Oh, la, another dreary grocery shopping trip at my local A&P. Same place, same items, just like yesterday. But wait! What's that I spy? Something new! Something...environmentally responsible! Cans of line-caught tuna from American Tuna, a brand I haven't seen before. I pick up a can.
I buy the can. At home, I dig a little more and find that American Tuna is actually six fishing families. This just gets better and better.
At $4.99 for six ounces, this better be good. But actually, $5 to feed two kids with possibly the most nutritional protein available isn't bad. Even the mystery nuggets at school cost $1.85 per kid, and here we have 42 grams of pure protein, the body's building block, and more than 10,000 milligrams of and brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids (tuna is a major source). There are no additives here; no broth or water.
And given the preciousness of line-caught fish, $5 is about the right price. As writers like Michael Pollan and Mark Bittman have pointed out, fish just can't be your everyday cheap-o food; thinking that it was is what has depleted fisheries and led to environment killing, toxin-filled fish farms. Grocery sushi! Shrimp poppers for everyone! We eat fish by the pound, but they're not cows, pigs or buffalo (which should probably also be consumed in small-ounce servings.
Now for the taste test. I'm happy to say that this is indeed the best-tasting canned tuna. There's more tuna than water in the package, which is a rarity, and the meat is firmer and more fresh tasting, wholly unlike the usual greyish stuff you pry out of a can. The can itself is a bit of a sticking point, since it's undoubtedly lined with bisphenol A, but at these prices we won't be eating a lot of this stuff. Then again, I doubt I'll go back to my old tuna.
(Another nice item is when I mentioned to the A&P fish manager how much I liked the American Tuna, he told me the entire A&P is truly trying to do the right thing and stock only sustainable fish. Sounds too good to be true, right? But I'll be checking up on them.)
The Verdict: A great catch!
Photo: American Tuna