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Jul 11, 2011 05:51 PM

Canned Italian tuna?

Ina Garten made this incredible-looking tuna salad/hummus sandwich on sourdough on her show today. Just wondering where I might find canned Italian tuna in olive oil? Maybe the market in the front of Filippi's in India Street?



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  1. Mona Lisa and Filippi's most probably do have Italian tuna packed in oil either tinned or jar. If you are located more in land, Windmill Farms has Italian tuna in jars that's very good...also VERY expensive.

    2 Replies
    1. re: DiningDiva

      Ditto on Mona Lisa and Fillippi's. Haven't seen it anywhere else.

      1. If you are in North County, Major Market has it.

        1. Albertson's carries Genova tuna (which is produced by Chicken of the Sea). It's pretty good for a canned tuna packed in olive oil, although not in the same category of the Mediterraean producers.

          1. Trader Joes used to have Yellowfin tuna packed in oil - I haven't looked in a while, but I'm pretty sure they're still selling it.

            1 Reply
            1. I generally don't prefer canned tuna but if it is going to be canned then there is only one brand I will buy. American Tuna brand canned tuna is routinely ranked as the best canned tuna you can buy plus it is the last canned tuna actually made in America (truth be told it is made right here in San Diego). Up until 1980 San Diego was known as "The Tuna Capital of the world" because from the 30's to 1980 San Diego had the world's largest tuna fishing fleet with several large canneries and wholesalers. Sadly, there is only one left and most canned tuna you see at the market now comes from Thailand.

              American Tuna uses only pole caught tuna (which means less bruising of the meat), it is always sustainably harvested wild caught fish from right here in southern California, it is always 100% white meat and the can is filled with whole one piece fillets instead of the miscellaneous bit and pieces pressed together you find in the cheaper brands. They also have a great many different options to chose from such as low salt, no salt, no water added, packed in olive oil, or seasoning added (you can get garlic or jalapeno). Buying this not only gets you the best quality but also helps provide work for people right here in San Diego. Check it out:


              11 Replies
              1. re: oerdin

                American Tuna makes a great product. However, there are actually several small domestic US tuna canneries on the West Coast. Day Island Fish Co., Dave's Gourmet Albacore and the Tuna Guys are just few.

                Regardless, all the small US tuna producers are worth checking out and all make a far better product than the typical supermaket cat food, the large producers try to pass off as tuna.

                1. re: oerdin

                  I knew about San Diego being the hub of canned tuna until a territorial dispute with Mexico - my next door neighbor growing up was a tuna fisherman - but I had never heard of American Tuna. Cool link.

                  1. re: oerdin

                    So where can you find them reliably at the stores? I don't think their list is comprehensive, because I'm pretty sure I've seen it at Whole Foods as well as Jimbo's.

                    1. re: RB Hound

                      Here in New York State, I tried to find organic tuna in olive oil. I found a can, almost bought it at about $3.29, then noticed it was packed/produced in Asia. Hands off for me. I then bought an American brand in olive oil. Vital Choice has Pacific or Alaskan tuna for $6 per can, but with shipping, that is totally out of reach of the general public.

                      1. re: kssny5

                        Quality tuna is more expensive, that's why I buy it by the case on the Internet. Usually I pay around $4,00 a can for 5 to 7 oz cans. However, it's far superior to the supermarket stuff and once you try it you'll never go back.

                        1. re: kssny5

                          Here's a website that did a taste test on canned tuna which award American Tuna the best "American style" canned tuna and they say they bought it at Whole Foods Market for $4.99 (or $0.83 cents per ounce).

                          "Quest for the Best Canned Tuna Challenge - United States: American Tuna

                          (Purchased at Whole Foods)

                          Unlike most of the imports we tested, which were mostly packed in oil, American Tuna is cooked directly in the can (after it is line caught, hand filleted, and hand packed) so all of its juices remain intact and they advise against draining. American Tuna offers a clean tuna taste with a nice firm texture, perfect for practically any recipe calling for tuna. At $0.83 cents/ounce ($4.99 - 6 ounce can) the tuna was a good value, especially when considering that they are a U.S.-based family business that practices sustainable fishing. American Tuna is also listed in the Heritage Foods Guide and is a favorite of celebrity chef Tom Colicchio."


                          Interestingly they rated the Spanish brand Ortiz as the best tasting European style tuna although the Spanish tuna sells for $12.99 for a 5.1 ounce jar! $4.99 for six ounces is sounding much better to me. Whole Foods Market tends to be a bit on the expensive side so I imagine shopping around could result in significant savings.

                        2. re: RB Hound

                          Their website says:

                          We Are Nationwide

                          Currently, we are nationwide with Whole Foods Markets, mail order with Heritage Foods USA, in Jimbo’s Naturally in 3 locations (San Diego, CA), in Holiday Quality Foods in 5 locations (Northern CA), in numerous small markets and seafood markets, and our 4lb can is in an ever-growing number of restaurants and deli’s. We are always looking to cater to smaller natural and organic stores as well.

                          They also have a full list on their website right here:

                          1. re: oerdin

                            Since they are local, I wonder if we could go directly to the source - their offices in Bonita - and purchase a case there. It seems kind of silly to mail order 'cross town.

                            1. re: DiningDiva

                              I agree. You probably could just walk in, explain the situation to the secretary at the front desk, and walk out with a case (or what ever) of what you're looking for.

                            2. re: oerdin

                              Thanks - I saw the web site list. I didn't see "Whole Foods" so I assumed it was incomplete, but they tricked me by burying it in the list (which is not very well organized, in my opinion, but I guess they were more worried about their quality salmon than web site design). I suppose I could have tried control-F.

                              I was just wondering if Bristol Farms, Jonothan's, Major Market, etc. might carry it as well.

                              1. re: RB Hound

                                I have to agree. They need to reorganize their website to make it easier to read and find the information customers are looking for. I imagine fishermen aren't experts at website design though and the six families are all fisherman first and website developers second. ;)