StarKist Tuna Creations Sweet and Spicy

Sweet and spicy, huh?

Frankly, “Sweet and Spicy” sets itself kind of a low bar don’t you think? It just has to be both sweet and spicy. Although that ignores the elephant in the room. Neither of those things is a flavor. Sweet is a taste, not a flavor. Spicy comes from a molecule that binds to tongue receptors. StarKist has decided to vacillate between hyper-specific naming and needlessly cryptic at will. What flavor is this? Mystery Flavor.

This tuna packet apparently contains no flavors. It contains sensations. Next time someone asks me what kind of music I make I’ll simply say, “The audible kind.” However, people have specifically recommended this ahem… “flavor” so this is my destiny I guess, because that’s how destiny works. I just basically do whatever anyone on the Internet says I should do.

StarKist Tuna Creations Sweet and Spicy:

Texture: All of these packets fall hard on one side or the other. In one corner we have the pastes, the cremes, the gels. In the other, we have something that almost resembles tuna. This one leans into a flaky, mostly chunky tuna texture and has zero jalapeños from yesterday, so I welcome this with open arms. No complaints so far.

Smell: I really shouldn’t have to look at the ingredient label to know what I’m smelling, but that’s what happens when you just go wild with your naming conventions. The ingredients label has a lot of words, but what I notice is that the third ingredient is sugar. Tuna, water, sugar. I’m smelling… sweet, candied ketchup. Cats are tracing lazy loops around my legs like sharks circling prey.

See them circle.

Taste: It’s unnerving. I do a little envelope math, 4g of sugar in this packet, 74g total contents. That means that 5.4% of the contents is sugar, which may not seem like much… but this isn’t Captain Crunch, this is fish. My brain is just not wired for sweet fish. I haven’t evolved to that level of profundity yet. I’m not getting spicy at all, just fishy and sweet, both overwhelming and jarringly disconnected. When the sweetness subsides I’m left with canned tomato and tuna flavors, both lingeringly metallic; old ketchup, long forgotten under the booth at McDonald’s. If that sounds unpleasant to you, congratulations, we are officially on the same page.

Have some on your tuna!

Cats lack a receptor for sweet, which explains why they likely think I’m just having this exceptionally raunchy tuna all to myself. They raise their voices to rather fevered pitches, and I opt to give them plain canned salmon rather than risk losing my foot to a lusty cat. The fragile peace is restored to my kitchen.

Verdict: 3 🐟. Texture is the only reason this isn’t 2 🐟. There are far better flavors in the bunch, this one would be hard to even add to anything without making it awkwardly sweet.

Tomorrow; oh, tomorrow. I just can’t wait. How about Honey Barbecue? Why the hell not. Let’s do a tour of sweet fish meat.

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