Monday, April 19, 2010

What I'm Excited to Eat This Week

Photo courtesy Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

It's not tuna fish...

I'm surly about tuna right now. It's something of a staple in our home. It's something of a staple when we travel. When we were abroad last summer I took along one of those jazzy neoprene lunch totes so we could picnic. I love picnicking, especially when travelling. For one, eating out gets tiresome. Two, checking out local food markets is fun tourism. Three, sitting in a park in the shade or sun - and the inevitable short siesta that follows - is awesome.

We enjoyed several memorable picnics last summer. Gyros in Hyde Park, boulangerie baguettes at Place de Vosges, proscuitto cotto, olives and ciabatta in Corniglia. Almost every other lunch featured small cans of solid tuna packed in olive oil. It was something of a revelation, and very easy picnic food. Simply drain the oil and eat. The oil softened the tuna much the way mayo would were we preparing it at home. Trouble is, I got hooked on it and had not been able to source a comparable product stateside.

Sure, there's a $6 can at Whole Foods, but that's not what I'm looking for. Our summer tuna was a pretty generic item. Coop, the Italian super-coop grocery store, carries it under their own label.

I've got tuna on the brain because last week I was preparing for a dinner party and made stops at all my favorite grocers, checking the canned isle just one more time. Nothing. The only thing that came close was at Treasure Island, but we already tried it and it wasn't the same.

Thanks to an email alert from the NY Times, I've got something to be excited about this week. It's pickles. The kind only I - in my house - love. They're more like cucumber than pickle, with no dill and a short marinating time. I can't be sure they'll be as good as the ones at Wild Ginger in Seattle, but they do look promising, don't they?

Wanna try them too? Check out the recipe for Quick Sweet and Sour Cucumber Pickles here.

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