What's Fabulous: Tonnino Tuna
Tonnino Tuna is a superb line of olive oil or spring water-packed tuna that sets a high standard for what's possible when it comes to tinned or jarred tuna fish. You can also see what you're getting because the yellowfin tuna fillets are packed in glass jars and thus clearly visible. The product is produced by Sardimar, SA of Costa Rica, a Central American fish canning company.
There are eight tuna fillet varieties, all but one of which is packed in olive oil:
- In spring water
- In olive oil
- Lemon and pepper in olive oil
- With oregano in olive oil
- With jalapeno in olive oil
- With garlic in olive oil
- With capers and garlic in olive oil
- Ventresca in olive oil
My favorite is the ventresca, Tonnino's premium product, with thick, pink chunks of yellowfin tuna belly. All of the varieties are mildly salted and flavorful without being too fishy, the criticism most people have of canned tuna.
I will often drain the jar of its olive oil into a dish below so that I can use the oil in the dish I'm making, as with my recipe for tuna and cannellini beans (see our link). Otherwise I just tip the open jar into a fine sieve and take care to not break the large pieces of tuna so to enjoy the luxury of its tender but meaty texture.
Tonnino Tuna is available at many grocers, from small specialty markets to the big chains, including Whole Foods, Zabar's, Fairway, and Walmart, and also online, including at Amazon and at Tonnino's own website. But shop around for the best price. A 6.7 oz. jar of Tonnino can range from $6.00 to $10. That's usually more than a can of American Tuna which is one of the better canned tunas, but less than the luxury brand Ortiz (and Tonnino's Ventresca is, in my opinion, just as good).
Tonnino is also often on sale so if you see a big sale, stock up.