon tuna.

                  2. re: applehome
                    krissywats Jul 8, 2006 03:38 AM

                    What is flavor dif between albacore and yellowtail and big-eye? What about those do you prefer?

                    I saw one tonight that claimed 'low mercury'...was wondering about that too...

                    1. re: krissywats
                      galleygirl Jul 8, 2006 12:31 PM

                      Yellowtail tends to be lower in mercury, because it is a smaller species, so the fish have had less time to feed on other smaller fish, and compound their mercury levels. In general,fish small enough to be line caught, or caught younger (therefore smaller) is lower in mercury.

                  3. l
                    lisaf Jul 5, 2006 11:11 PM

                    I like the Kirkland brand Albacore at Costco.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: lisaf
                      iL Divo Jan 6, 2012 12:42 PM

                      +++++1
                      made hub and I 'it' for our lunch sandwiches today.
                      on lightly toasted Miltons all natural original healthy multi grain bread, added to drained tuna: Hellmans, Grey Poupon, my house seasoning and Heinz sweet pickle relish. so good
                      they (Costco) also has the same name brand you buy in the market that is pure mush.
                      at our Costco for 8 cans it was about $14, at our DD's, less but I don't live there :(

                      1. re: lisaf
                        iL Divo Aug 28, 2012 12:42 PM

                        I went to Costco yesterday for one reason, tuna. I was out and it's part of my cleanse.
                        It's gone up in price, go figure. But they also had Chicken of the Sea I think it was, white albacore in water for a little less $ but I wasn't willing to take the chance.
                        I can't find the Polar brand that I used to buy, it's probably gone out of business.
                        Watched EL make a fancy tuna melt on TV yesterday and he used one can of some brand that I didn't recognize nor could we see the brand it was, plus 2 jars of jarred imported Tuna in oil. I watched him dump the oil and wondered why but that said, where do I find tuna in jars with olive oil? < no idea.......

                        1. re: iL Divo
                          Robert Lauriston Aug 28, 2012 01:19 PM

                          Where do you live? You may find glass jars of tuna in olive oil in Italian, Spanish, or Portuguese delis / grocers or gourmet shops / grocers.

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston
                            iL Divo Aug 28, 2012 06:49 PM

                            outside Los Angeles, Ca. I could probably go to Surfa's but I've not tried.
                            imported may be found at the local deli that has everything although a small quantity but I'll check there.
                            thanks for help RL

                          2. re: iL Divo
                            Ruth Lafler Aug 28, 2012 11:18 PM

                            I've bought Polar within the last year -- it's very good. But I bought it at Grocery Outlet, so I don't know who carries it on a regular basis. http://www.mwpolar.com/allNatural1.htm

                            Costco carries Wild Planet tuna, which is also excellent.

                        2. a
                          Alice Letseat Jul 6, 2006 01:29 PM

                          I'll chime in for Trader Joe's house-brand in olive oil. Excellent for salads and tuna melts, pretty good in a tuna tortilla (not the wrap - more like a sort of tuna pie). Not always as wonderful as Spanish or Italian packed...but then, much easier to locate.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Alice Letseat
                            paulj Oct 5, 2006 05:29 AM

                            I turned a can of the TJ tuna in oil into a lunch salad while camping. Usually I use mayo in tuna salad, but in this case, it seemed more appropriate to just add some balsamic vinegar along with diced bell pepper and chopped almonds (also TJ - the ones packed in single serving bags), and salt and pepper to taste. Very good.

                            paulj

                            1. re: paulj
                              i
                              Ian Victorian Jun 26, 2010 01:11 AM

                              I only recent.y began shopping exclusively at TJ's for my canned fish and have been building a collection of the house brands for a rainy day - in case the BP oil thing ruins the waters forever. Always only ate tuna packed in water, the thought of it in oil made me cringe, then I tried it and it was a yellowtail one from TJ's. Had just the right amount of oil, didn't need anything with it but bread. Great for lunch on the go.

                              Ian

                            2. re: Alice Letseat
                              p
                              purkel Nov 20, 2009 02:12 PM

                              woot, i am very happy to hear you enjoy TJ tuna. my company is the supplier and we work very hard to provide a superior product. i agree that the 3 national brands pack garbage.

                            3. Cheese Boy Jul 7, 2006 02:53 AM

                              I like a lot of different canned tunas. I'll also second the albacore tuna from TJ's. Avoid their chopped clams like the plague.

                              Image: http://taylorsmarket.com/flottcan.jpg

                              Flott is tops though. Imported Italian tuna. Canned or jarred.

                              1. maillard Jul 7, 2006 12:39 PM

                                My favorite is Oregon's Choice. Now that I don't live in Oregon, it's much harder to find, but I'm considering ordering a half case of it because I miss it so much!

                                http://www.oregonschoice.com/

                                1. b
                                  beer786 Jul 8, 2006 04:32 AM

                                  does bumble bee count?

                                  1. JMF Jul 8, 2006 08:12 PM

                                    For easy to find great tuna I like Bumble Bee "Superior Quality" Tonno (yellowfin/light tuna) in olive oil and Genova (Chicken of the Sea) Tonno (Yellowfin/light tuna) in olive oil.

                                    The Ortiz tunas from Spain- Bonito del Norte (long cuts of white tuna loin), Ventresca (white tuna fatty belly/loin), the regualr White Loin tuna, and the Atun Claro Yellowfin Tuna loin.

                                    I am looking forward to tasting some high end Italian and Spanish tuna the next few days at the Fancy Food Show. I can't wait!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: JMF
                                      i
                                      Ian Victorian Jun 26, 2010 01:12 AM

                                      Yes, the Tongol is much better than the Chicken of the Sea kind.

                                    2. Robert Lauriston Jul 15, 2006 12:52 AM

                                      Trader Joe's tongol. I think it must be the same variety as Italian canned tuna.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                        Robert Lauriston Jul 15, 2006 07:05 PM

                                        At the high end, I second Flott. The flavor's similar to TJ's tongol, but the texture is far superior.

                                        http://www.dibruno.com/stores/dibruno...

                                      2. j
                                        JennS Aug 7, 2006 03:19 PM

                                        I read this Cook's Illustrated (or maybe it was Cook's Country -- I can't remember now) at the bookstore yesterday. Chicken of the Sea solid white albacore packed in water came in as #1. Starkist was in the middle and Bumble Bee was rated lowest of all. Canned tuna was rated better than the vacuum-packed "tuna in a bag" varieties, mostly due to texture issues.

                                        I usually buy Bumble Bee, just because that's what I grew up on, but got some Chicken of the Sea last night and am going to try it this week.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: JennS
                                          Ruth Lafler Aug 7, 2007 10:29 AM

                                          See, here's an example of the problems I have with Cook's Illustrated ratings: often their criteria are very different from what mine would be.

                                          Solid white albacore in water is good if you want a blank canvas to add stuff to. On its own, it's dry and flavorless. Albacore in general is drier and milder than some of the other species of tuna (yellowfin/ahi, skipjack/bonita). Tongol is also a mild, white tuna, although it's supposedly somewhat moister than albacore. "Ventresca" by the way, is a cut of tuna -- what in a sushi bar would be called "toro" -- which is why it's so expensive.

                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                            BobB Aug 7, 2007 12:04 PM

                                            Cool! A one-year gap - precisely! between this post and the previous.

                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                              JasmineG Aug 7, 2007 03:46 PM

                                              I completely agree! First of all, no tuna packed in water would even place in any of my ratings, the texture is just awful when you compare.

                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                e
                                                embee Aug 8, 2007 09:56 PM

                                                I've always found that most "light" tuna, once canned, tastes metallic, whether it is packed in water, oil, or broth, and even when it's in a jar. I've never had packed light meat tuna that tasted good. I don't think a seared albacore steak would be very good, but I'll only buy white varieties that have been packed.

                                                I used to occasionally get obscenely expensive white meat tuna in jars, packed in olive oil. I'd sometimes even find ventresca. We once had President's Choice tongol at the supermarket. But all of these have disappeared from Toronto, even from high end Italian and Portuguese stores. I've searched in vain for any brand of bonito del norte.

                                                I've posted this before on the Ontario board. Can anyone direct me to a source of jarred white tuna in oil, or bonito del norte, in Toronto?

                                            2. o
                                              Oh Robin Aug 7, 2007 11:12 AM

                                              I like Ralphs Brand Solid White in the aqua can. Very nice and big meaty chunks.

                                              1. icey Aug 7, 2007 11:56 AM

                                                My favourite is Calipo from italy...tuna packed in olive oil...good enough to eat plain out of the can. It's also really good with pasta and parsley. Calipo is widely available in Toronto, but I'm not sure if its available in the states.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: icey
                                                  Will Owen Jun 2, 2010 12:06 PM

                                                  When I was buying tuna in my neighborhood Italian deli last week, there were several Italian brands both in cans (expensive) and jars (insanely expensive). The ancient Sicilian who owns the place directed me to the seven-ounce (200kg) can of As do Mar. I was wondering why an Italian brand would have a Portuguese name, then I saw that it was tuna from the Azores, and only distributed by a Genoese company. It was also killer good, probably the best I've ever tasted. Very solidly packed in there - I don't think I got more than a tablespoon of oil from the can, and I was trying for all I could get, since I was making tonnato and wanted to add it to the sauce. Almost four bucks a can, but I'm going to go get some more.

                                                2. Chew on That Aug 7, 2007 12:08 PM

                                                  I know it isn't the most sophisticated, but I grew up on Bumble Bee (the solid white albacore, refused the chunk light). Try it out, it isn't very expensive.

                                                  Hillary
                                                  http://chewonthatblog.com
                                                  http://www.recipe4living.com

                                                  1. l
                                                    Laurella Aug 7, 2007 03:39 PM

                                                    Another option is Pacific troll-caught albacore from the Fishing Vessel St Jude based out of Seattle http://www.tunatuna.com/ They were at our local farmers' market this past Sunday and my husband sampled (and then bought) the tuna jerky. We bought some canned tuna to try, as well, and have high hopes.

                                                    1. a
                                                      adventuresinbaking Aug 8, 2007 07:27 AM

                                                      I like the Natural Sea tuna that they sell at my local COOP. Plus, its sustainably harvested.

                                                      1. winedubar Aug 8, 2007 02:50 PM

                                                        i'll chime in with the trader joe's tongol - it keeps its texture , so there's zero much factor. i hate that!!

                                                        there's a guy who packs his own tuna at our local farmers market. its fan-tastic, but its 8 bucks for the standard tuna size can. yowza. good stuff tho, when i feel extravagant

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: winedubar
                                                          opinionatedchef Nov 6, 2010 11:31 AM

                                                          i can only guess that the tongol you and rob. laur. tasted and theTJ tongol i sampled yesterday- are 3 different items. I compared TJ tongol in water to TJ yellowtail in oil. The tongol was literally like cardboard in flavor; absolutely inedible in my book. i've put it aside for my kitties. the other was o.k., much more moist and flavorful but nothing worth repeating for me. I guess I'm on a hunt now that i'm reinterested in tuna .

                                                        2. d
                                                          DBrooks Aug 8, 2007 10:03 PM

                                                          When we lived in NYC we used Progresso, light, packed in olive oil. Can't find it on the left coast...we loved it!

                                                          7 Replies
                                                          1. re: DBrooks
                                                            c
                                                            Cathy Aug 9, 2007 08:47 AM

                                                            I found it at the 99¢ Only (that is the "brand name" of the stores- green with fuschia signs and shopping carts) stores a while ago.

                                                            I just buy the small cans of Tonno Genova for $1.19 at Albertsons- solid light in olive oil-sometimes they are marked down to $1 (Or 10 for $10, 20 for $20 and 5 for $5....I do so enjoy reading the ad pages...)

                                                            1. re: DBrooks
                                                              sandrina Aug 10, 2007 10:34 AM

                                                              I like Progresso in olive oil also. It's pretty easy to find in New York, and relatively inexpensive.

                                                              1. re: DBrooks
                                                                alanstotle Aug 11, 2007 03:50 AM

                                                                I also vote for Progresso in olive oil. I discovered it based on a taste test that appeared in the New York Times way back in the day (probably 10 years ago by now).

                                                                I thought I'd never find it in California, but eventually came across it in an Italian deli here in Fresno (Sam's Italian Deli & Market at the corner of 1st & Clinton). If I ever move to another city I'm heading straight for the local Italian market.

                                                                1. re: alanstotle
                                                                  steinpilz Aug 11, 2007 02:53 PM

                                                                  I saw that NYTimes article also and tried Progresso, thought it was pretty good.

                                                                  1. re: alanstotle
                                                                    d
                                                                    DBrooks Aug 11, 2007 11:27 PM

                                                                    Alanstotle, you are absolutely correct--that's the same NY Times article that led us to try it as well. And your timeline is impressive...just rediscovered the article on the website, it appreared on August 6, 1997: "Canned Tuna: In Search of Flavor and Texture," by Suzanne Hamlin.

                                                                    1. re: DBrooks
                                                                      alanstotle Aug 13, 2007 05:53 PM

                                                                      Wow! I certainly didn't intend to guess it that correctly. And believe me: it was nothing more than a guess.

                                                                      But then again, when it comes to food, us Chowhounds probably have an innate sense for these kinds of things.

                                                                      1. re: DBrooks
                                                                        opinionatedchef Nov 1, 2010 12:05 PM

                                                                        here's link to the article:

                                                                        http://www.nytimes.com/1997/08/06/gar...

                                                                        sounds like we could use another test (it IS 13 yrs later now!!). need to look for that cooks illustrated one......

                                                                  2. p
                                                                    pp48 Aug 9, 2007 12:02 PM

                                                                    Last nite we used Pastene packed in olive oil for our salad nicoise--was pretty good, local grocery store has it for under $2 a can (6 oz or so). In the past, we used Flott, Tuna del Norte etc. which cost more but I can't say that they were better.
                                                                    PP48

                                                                    1. p
                                                                      Panini Guy Aug 9, 2007 05:52 PM

                                                                      We've been using Cento lately. It's the same quality and price as Genova, but travels a shorter distance to Pgh. However, we're always looking for a better imported yellowfin or skipjack tuna in olive oil under $4.00/can retail. If you know of one, please pass it on.

                                                                      I used to eat albacore in water for years. After I started eating tuna in olive oil, I wanted those years back.

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Panini Guy
                                                                        Pollo Aug 10, 2007 10:09 AM

                                                                        My preferred canned tuna are:

                                                                        US packed: Dave's Tuna in Santa Cruz, CA (packed in olive oil)

                                                                        non-US packed: Ortiz (olive oil pack)

                                                                        1. re: Pollo
                                                                          m
                                                                          Missmoo Mar 26, 2009 01:34 PM

                                                                          That's the one I get too!

                                                                          1. re: Pollo
                                                                            c
                                                                            connies419 Jan 16, 2010 01:09 PM

                                                                            Panini Guy, I'm with you on Dave's Tuna. Where do you find Ortiz?

                                                                            Also, does anyone else have different criteria for sandwich-type tuna (with mayonnaise, on some kind of bread) and tuna that is going to star on my plate, maybe on some greens?

                                                                            If so, what is an alternative brand to the starring-on-the-plate Dave's or the like that might be recommended for sandwiches? (I mean a brand that's available in supermarkets.) Chicken of the sea, maybe?

                                                                            I haven't made "regular" tuna sandwiches (tuna salad with mayo) in years, so I'm looking here before I head for the grocery store. :-)

                                                                            1. re: connies419
                                                                              t
                                                                              toasts Aug 28, 2012 10:12 PM

                                                                              Ortiz is really great. I usually get their oil packed tuna and sardines. If you can't find them at a local Italian grocer/ specialty store or Whole Foods, you can find them on Amazon for about $12-$14.

                                                                            2. re: Pollo
                                                                              opinionatedchef Apr 2, 2014 05:35 PM

                                                                              dave's has since closed, per google/yelp.

                                                                          2. j
                                                                            joonjoon Aug 10, 2007 12:55 PM

                                                                            I love the Korean Dong-Won Hot pepper Tuna. You can find it at korean/asian grocery shops. It's seasoned with like a tomato/chile/pineapple? sauce. Delicious.

                                                                            http://dongwonfb.en.ec21.com/GC000404...

                                                                            1. k
                                                                              kimberlynkong Dec 29, 2008 02:20 PM

                                                                              Read this with caution....because once you taste this tuna you'll never go back to grocery store tuna.

                                                                              As do Mar is yellow fin and sometimes bigeye tuna caught in the Atlantic off the Azores. It swims deeper and in colder water so it builds up more fat reserves. It is redder and darker and color and is best served in a dish where it will be highlighted, a nice antipasto or in a salade nicoise or atop a bed of lettuce or tomatoes.

                                                                              It's line-caught and processed when fresh, and packed in olive oil.

                                                                               
                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                              1. re: kimberlynkong
                                                                                j
                                                                                justhap May 15, 2009 06:32 AM

                                                                                Where do you live...where can I find this tuna?

                                                                                1. re: kimberlynkong
                                                                                  l
                                                                                  littleeats Aug 11, 2009 12:31 PM

                                                                                  Agreed, love this tuna. Eat it basically right out of the can with a tomato from the garden, hunk of crusty bread and maybe a 1/2 sour. BEST lunch EVER!!

                                                                                  1. re: kimberlynkong
                                                                                    Will Owen Jun 2, 2010 12:11 PM

                                                                                    Good heavens, I just posted about this stuff almost 20 messages up from here, and over a year later as well! Yes, lovely rich tuna...

                                                                                    1. re: Will Owen
                                                                                      Tripeler Jun 26, 2010 06:54 AM

                                                                                      Will Owen ahead of the world?
                                                                                      I am not surprised.

                                                                                      Sounds like a good product. Made by "old world" people who know how to pack a can of tuna.

                                                                                    2. re: kimberlynkong
                                                                                      tiffeecanoe Jun 10, 2010 06:18 PM

                                                                                      My favorite as well. And ALCO which is in Italy... which I smuggle back with me when I go... I also really like Rio Mare. I don't really like albacore...

                                                                                    3. h
                                                                                      HillJ Dec 29, 2008 06:34 PM

                                                                                      Costco's Kirkland albacore tuna. Clean and delicious.

                                                                                      1. BamiaWruz Mar 26, 2009 03:21 AM

                                                                                        Nothing that I've found here in Canada. The stuff I tried overseas was skip jacket tuna packed in oil, some of the best stuff and very yummy and not dry.

                                                                                        13 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: BamiaWruz
                                                                                          applehome Mar 26, 2009 01:12 PM

                                                                                          It's skipjack, aka bonito. This is a small fish - what the Japanese use for Katsuo/Katsuobushi. Seen sometimes as sashimi, but usually not canned, at least in North America.

                                                                                          1. re: applehome
                                                                                            BamiaWruz Mar 28, 2009 05:02 AM

                                                                                            Yes that's it, and you're right it's not found canned but when I went to Dubai I had it at my dad's and it was wonderful!! Now I get it from a persian store here in Canada which supplies the canned tuna from the gulf of Arabia I think.

                                                                                            1. re: applehome
                                                                                              h
                                                                                              Humbucker Mar 28, 2009 11:07 AM

                                                                                              Canned chunk light tuna is often skipjack.

                                                                                              1. re: Humbucker
                                                                                                applehome Mar 28, 2009 12:32 PM

                                                                                                I stand corrected. You're right - while one part of the Tuna article in The Encyclopedia of Fish Cookery seems to state that Skipjack is not used for canning, another paragraph clearly states that while White meat tuna pack is from Albacore, the Light meat is either from Yellowfin, Skipjack or small Bluefin (probably not any more). I know that while I lived in Washington State the canneries and tuna boats dealt exclusively with Albacore, but other areas would have had other fish. The darker the tuna, the stronger the flavor - so while many people like the more delicate taste of white tuna, or albacore, others prefer the stronger flavors of yellowfin and skipjack.

                                                                                                And also - another correction based on my further reading - skipjack is called ocean bonito and is indeed used for katsuo in Japan, But bonito itself is another type of tuna, one that is considered less desirable - the article even states that it cannot actually be labeled tuna in the US. The meat is very dark and strongly flavored and is most often brined before cooking.

                                                                                                1. re: applehome
                                                                                                  e
                                                                                                  embee Mar 29, 2009 09:43 AM

                                                                                                  There's also something called Bonito del Norte, which is considered a white tuna. Several brands get constant raves, but I have never seen it in Canada.

                                                                                                  The most widely praised brand is Ortiz. Apparently Goya and Pastene, also market this.

                                                                                                  Has anyone seen Bonito del Norte in the Toronto area?

                                                                                                  1. re: embee
                                                                                                    z
                                                                                                    zamorski Mar 29, 2009 12:44 PM

                                                                                                    I buy Bertozzi's "Fillets of Tuna" here in Ottawa, ON at Nicastro's--appear to be imported by A. Bertozzi Importing in Toronto. (http://www.bertozziepicure.com/) This tastes/feels like ventresca (rich taste, melting texture). Highly recommended. Bertozzi also sells another tuna labeled (if memory serves me right) "white tuna" or something like that. It is nice tuna, but it is dryer and blander and hence not worth the premium price.

                                                                                                    1. re: zamorski
                                                                                                      e
                                                                                                      embee Mar 29, 2009 03:53 PM

                                                                                                      I'm not sure of the brand name, but I suspect this may what I've had. It comes in a jar, packed in olive oil, and is labeled ventresca. I've found it at Pusateri's and at the Harvest Wagon - it is extremely expensive at both and seldom available. Very delicious, but it is albacore. I'm really curious about bonito del norde.

                                                                                                      1. re: embee
                                                                                                        h
                                                                                                        Humbucker Mar 29, 2009 04:19 PM

                                                                                                        Bonito del norte seems to be albacore tuna. Ventresca is the belly cut, which is the fattiest and richest. Regular bonito del norte is probably drier and more inexpensive than the ventresca.

                                                                                                        1. re: embee
                                                                                                          z
                                                                                                          zamorski Mar 31, 2009 08:07 PM

                                                                                                          The Bertozzi stuff comes in an oval can packed in a yellow box.

                                                                                                          1. re: zamorski
                                                                                                            e
                                                                                                            embee Apr 1, 2009 09:25 AM

                                                                                                            No, not the same thing but, on reflection, I have indeed had Bertozzi albacore packed as you describe. It was better than the major national and store brands, but not ventresca and not in the same league as the albacore ventresca in a jar. I'll keep an eye out for the Fillets of Tuna" in Toronto.

                                                                                                            1. re: embee
                                                                                                              z
                                                                                                              zamorski Apr 1, 2009 08:49 PM

                                                                                                              Yes, that would have been the "white tuna" [I think it is labeled like that...]--agree that it is nice but nothing special. But do try the fillets--lovely, long, thin, buttery shards of melt-in-your-mouth goodness. My favourite application of same: Penne with tuna, the oil and juice from the tuna, seeded diced fresh tomatoes, capers (or olives), parsley, a little olive oil perhaps, fresh garlic, feta, and black pepper. Also good with some piquillo peppers thrown in, if you have them languishing in the fridge. Speaking of piquillos, if you find yourself in Spain, PICK SOME UP--they are like 1.50 Euros for a nice can vs. about 12 bucks for a bottle here. Oh, pick up some tuna, too--they have a whole aisle dedicated to canned fish! The ventresca was pricey--about 6 Euros for a good sized can.

                                                                                                              1. re: zamorski
                                                                                                                alkapal Apr 9, 2009 05:42 AM

                                                                                                                trader joe's has canned piquillo peppers at a very reasonable price.

                                                                                                        2. re: zamorski
                                                                                                          z
                                                                                                          zamorski Oct 24, 2009 10:33 AM

                                                                                                          Had an opportunity to taste-test the Bertozzi Fillets of Tuna against Spanish-bought ventresca and have concluded that the Bertozzi is indeed ventresca, though not labelled as such. If anything, the Bertozzi was a bit nicer--richer, more melt-in-your-mouth, a bit saltier (but in a good way).

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                                                                                                Emma01 Mar 28, 2009 01:02 PM

                                                                                                Ortiz from Spain or As de Mar which I believe is Italian - both oil packed.

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                                                                                                  emu48 Oct 1, 2009 07:52 PM

                                                                                                  To save money, I mostly buy institutional-size (4 pounds, 2.5 oz. net weight) canned Bumblebee light, packed in water, at Costco. Drain it and freeze it in 8 oz. portions. Canned tuna has been cooked to death already, so draining and freezing it for a few months does nothing bad to it that I can notice. But then all I use it for is tuna salad for sandwiches ... or in pastas if there's no alternative.

                                                                                                  But for other uses, I also make tuna conserve from fresh tuna, since I live where it can be affordable. Keeps for a week or so in the fridge but always gets eaten before then. Not like cooked fresh tuna, not like canned tuna, but somewhere in between. I like it better than the expensive stuff from Italy. There are recipes online for tuna conserve. (try http://www.latimes.com/features/print...) Basically, it's chunks of fresh tuna poached ever so gently in flavored olive oil, cooled and put (with the oil and seasonings) in a jar, which is refrigerated. I flavor the oil with some combination of seasonings that might include salt plus garlic, a dried red pepper, a bay leaf, lemon rind , peppercorns or fennel seeds. This is a luxurious form of tuna for pasta dishes, salade nicoise, etc.

                                                                                                  Best canned tuna I've ever had came not from Italy or Spain but from small local producers in Oregon and maybe Washington state. I doubt it's sold anywhere else, though.

                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: emu48
                                                                                                    j
                                                                                                    jojopuppyfish Oct 13, 2009 12:16 PM

                                                                                                    I'm surprised no one mentioned American Tuna -Pole Caught.....they sell it at Whole Foods for $4.00 a can.
                                                                                                    http://www.americantuna.com/

                                                                                                    I had to try it because I've never paid that much for a can of tuna......but its worth it.
                                                                                                    You can tell after one bite that it tastes fresh and high in Omega 3 oils.....which most cans of tuna seem to have very little of.

                                                                                                    1. re: emu48
                                                                                                      alkapal Oct 16, 2009 09:50 AM

                                                                                                      i like that tuna conserve idea!!

                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                        alkapal Jun 2, 2010 03:14 AM

                                                                                                        i'd forgotten this tuna conserve idea, but i'm going to make it when tuna is next on sale at harris teeter.

                                                                                                    2. d
                                                                                                      drewbsn Apr 8, 2010 12:10 PM

                                                                                                      Everyone should check out https://www.oregonschoice.com/faqs.php This has a lot of information about sustainability, safe harvesting beyond simply "dolphin safe," and many more healthy and ecofriendly facts. They even offer BPA free cans!

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: drewbsn
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                                                                                                        sophies Jun 1, 2010 10:22 PM

                                                                                                        The best canned albacore tuna out there is Day Island Fish Company. The tuna is blast, bled, and cooked only once in the can which means that the can is 100% full of tuna not a soupy flake pack like the rest. There is not any dark meat like most of the other brands. This comes from proper handling of the albacore once it is caught. The fisherman/owner has 20 years of fishing experience. He definitely knows what he is doing to ensure the quality of his products. What is great also is that Day Island Fish Co. has an olive oil albacore (mediterranean), jalapeno albacore, smoked albacore, provencal albacore, and their best of the best regular albacore. Give it a try. Delicious!

                                                                                                        1. re: sophies
                                                                                                          Ruth Lafler Jun 2, 2010 09:38 AM

                                                                                                          Sounds like they copied The Tuna Guys (who have been doing the same thing in the same area for much longer).

                                                                                                      2. r
                                                                                                        rhrunner Jun 10, 2010 04:30 PM

                                                                                                        Would someone PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE start importing Rio Mare tuna?! It is near impossible to find the flavors they have available here in the States. Messicano - with hot chilies, corn and olives, and this divine concoction with white beans and black olives is to die for. I would pay through the nose to find them again.

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                                                                                                          pasuga Jun 10, 2010 05:44 PM

                                                                                                          Pastene and Genova are the best I've found in my area (Boston), aside from the wonderful imported stuff you can find at Salumeria Italiana in the North End.

                                                                                                          This thread reminded me of a sad but funny story... one of my roommates after I first moved to Boston back in the 80s was on a perpetual diet, mostly bran muffins, and steamed broccoli or cauliflower. She'd never learned to cook growing up and wasn't interested in learning. Would often breeze in at the end of the day and tell me she'd been SO good at lunch, all she'd had was a can of chicken with lemon juice. This went on for months. Wondered a few times, since I never saw canned chicken in the cupboard, but figured she bought it somewhere close to work. Finally one day she walked into the living room with a can in her hand and asked me "Is this chicken or tuna?" It was Chicken of the Sea!

                                                                                                          1. alkapal Jul 11, 2010 04:54 PM

                                                                                                            oh my gosh, i just had some conservas ortiz el veleno -- onndarroa (viscaya) tuna (oval can, with no coloring on the can itself, but black lettering on the pull-top; may've been in a box, but the grocery manager who gave it to us must've thrown that away). i think it must've been the yellowfin ventresca fillets. http://www.conservasortiz.com/ingles/...

                                                                                                            yowza it was so good -- silky, tuna-y, buttery, luscious, and *in little meaty strips* (doh! fillets!) and not small pieces. bee-yoo-ti-ful! ;-)).

                                                                                                            a manager at whole foods gave it to us to try, but i doubt i would pay so much for tuna on my own. on the other hand, it was utterly delicious. i wonder if fresh tuna would be cheaper? but i couldn't get that texture! now i'm spoiled. dang it!

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                                                                                                              JoeyH Sep 25, 2010 02:13 PM

                                                                                                              Just tried two brands from the middle east...Galil and Sadaf. Nice and firmly packed..not mushy at all. Good flavor. Probably not as good as the Italian and Spanish imports, but way better than the mass market U.S. brands. Both under $3.00 6 oz at eFoodDepot.com

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                                                                                                                person_1050 Apr 3, 2011 08:58 AM

                                                                                                                Raincoast Trading - Solid White Albacore Tuna. BY FAR! I bought some for the first time today, even though it was a bit more expensive, because it was one of the few sustainable tuna options (it's Ocean Wise). It was definitely worth the money. Great taste.

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                                                                                                                  oolert Aug 29, 2011 09:37 AM

                                                                                                                  I swear by Island Trollers Inc. http://www.islandtrollers.com/index
                                                                                                                  My mom lives up in Anacortes, WA and when she comes down to visit me in Kansas, she always brings a couple of tins. It's absolutely delicious and the garlic and habanero varieties are good straight out of the can.

                                                                                                                  They aren't packed in water or oil, but go through a process called raw packing. All that's in the can is the tuna and a bit of the juices leftover from cooking it in the cans. At least, I believe that's what they do.

                                                                                                                  1. MsDiPesto Aug 27, 2012 09:15 AM

                                                                                                                    Genova cans of tuna in oil seem to have disappeared from most stores in the Northern VA area, I'm afraid. Too bad, I liked it, and it wasn't much more expensive than the big brands.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: MsDiPesto
                                                                                                                      alkapal Apr 1, 2014 09:55 PM

                                                                                                                      i wonder if they're discontinued?

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                                                                                                                      jbsiegel Aug 27, 2012 12:34 PM

                                                                                                                      Any opinions on American Tuna (http://www.americantuna.com/)? I think the sea salt one sounds really good!

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: jbsiegel
                                                                                                                        tiffeecanoe Aug 28, 2012 07:28 AM

                                                                                                                        I recently tried it after wanting to do so for years. I have to say, it was good, but it didn't wow me like I hoped it would. It certainly had a lovely taste and nice texture, but I paid about $6.00 for the can and at that price, I'd rather get Tonnino tuna fillets in olive oil. Though, I do greatly appreciate their practices at American Tuna. I do wish it was more affordable.

                                                                                                                        Genova is still my regular store bought tuna for salads and such.

                                                                                                                        1. re: tiffeecanoe
                                                                                                                          alkapal Apr 1, 2014 09:54 PM

                                                                                                                          i like genova too

                                                                                                                      2. Robert Lauriston Aug 28, 2012 08:50 AM

                                                                                                                        At least around here, Costco is selling Wild Planet tuna. Different style and very good flavor.

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                                                                                                                          nofuss Jan 9, 2013 12:34 PM

                                                                                                                          Starkist/Bumblebee/ChickenoftheSea/Etc readily-available "albacore" stuff turned to oozy-squishy junk years ago, and about two years back I totally gave up buying canned tuna after finding even "step-above/reasonably-priced/readily-avaiable" brands just about as spongy, tasteless and gummy.

                                                                                                                          Well, Trader Joe's opened a month ago here in Wilmington NC and I grabbed a 5 oz can each of T.J. white albacore in water/half salt, and another in olive oil. They were both spectacular, really! Big white chunks that didn't squeeze down to nothing when I compressed the opened tops to dump the excess liquid, big white chunks that didn't disintegrate into unrecognizable mush after mixing-in a little Hellmans, curry powder, pepper, celery and lemon juice.

                                                                                                                          Both the in-water and in-oil were delicious – like that old time, available-anywhere, REAL canned tuna more than a decade back. Gone thru several in-water cans now, and the quality hasn't varied. The in-oil tuna was, maybe, slightly more delicious, but a messy cleanup and not the healthiest kitchen floor treat for our resident cats.

                                                                                                                          1. Bacardi1 Jan 9, 2013 01:55 PM

                                                                                                                            While I sometimes treat myself to pricey imported jarred tuna as a treat, my regular "go to" that I always have in my pantry is "Starkist Solid Light Tuna" packed in olive oil. All of the supermarkets seem to be carrying it these days, & it's worth the extra $. Delicious stuff.

                                                                                                                             
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                                                                                                                              zach_wise Apr 1, 2014 01:10 PM

                                                                                                                              Flott is a really wonderful product. Comes in a glass jar, so not technically canned, but the same general idea. Tuna is firm and in large chunks, and none of that fishy flavor. And of course it is from Italy!

                                                                                                                              1. j
                                                                                                                                jbsiegel Apr 2, 2014 12:47 PM

                                                                                                                                Has anybody tried anything from Sea Fare Pacific? http://seafarepacific.com/

                                                                                                                                Looks like some interesting options...

                                                                                                                                1. s
                                                                                                                                  sophia519 Apr 3, 2014 10:18 AM

                                                                                                                                  I live in WI and my favorite is Roland Albacore (packed in water). It's 2.79 a can.

                                                                                                                                  1. MissBubbles Apr 3, 2014 12:10 PM

                                                                                                                                    Katy's Brand from Trinidad, CA
                                                                                                                                    http://www.katyssmokehouse.com/cart/d...

                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: MissBubbles
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                                                                                                                                      ferret Apr 3, 2014 12:34 PM

                                                                                                                                      That's some pricey tuna. "Sashimi grade" is not a standard; it's like saying "fit for a king.".

                                                                                                                                      1. re: ferret
                                                                                                                                        MissBubbles Apr 3, 2014 12:46 PM

                                                                                                                                        it's amazing though, even better than most fresh cooked tuna. I am from the pacific northwest and have def tried my share. Expensive maybe but worth it.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: MissBubbles
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                                                                                                                                          ferret Apr 3, 2014 01:00 PM

                                                                                                                                          I've tried a few and find that Wild Planet offers the best value. Same line-caught, low mercury, nothing added whole sections. But at about 1/3 the price.

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