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General Discussion

Canned Thai Chili Tuna - who knew?

BobB | Mar 23, 200910:01 AM     13

I saw a new (new to me, anyway) product in the supermarket recently and had to try it: Pastene brand canned tuna with hot chili pepper in oil. It was pretty good - the tuna itself was light and in smaller flakes than typical "chunk light" style, but that meant there was also less oil in the can than normal.

The first thing you see when you open the can is a whole small hot red pepper on the top. There was just the one whole one, plus crushed red pepper mixed throughout. It had a nice mild heat level, though I must qualify that by saying I'm a serious chilihead, someone with a more unpracticed palate might find it quite hot.

For the first try I decided to just eat it plain, accompanied by a crisp apple for lunch. It was tasty, though it seemed to me that the underlying tuna flavor was not as pronounced as the regular Pastene brand tuna in oil, but that may also be a factor of having less salt (190 mg per "serving" vs 250 for the standard Pastene) and less oil. Substituting hot chili flavor for some of the salt flavor is not a bad thing.

It seems that they're buying this product from a whole different place and re-branding it - not only does regular Pastene tuna not specify a country of origin, where this is clearly marked "Made in Thailand," it also has a pop-top lid while their regular tuna needs a can opener.

I was not blown away, but on the whole it's good enough that I'll keep a can or two in the cupboard for variety. Next time I'll try it in tuna salad.

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