Canned Tuna, Really? As Suzzane Hamlin points out in her well written 1997 article for the New York Times, canned tuna in olive oil is the best selling seafood in the country. And your first reaction may be something akin to, “what, canned tuna, why don’t American’s buy fresh fish?” Well, high quality fresh fish is, indeed, best but if you don’t have access to a great fish market and regularly buy gifts for the owner and/or fishmonger, then your best bet is high quality canned fish. I’m not talking about tasteless tuna packed in water, but canned tuna in olive oil (or tonno in Italian), sardines that are oil or salt cured, canned oysters and clams, etc. The aforementioned fish are prized in Italian and Spanish cultures, for example, and are often more desirable and expensive than fresh fish. In the following article we focus on Canned Tuna in Olive Oil: Top Brands and Recipes
My favorite canned fish is tuna and I’ve been eating the Italian variety packed in olive oil since I can remember (in fact, it was the cause of much stress during lunch time at my grammar school and you can imagine the flack I received for eating “fancy food”) Tuna is a saltwater fish and the largest member of the mackerel family; the genus is Thunnus with 13 species or so. Most canned tuna is made from albacore, yellowfin, skipjack, and/or bluefin.
Many southern Italian natives have a fondness for tuna because some of the best tuna product in the world is caught off the coast of Sicilia often commanding astronomical prices from bidders all over the planet (including Japan, US, and other European countries).<
Canned tuna is precooked and then allowed to marinate in high quality olive oil for 1 to 2 months prior to being distributed. Many canned tuna connoisseurs believe that what makes Italian and Spanish style tuna much better than tuna in water is the period of marination when olive oil and tuna are allowed to intermingle!