Some of my most vivid childhood memories are of my mother making tuna salad. Only she didn't call it tuna salad. She just called it tuna. I remember one time (yes, one time) we had tuna melts. This wasn't tuna. This was tuna melts. So obviously just "tuna" was used to imply "tuna salad."
I know you probably think I'm going to say that I remember the smell of the tuna when my mom made tuna (salad). Strangely, it's not the smell I remember at all. It's the sounds. My mom made her tuna (salad) in a stainless steel mixing bowl. And to this day, when I hear the ssss ssss ssss ssss sounds of a metal fork scraping against the side of a stainless steel mixing bowl, I'm suddenly 8 years old again, sitting on a rattan barstool with a sagging woven seat, my chin propped in my hands, watching my mom make tuna (salad). I remember the chk. chk. chk. of the knife through the celery on the plastic cutting board. The clang clang clang as she tapped her spoon against the side of the stainless steel mixing bowl to make sure no pickle relish stuck to it, that last clang hanging in the air around us.
I never knew there was anything else to do with tuna besides salad it or melt it. I must have been 28 years old before I ever even saw an actual tuna steak. Shoot, I was probably 10 before I even knew tuna was an actual fish!
I also didn't know until just a few days ago that a can of tuna could be anything special. But it can. Oh, my goodness, it certainly can.
My good friend Judy (remember her, over at Judy's Stew?) invited me to split a case of Pisces Tuna with her. (An invitation for which I will be eternally grateful.) Tod Davies talks about Pisces Tuna in Jam Today and gives the contact information for ordering. So I split a case with Judy and got a dozen 7.75 oz. cans of humanely harvested albacore tuna. It's the best canned tuna I've ever tasted. End of story. This is the real deal, you guys
Holding their brochure in one hand, and clutching a can of tuna to my heart with the other, already beginning to absorb from it the energy of the ocean and that brave family that sails it every day, I read excitedly to Weldon: "We do not use nets! Our family fishes albacore with ten hooks, and salmon with sixteen hooks aboard our 50' classic wooden boat. No dolphins are harmed, in fact they play at the bow as we fish. The salmon and albacore are humanely harvested, thorougly bled, field dressed and quickly iced at sea for the highest quality seafood for your table."
This is where Weldon interjected, "And the fish willingly surrender themselves to the fishermen. They jump right into the boat."
Shut up, Weldon.
Anyway. This is good, good tuna. Its ingredients are albacore tuna and sea salt. It's cooked only once, when canned. This helps to retain the Omega-3 fatty acids. Apparently large canneries cook the fish outside the can, then can it and cook it again.
When I opened the can, what I saw inside looked like a delicious tuna steak, and was evern seared slightly in one spot. And it tasted rich and meaty and hearty. As Tod Davies points out, it tastes like it deserves respect, and of course, it does.
To order, you have to call on an actual telephone. There's no website, no email. These people are too busy fishing for that kind of nonsense. In addition to the albacore I bought, they also have smoked albacore, chinook salmon, smoked salmon, and variety gift packs (hint, hint to anyone that may need to know that).
Here's their contact info in the photo to the left. I assume that's Daryl and Sally themsleves in the photo. They look like nice foks, don't they? If you eat tuna, support them and their family business. If not, tell everyone you know that does eat tuna (or salmon) about them. Paleo people, there's no reason that you guys alone shouldn't keep these nice folks in business from now on!
And just in case you can't read the photo to the left, it's Daryl and Sally Bogardus, PO Box 812, Coos Bay, OR, 97420. Phone numbers are 541-266-7336 or 541-821-7117.
Next time, I'll talk about some of the lovely things I've done with this fancy tuna!