Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Whole Foods Cranberry Tuna Salad: Mercury Never Tasted So Good

I've had a turbulent relationship with tuna salad. When I was much younger, I enjoyed it as an occasional sandwich topper, but somewhere along the line, I lost my taste for the lunchbox stink bomb. Through most of my childhood and post-childhood years, I snubbed canned fish sandwiches, choosing the more mundane turkey instead.

Then, the summer before my senior year of college, a switch flipped. After over a decade of tuna sandwich avoidance, I suddenly had a ravenous craving for tuna salad. I was standing in line at Potbelly's Sandwich Works in Evanston, Illinois, and all I could think about was how badly I wanted their tuna salad rather than the turkey sub I usually ordered. I apprehensively made my selection, still unsure whether I could stomach the mercurious mayo-based salad, and settled down at a table with my friends. One bite later I was hooked on tuna once again.

It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

After my sublime tuna experience at Potbelly's, my best friend Ashley insisted that I try the cranberry tuna salad from Whole Foods. She knows a thing or three (her favorite number) about food, and because I have trouble saying "no" to her when she really wants me to do something, I complied with her request. I'm not exactly a pushover (except when she's around), but after tasting that cran-tastic tuna salad, all my free will was lost. I was hooked. (And she gloated.)

Four years after my first bite of Whole Foods' cranberry tuna, I still can't go more than a couple weeks without getting my fix. At first glance, it doesn't look like anything particularly special, but there is something intoxicating about the popular deli case item. The combination of the sweet dried cranberries, red onion, restrained use of mayo, sugar, and other secret ingredients is simple, but addicting. If I wasn't worried about limiting my intake of tuna to 8 ounces a week, I'd be cramming it down my throat at a much more frequent pace. Plus, at $9.99/lb, I can fill my Orowheat whole wheat bread slices for around $2.50 (the price for a quarter pound).

While the amount of mayo, cranberries and red onions, appears to fluctuate from day to day, I can always rest assured that it will be present in the deli case should I get a craving. Just like the reruns of Friends that my roommate and I love to watch after work, Whole Foods cranberry tuna salad is always there for me. Lord, help my future husband when I get pregnant. And Lord, help my future fetus when I pump him/her full of mercury.


Hari said...

Would this be the 'crack' tuna salad you happen to lust after ;)

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Fatima said...

I love Whole Foods tuna wraps. I didn't realize they sold the paste as well. It was getting really expensive. I decided to try my hand at home and it turned out pretty well.

I even put the recipe online :) If you try it, let me know if you like it.