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Tuna Packed in Oil

How I Learned to Love Tuna

Growing up, I never went through a picky stage, and today there is nothing that I wouldn't taste — except for one fishy thing. As a small child, my mother claims I gorged on tuna fish with no hesitation, but for some inexplicable reason, things took a very different turn. It's been a family mystery ever since.

I recently moved in with a new roommate and felt confident that, when it came to all things kitchen, I had covered all the bases with her: sharing food is a necessity for me (labeling containers just seems so sad and weird), if there are dishes in the sink, just do them (it all evens out eventually), and depending on the week, I call for Indian takeout an embarrassing amount of times.

Then it happened. I walked into the apartment postwork one rainy night and saw my roommate cooking up tuna and tomato soup in the kitchen. That was when I realized I'd left an important detail out of the equation.


Keep reading to see how I faced up to my fear of tuna.

My roommate and her boyfriend sat down to eat a comforting spread, and I joined them at the table, desperately trying to keep my cool. I realized their tuna didn't look bad at all; in fact, it looked strangely delicious. Then the unthinkable happened. I asked to take a tiny taste, surprising myself as the words came out, and not letting on that this was any sort of a momentous occasion.

Guess what? The tuna was absolutely delicious. There was something different about it, and I was instantly hooked.

Here's the kicker: this tuna was packed in oil. This chicken of the sea had none of the same scent that was wrapped up in the ritual of my nostalgic loathing. They prepared it with only a little bit of mayonnaise and lots of fresh produce — celery, onion, apples — chopped up and mixed in. I found that the textures of the fish plus the crunch of the veggies did wonders to my taste buds. I may not be a total tuna convert, but I surprised myself when I tried tuna packed in oil. Whether you love it or loathe it, have you tried this type of tuna? Do you love it as much as I do?

Flickr User: Kristen Bonardi Rapp

Homemade-Chef Homemade-Chef 4 years
if you see my video, usually i tend to add white wine vinegar but it tasted equally as good :) hmm
Homemade-Chef Homemade-Chef 4 years
hey, this jsyt reminds me of the tuna stew i cooked and ate a few weeks ago..if you are a tuna addict like myself visit this my youtube page and see the wonderful dish that i made
Nancy-Einhart Nancy-Einhart 5 years
What a cute story! I agree that olive oil-packed tuna is way better. Especially the Italian brands.
fuzzles fuzzles 5 years
I adore tuna!  As a Midwestern kid, tuna noodle "hot dish" (with cream of mushroom soup and peas, among other things) made its way to the table at least once every few weeks.  A tuna cheddar melt (mixed with a bit of mayo, chopped celery, red and green onions, dill pickle and hard-boiled egg...fresh tomato slices under the melt-y cheese) will forever be one of my primary comfort foods.  As and adult, the components have become more sophisticated (whole grain bread and pasta instead of the white stuff, Roma tomatoes, imported olives), but the foundations are remarkably, and satisfyingly, familiar.  
Jo2706166 Jo2706166 5 years
I have the same aversion to tuna. My experience stems from watching a classmate in the first grade named Jessica eat a tuna fish sandwich everyday at lunch.  I mean EVERY day.  She was a messy eater at that, and as we grew older [I was in school with her until the fifth grade], her procurement of braces only made the ordeal even worse.  Needless to say, I can't even smell tuna without having a flashback to those horrible memories of elementary school tuna fish sandwiches.  I'll have to try your tuna packed in oil route and see if that cures me!
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