The Tuna of My Youth

As a child, I had no idea that tuna could be white and packed in water. I grew up eating yellow fin tuna that was packed in olive oil. See the can below.

I first discovered The Other Kind of tuna when I ordered a sandwich at a cafeteria at the University of Connecticut. Mayo, not oil, oozed from this sandwich. The tuna looked as if it had been run through a blender; tiny white particles smashed together, instead of dark robust chunks. Moreover, the flavor of this white tuna paled in comparison to the zippity doo dah power punch that the tuna of my youth delivered. I felt depressed and homesick.

Several weeks ago, as I wandered aimlessly through the aisles of COSTCO, I spotted six-can packs of THE TUNA OF MY YOUTH—exactly the Genoa brand! I felt a shiver of delight. I bought six cans then drove home and prepared the meal below.



Tuna (at least two cans)

Salt and Pepper

Olive Oil

Balsamic Vinegar/Red Wine Vinegar

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

Carrots (3 or 4)

Celery (3 or 4 with leaves)

Red Onion

Kalamata Olives

Small Potatoes (quartered or halved)

Cannelini Beans (2 cans) (Northern beans okay or anything else you’d like that doesn’t need to be cooked.)


As our tax accountant can attest, I am not so good with numbers, so I am not going to bother telling you quantities. Use your judgment. You’ll be fine.

First, get a pot of salted water boiling, big enough to contain those potatoes and just enough water to cover them. Boil them until they are tender enough to poke with a fork. Do not overcook. Err on the firmer side. Drain them and let them cool.

Open and drain two cans of tuna. Empty them into a nice, big pretty bowl. Chop up parsley, celery and carrots. Throw in. Drain beans and toss in. Cut pitted kalamata olives in half and throw in. Add a few highly visible chunks of red onion (just for flavor). Add salt and pepper to taste. When potatoes have cooled, cut into bite-sized pieces and gently mix in. Right before you are ready to eat, add olive oil and some combination of balsamic and red wine vinegar to taste.


That’s it, Schmidt. Bon appetit!






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