Choosing Canned Tuna - In Over My Head!

I am hoping to decipher the myriad terms that are slapped on canned tuna!

So, I think I have a good understanding of the sustainability labels from online research. I have also taste tested, and I tend to prefer tuna packed in oil over water, partiuclarly when using the tuna fresh (vs. cooking into a casserole or other dish.) But there, I get overwhelmed at the combinations of fish and canning techniques, including, but certainly not limited to, these:

Chunk Light
Chunk White
Solid White
Solid White Albacore
Solid Light

How do you choose? Is choosing canned tuna purely a matter of individual preference/palate? Would love to know your thoughts!


Canned tuna preference is a matter of personal taste. I only buy tuna packed in olive oil as I prefer the flavor and consistency to water packed and vegetable oil packed.

My favorite brand is Al Manar. To my taste, the flavor and consistency are the best I’ve tasted and the price is reasonable.

FYI, I wrote the company to say that I would stop buying it due to the notation on that the tuna is bluefin tuna which is endangered. The company representative told me that this is incorrect; they said that the tuna is bonito and kalakt.



I don’t choose white over albacore over yellowfin.

I buy Rio Mare, Unico, Callipo or Raincoast tuna in oil. Occasionally I’ll buy smaller production tuna when I see it.


Olive oil packed Callipo is the family favourite. It’s tuna chunks as opposed to flakes like Rio Mare. The flavour and texture are far superior to any water or vegetable oil packed.


Yellowfin tuna 100% for me. Most of the recommended tuna mentioned here so far is yellowfin. It’s just more succulent than something like albacore. I go for packed in olive oil. Thankfully you don’t have to pay too much for good quality. Cento and Genova both sell pretty tasty yellowfin in olive oil.
I will say If I’m going to use the tuna for something like onigiri and kimbap or American tuna sandwiches, I don’t see the need to use the tuna I enjoy as is. Even albacore is tasty once dressed with mayonnaise.


So many good options out there!

For my purposes, albacore is A-OK. I purchase tins from one of the local Seattle boats (they will ship). Their smoked albacore in oil, when available, is delicious!


Here is Alison Roman’s musings on canned tuna.

For the record, I disagree with her views on mayonnaise. I like it in many dishes and once I tasted Kewpie I haven’t bought another brand.


Ventresca, in olive oil, in jars is my indulgence, but not for “American style ordinary tuna salad”, with mayo. Everything is better with mayo!

I stock up on this one when it’s on sale

How do you plan to use it?

Serious Eats on tuna salad. I make with water packed canned for the husband. Genova, Ortiz, for flavor/texture if it’s reasonable, Wild Planet for sustainability, if available.

These are probably behind a paywall, and maybe not worth it, but I’ve read them.

BTW, I’m a fan of Dukes, but also Kewpie, but love Hellmans/Best Foods mayo too.


I’ve never tasted Dukes as I’ve never seen it sold where I live, Los Angeles, CA.

By the way, in the west Hellman’s is sold as Best Foods.

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Yes! I’m from New York but live in Nor Cal. I’m fine with Best Foods until tomato
season when I have Dukes shipped from the factory by the case!

I have family in the south and had to check it out. South as in Southern U.S., not Southern California. I lived in So Cal for a few years, but it still tickles me when folks here refer to it as the “south”.


Against zombie apocalypse I presume

Why do you need to stock Dukes?

Hmmm… maybe. I get three or four bottles, at least in the before times. How long is a regular apocalypse ? I might have to look that up.

I stock up on Dukes mostly because I can’t get it locally, and a box from Sauer was way cheaper than getting some from Amazon, at least at the time.

You may have heard this before, but once someone stole my shipment, leaving an empty box with the carrier, and the Dukes folks replaced it. Not sure if it was zombies though.


No, I must have missed that part. I am sorry that the package was stolen/misplaced. I am glad the Duke’s folks replace it for you. That is very nice of them.

Look Avacado mayo is calling you


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Oh, man. Just what I needed.

Not with avocado oil but I might try to make an avocado mayonnaise. I have an avocado floating in water that’s supposed to last forever, and a lot of Dukes. No tomatoes for awhile, but there’s bacon!

Happy to see what I can come up with!

Wait…what was this thread about?
@wkeber , welcome and sorry

Pretty sure it is about tuna + mayo


Thank you to everyone for the suggestions! I plan to explore all these ideas. Now that it’s clear that the type and canning of tuna fish is entirely a matter of taste / preference, then, well, I suppose I shall have to try them all and define my own preferences.

Almost always for a chilled salad. I have experimented with casseroles, but despite even following the most evidently evolved of recipes, I can’t help but be drawn back to memories of an austere childhood when mixing tuna, mayonnaise and cream of mushroom.

Funnily enough, this exact newsletter (and Home Movies episode!) is what set me off on this quest. I had never before considered any variations on tuna salad (or the tuna itself). I also disagree with her views on mayonnaise, however I have come to realize - in only the past week or two - that I have relied too heavily on the mayonnaise as dressing to flavor the salad. I’m learning of the many other ways to dress tuna, which bring out the flavor of the fish (rather than mask it.) So naturally, I’m now looking for the most excellent tuna options!

I hadn’t heard of Duke’s! I did, however, see @maccrogenoff’s original comment on Alison Roman’s a newsletter regarding Kewpie and immediately purchased some from Amazon. I will now also compare to Duke’s. Because - as with tuna - why not try more options than fewer?

I will also say that I have tried the Primal Kitchen Avocado Mayo that @Chemicalkinetics suggested. It has a bit of a forward flavor, so I might not use with tuna or egg salad again. I do find it quite enjoyable as a spread for a sandwich, particularly when accompanying spicy meat (a peppery corned beef or chipotle flank steak!)

Thanks again for all the wonderful ideas. This is my first post to this forum, and after a rather lukewarm reception to such an inquiry about tuna on other message boards, I will admit I didn’t have high hopes for a lively dialogue. Turns out we have covered many topics, including the merits of trying a variety of tuna, to the importance of mayonnaise, and even varying philosophies regarding stockpiling for zombie vs regular apocalypses!


I have noticed Sir Kensington’s Mayo at my indie market. Has anyone tried it?

I maybe will try it next. I currently have Hellman’s on hand. For people reading this who live in Ontario, Canada, the Farm Boy Mayo isn’t very good. It’s the only Farm Boy house label product that I’ve disliked.


Our favorite is AS do MAR, a yellowfin tuna from Portugal, canned in olive oil. Ortiz albacore (also in olive oil) is very good as well.