I Never Knew Canned Tuna Could Taste So Good — Until I Found This Chef-Owned Brand

published Oct 4, 2023
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

I was not a fan of canned tuna when I was growing up. The texture, the smell of the mayo-infused tuna my mom made — sorry, Mom! I was also a vegetarian for a period of time when I was younger, so it wasn’t until adulthood that I decided to give tuna a second chance. Recently, I’ve seen more sustainably caught tinned fish brands in the grocery aisles (and my Instagram feed) — and in gourmet flavors to boot — which definitely piqued my interest. And as a private chef, I really needed to see (err, taste) what all the hype was about.

These two factors collided in an unexpected, yet totally delicious way when I was visiting a specialty grocer in Austin, Texas in the spring. A canned fish brand called Scout caught my eye (the cool packaging certainly helped), so I decided it was time to dive into canned tuna once and for all. It also helped that I’d seen some of my favorite chefs like Colu Henry and Pierce Abernathy use the brand in their recipes. If the pros approved, I probably would too, right?

After I bought a tin, I went back to my Airbnb and started my tuna journey with relish. I whipped up a fontina tuna melt with Scout’s wild white albacore on fresh rye sourdough, and immediately, I realized what my tastebuds were missing all my life. Scout’s sustainably caught tuna fish was fresh and got a big flavor boost from olive oil. I eventually tried the other flavors, like the version with garden pesto, which definitely gave a standard can of tuna a run for its money.

Fast forward seven months and I still keep my pantry stocked with Scout. I’ll use the Ontario trout packed with dill to top off ay grain bowl one day, and the next, I’ll go for the plain albacore tuna to bulk up a simple Greek salad. I also like to make protein-packed arugula salads with Scout’s fish or mix it with diced celery and onion to spoon over toast. I’ve even tried tuna and white bean salad with pesto vinaigrette using the garden pesto tin — talk about an easy meal!

Scout Canning was co-founded by chef Charlotte Langley, who has been cooking seafood for more than 15 years. Her expertise certainly shines through in the brand’s next-level tuna varieties, smokey paprika mussels, and Canadian lobster, which have all become reliable go-tos for my weekday lunches.

If you’re ready to jump on the tinned fish bandwagon, Scout is available at Thrive Market, Hive Brands, and Food52. A fair warning though: you’ll start running through these quickly, so be sure to stock up!

Buy: Scout Canning Wild White Albacore Tuna, $5.95 (normally $7.99)

This article originally published on The Kitchn. See it there: I Never Thought Canned Tuna Could Taste So Good — Until I Found This Chef-Owned Brand