For a long time, I lived about 500 feet from a very decent Thai restaurant that was open at wildly illogical hours. Basically when everything else closed, on went their little neon window sign as though they somehow sensed they were my only option. This place always asked how spicy I wanted every single dish. So because I’m an idiot and was frequently hungover, I’d ask for whatever I ordered progressively spicer over time until one day, because again - I’m an idiot - I just said, "Make it as spicy as you can make it." To this day it was still probably the spiciest thing I’ve ever put near my face. Punishment for my hubris was swift and long-lasting. I have utterly no idea what kind of wizards they had in the kitchen. I’m amazed it didn’t melt right through my tooth enamel. Aren’t these stories great? You get to know more about how mundane my life is (joy!) and you get to add to the list of things you don’t want in your mouth (squee!) Well, it’s 9:13 AM and that’s tuna time.
My stomach needs a break, but that’s just tough shit because a new dawn brings a new tuna packet. Uniquely, today is the only flavor packet that isn’t just a variation of spiced or sauced tuna, it’s a tuna, rice, and beans meal in a pouch. A quick glance at the ingredients tells me that we have cooked “grain blend” (ooh.. tasty!) and cooked “bean blend” ("Why’d you blend the beans?!") What a horrid idea this is on so many levels. As I’m sure you know both rice and beans are both somewhat neutral and prone to absorbing flavors, so someone in some oceanic boardroom (I assume all StarKist operations are entirely oceanic) had to make the conscious decision to stick them in with processed fishy meat and let ‘em soak for awhile. Really fishify that rice. Mmm mmm. My mouth is positively soaked with anticipation.
Day 5 on this cursed journey. Tapatio Flavor day. I have a long history with Tapatio. It’s one of four sauces always in my fridge. I don’t know why I refrigerate it. I just do. I’ve lived all over the country but when I first moved to Portland, many Portlands ago when the streets were paved with cheap weed and the mighty Willamette ran pure with Pabst Blue Ribbon, I arrived here with my young mouth eager for new flavors and this was the hot sauce on the lips and minds of all Portlanders. Sriracha had not yet gotten a garlicky stranglehold among the mustache-twirling, kombucha drinking legions. For me, for now, Tapatio is great on almost anything. Almost being the operative word. I’ve never had it on packaged, processed fish.
When I started down this path, it was as I do most things. With wild abandon and glee. Anyone who knows me knows how gleeful I am. I figured I’d suffer from Ranch. I just know the prepackaged tuna salad is going to be like licking the devil's fragrant armpit, but I didn’t know how creative the team at StarKist was. I genuinely did not expect to stumble on “Spicy Korean Style” tuna in a pouch.
After two consecutive days of vaguely tuna-flavored disappointment, today is special. You see a few of these flavors people have actually recommended. So, not just my tastebuds but also those people's reputations are on the line. That’s a good thing because sampling tuna is a lonely life. Today is lemon pepper day.
Continuing right along after the shock from the Ranch tasting yesterday, I have medium-high hopes for “Herbs and Garlic” since I enjoy both herbs and garlic, but whenever a company uses a term as nebulous as “herbs” it makes me feel a bit uncomfortable. Garlic is reasonably safe, but did you know there are more than 2,000 herbs? So which do you think they mean? A wise kitchen scientist might opt for dill or parsley, maybe even basil if they are feeling a little frisky, all flavors that could work with tuna-in-a-pouch.
Full disclosure, I’m not a “ranch person” - in the vast world of salad dressings it’s near my bottom. French is worse because that’s basically just salad ketchup, but ranch is just mayo with weird shit in it. Yea, it’s ok on fries, but let’s not get crazy. Ranch knows its place, it lives in a hidden valley for a reason people.
I’ve decided to track down every flavor of those weird Tuna Creations pouches. I’m going to find every single stupid fucking flavor, eat it, and post my capsule review. Why? Because it’s inane and pointless. You’re the one on my page (for now anyway) so buckle up, sit back and enjoy Ol’ Clint’s Tuna Pouch Opinions!