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Best Canned Tuna in Boston Area?

opinionatedchef Nov 6, 2010 03:22 PM

after many yrs of not having them, i'd like to start making tunafish sandwiches again. i have read this loooong thread and as a result, sampled and concluded that TJ Tonga tuna in water is completely and utterly worthless cardboard, and the TJ yellowtail in oil is o.k. but nothing worth repeating. CHs on this national thread have highly praised As do Mar and Rio Mare; has anyone sourced these in boston area?
Here are highlights from thread in General CH Topics:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/745369#
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"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."

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By kimberlynkong on Dec 29, 2008 06:20PM
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"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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By rhrunner on Jun 10, 2010 07:30PM
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"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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By alkapal on Jul 11, 2010 07:54PM
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"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...

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By joonjoon on Aug 10, 2007 03:55PM

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the n.y.times did an article touting Progresso but that was 13 yrs ago

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

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does anyone have sources for these above, or other ' amazing canned tuna finds'?
thnx much.

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    teezeetoo RE: opinionatedchef Nov 6, 2010 04:11 PM

    portuguese canned tuna at New Deal and, sometimes, at Mayflower. Pricey but excellent. Personally, I liked italian canned tuna in olive oil for tuna salad.

    1. enhF94 RE: opinionatedchef Nov 6, 2010 06:03 PM

      I tasted both the Ortiz and (some other) brands "ventresca" tuna at WF: priced to wince, liked both, liked one better, forgot to write down which.

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        Pegmeister RE: opinionatedchef Nov 6, 2010 06:10 PM

        I am curious about this as well, since I have been pretty much fed up with the familiar store bought brands. I did place an order on line with tuna guys and thought the quality was way up there, but their website has said temporarily out of stock since August. Thought about trying Day Island for the smoked or jalepeno tuna but would really like a local source for some good quality tuna.

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          Brock Lee Robb RE: opinionatedchef Nov 6, 2010 07:57 PM

          If you've never tried it, consider canned red salmon instead of tuna. mmmmmmm!

          1. itaunas RE: opinionatedchef Nov 7, 2010 01:30 AM

            For Portuguese canned tunas I usually shop Courthouse and Fernandes Fish Markets in Cambridge which usually have a couple selections each, but tend to be bit expensive (bit cheaper than things like Ortiz Bonito del Norte). McGrath Hwy Somerville Stop and Shop has one or two (with the Portuguese goods and canned sardines) and Seabra probably has a good selection -- definitely put this on your list, but I have only checked out their sardines. You can find seasoned types along with them in olive oil, be careful more and more of the Portuguese brands are switching to salad oil.

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            Fernandes Fish Market
            1097 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

            1 Reply
            1. re: itaunas
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              donnahobrien RE: itaunas Nov 8, 2010 12:29 PM

              Courthouse Fish is a treasure trove of great stuff. So you know, a family member owns Adams Fish in Lower Mills Dorchester.

            2. BobB RE: opinionatedchef Nov 7, 2010 08:06 AM

              At the more reasonably priced end of the market is Pastene, packed in olive oil. Very tasty, about $3 a can. At Shaw/Star they stock it in the Italian imports aisle, not with the rest of the tuna. It's not going to be in a class with As do Mar etc, and I wouldn't substitute it for that in a dish where presentation matters, but for a sandwich it's a very good deal.

              4 Replies
              1. re: BobB
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                southie_chick RE: BobB Nov 7, 2010 12:21 PM

                Speaking of tuna sandwiches, Milk Street Cafe has the BEST tuna salad I've ever purchased. Don't know what brand of tuna they use, & all they do is put a little mayo in it, but it is outstanding. I get it in a pocket so the bread flavor doesn't interfere with the tuna.

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                Milk Street Cafe
                50 Milk St Lbby C, Boston, MA 02109

                1. re: BobB
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                  teezeetoo RE: BobB Nov 7, 2010 12:28 PM

                  i agree - see my post above. i find the italian tuna makes a great tuna salad though it's not what i'd use as part of an antipasti.

                  1. re: BobB
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                    s1mpson RE: BobB Nov 8, 2010 11:01 AM

                    Pastene tuna is amaaaazing. If you get the canned tuna with Chili ... just eat it straight out of the can. It's so good!

                    1. re: s1mpson
                      BobB RE: s1mpson Nov 9, 2010 07:49 AM

                      Actually, the Pastene tuna packed with "stuff" - chili, ginger, etc - is not the same tuna as the "real" Pastene. It's not packed in olive oil, and is imported from Asia - Thailand, if I remember correctly. It looks to me like Pastene is getting these from another packer and simply rebranding them Pastene for the US market.

                      I'm not saying they're bad - I've had the chili version myself and enjoyed it - but the tuna in the can is not the same consistency or flavor as the plain Pastene.

                  2. barleywino RE: opinionatedchef Nov 8, 2010 05:12 AM

                    obviously not quite the same but have you tried the jars of (Abba brand) Swedish pickled herring in tomato sauce from Gift Chalet on rt 20 in auburn? very tender/succulent, with just a bit of a snap (like kinmedai sashimi at O Ya!) and not overly vinegary/salty as some pickled herring tends to be. the tomato sauce gives it a nice mellow sweetness. they have other varieties too but the tomato sauce one is my favorite.

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                      9lives RE: opinionatedchef Nov 8, 2010 11:25 AM

                      I like Flott brand. They use line caught yeelowfin and pack it in oil; form Sicily..available at Salmeria Italiana and I think a few other NE grocers.

                      I think it's similar to Pastene but a bit more $. I haven't tasted Pastene so can't really say if the pay up is worth it or not.

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