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Flott tuna/ tuna in oil.

I recently bought a big pacakge of Kirklands Tuna from Costco because a friend said it was great. It is still in the pantry now. I was not impressed. Flott is my favorite, by far. I am eating a spinach salad now with some Flott tuna (I leave the oil on) and then just add a little vinegar to the salad. So good.

This brings me to my question- why do people eat tuna packed in water? Is it just for health reasons or do people really prefer it?

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  1. I think the majority of tuna packed in water either gets mixed with mayonnaise or into tuna noodle casserole. Most people aren't really acquainted with the idea of eating higher quality tuna in chunk form as a protein on its own.

    1. Funny-Ive been wondering the same thing recently. My sister is very health conscious and turns her nose up at the idea of tuna packed in oil-though we were both raised on it. So I assume its mainly for health reasons. Personally I prefer the taste of it packed in oil, and I drain the oil out so I cant imaging that it packs too much of a caloric punch....at least I hope :-)

      1 Reply
      1. re: fmcoxe6188

        It's not so much the calories for me, but I actually prefer the texture of tuna in water.

      2. The olive oil in Flott tuna is a good extra virgin Sicilian olive oil and should be consumed just as you would a good Sicilian extra virgin olive oil. Definitely do not throw that stuff out -- cook with it if you have to, but don't discard it.

        As of late, I buy tuna packed in water if I'm making tuna salad ONLY. I squeeze the heck out of it, douse it with a generous amount of white wine vinegar, and then I add plenty of my own good quality extra virgin olive oil afterwards. I find that the tuna packed in water [vegetable stock] flakes better than the one packed in oil and absorbs the white wine vinegar better as well. I'm a convert. Now if I'm eating tuna straight out of a can, Flott still gets my vote there.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Cheese Boy

          Interesting observation Cheeseboy. 99% of the time, I use canned tuna as addition to a green salad. next time I make tuna salad I will try your vinegar method. I do agree the oil in the can is great, I pour the oil over the greens then just add on a litle red wine vinegar and that is my dressing.

        2. I think back in the 80's or early 90's it was drilled into our heads that oil is bad. (too much fat). Then all the companies started putting out tuna in spring water, so I started using it. (Actually my mom bought it because I was a kid). I just recently discovered Italian tuna packed in olive oil. Now I don't even use mayo anymore in tuna salad. Better late than never.

          1. It gives me the option to season, evoo, mayo etc, the way I wish. For tuna packed in oil, it's imported tuna packed in olive oil.

            1. We don't have Flott in our area (at least I haven't seen it) but I use exclusively Pastene imported Italian tuna in olive oil. I agree, it is SO much tastier than the water-packed garbage - that stuff tastes like cardboard by comparison.

              So why do people eat it? Why do people eat all sorts of things that are inferior? Lots of reasons.
              Because they don't know any better.
              Because that's what they were raised on and they don't like to experiment.
              Because they don't really care about food as other than fuel - yes, such people exist!
              Because they're desperately poor and buy the cheapest brand.
              Because they've been brainwashed by the diet industry into thinking that eating anything in oil will make you fat.
              And maybe...just maybe...because they actually prefer the taste and/or texture of tuna in water. As the old Roman saying goes, "De gustibus non disputandum." (There's no disputing matters of taste.) But of course, the old Romans didn't have Chowhound. ;-)

              1. I think part of the reason is the tuna in oil they've tried has been bad. I prefer good tuna packed in oil, but would rather either tuna in water than bad tuna in oil. The oil carries that metallic canned food taste far more than the water does. So, if all a person has ever eaten is Bumblebee, it makes sense that they prefer the kind in water. Bumblebee tuna in water tastes like bland tuna. Bumblebee tuna in oil tastes like bland aluminum.

                1 Reply
                1. re: danieljdwyer

                  I'd probably go with the "bad tuna" packed in bad oil theory. Waaaay back in the '70's, there was no tuna packed in water. My mom would open a can, drain off the oil, put it in a colander and proceed to rinse the heck out it. So from that, as I started buying my own tuna, it was a natural progression to reach for the can labeled "packed in water". And yes, there was also the “fat police” living in my brain.

                  In the last couple of years, being completely disgusted with the lack of quality and taste - not to mention actual tuna - found in the nationally known brands of water-packed, canned tuna today, I'm experimenting with those packed in oil. Some are good, some not so good. But those good ones, packed in olive oil.... well, that's what is now in my pantry. And a real treat is the occasional jar of Italian tuna in oil.

                2. update- i tried a new tuna today and i might rank it higher than flott. it was called Aso do Mar. It is really really good- a flakier texture.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: cassoulady

                    Hi Cassoulady

                    I just got some Flott at the Whole Foods in Pasadena. Two cans for about six bucks. I couldn't believe the taste. I've eaten American tuna in water for years and this tuna I ate on sweet hawaiian bread with nothing added, and vitamin water. A feast! Didn't need any sort of mayo or anything. Worth eating this and just not eating tuna as often instead of Bumblebee or some other brand.


                  2. I just polished off a tin of A's Do Mar Ventresca from Portugal for a mid-morning snack. delicious. And as noted, I've saved the oil for dressing on salad for dinner. I've not seen Flott here in southern California.

                    11 Replies
                    1. re: TomSwift

                      I like both and cant seem to decide which I prefer. A do Mar is a more solid texture. both are great. Is it especially pricey where you are Tom?

                      1. re: cassoulady

                        The tin was $7.98 at a great market in Santa Monica called Bay Cities. This didn't strike me as too pricey for Ventresca. What's the price in your locale, cassoulady?

                        1. re: TomSwift

                          It was a little can-75g so like 3 oz for $2.50

                          1. re: cassoulady

                            If I'm reading the box correctly, my tin was 125g. Sounds like you have a bargain and I need to find another source.

                          2. re: TomSwift

                            This raises a question for me. At $7.98 for 125g (and usually more expensive than that in online shops), you're paying roughly $29 per pound, and some of that weight is olive oil. How does that compare to the price of raw tuna belly near you? I don't know much about belly meat prices as I've never seen belly meat at my fish market, but I can find top quality blue fin tuna for around $20 a pound. I prefer tuna raw or seared, so for me, buying it this way makes more sense.
                            So, what is the advantage of buying top quality tuna in a can? Is $29 a pound minus the weight of the oil a good price for tuna belly? Is it just a taste preference? Or maybe a convenience factor?

                            1. re: danieljdwyer

                              That does seem high. The Pastene I buy is excellent, and is usually $2.49 to $2.99 per 5 oz. can. It's not ventresca by any means, but is certainly head and shoulders (does a tuna have shoulders?) above the big supermarket brands.

                              1. re: danieljdwyer

                                Good questions all. At the Japanese markets I frequent here in the Los Angeles area, O-Toro and Chu-Toro (when I can find them) are in the $50+ range per pound, sometimes much more. I, too, prefer my tuna raw or lightly seared, but in a can is really the most practical way to snack on it at the office.

                                1. re: TomSwift

                                  For they are two totally different things. Canned tuna is an easy and tasty protein to have on hand to add to a salad for lunch for work. Frsh tuna is for dinner for me, I like it seared but raw inside but it is not a practical thing to whip up at the office. I am going to look for the Pastene that BobB mentioned and try that next!

                                  1. re: cassoulady

                                    Shaw's/Star carries it. It's in the Italian foods aisle, not in the regular canned tuna section.

                                    1. re: cassoulady

                                      Yes, it was in an international canned fish section that also had octopus available.

                          3. I agree, Flott tuna so much better than the generic stuff on the market. I've also done a taste test with Tonnino, and to me, the Flott is far superior.

                            1. I eat tuna packed in water because I like it, sometimes/most times I don't oil in my tuna. I usually eat it straight out of the can. It gives me the option to add oil if I want to, but I genuinely enjoy tuna in water.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                I like the Wild Planet which has has no added water, oil or broth. Just a bit of salt.