I think that tuna is just about the most disgusting food around. The smell alone is enough to make me want to barf. How ironic then, that I should move to the tuna capital of the world!
What I have realised is that although I still have the same passionate distaste for canned tuna, fresh tuna really isn’t that bad. Our kind neighbor brought us a huge slab of tuna a couple of months ago from a fishing trip, and I was so afraid of it that I threw it into the freezer and ignored it.
It’s been sitting there covered with chicken breasts and loaves of bread until this week when I decided to face my fears and cook a tuna dinner. The thing was HUGE, I took a photo with my hand in the photo so you could see how big this fish was. I recruited some of the kids to help me, since I knew they are more hesitant to eat different foods if I make it for them. When they are involved in the preparation, they feel more involved and willing to give it a try!
Since everything tastes better when it’s seasoned and fried in breadcrumbs, that’s what we decided to do, and do you know what? It was a HUGE success. Seven out of the eight of us ate up every bite, and that’s quite a feat in our family!
Here is a slideshow of our cooking experiment, and here are some interesting American Samoa tuna facts below:
* American Samoa’s primary industry is tuna processing by Starkist Samoa.
* There was another tuna cannery here, Samoa Packing (Chicken of the Sea), but it closed in 2009 due to American Samoans being granted minimum wage. 2,041 employees were laid off in the process.
* The cannery employs 5,000 cheap non-union workers from independent Samoa. American Samoans themselves aren’t as interested in cleaning fish for $3.60 an hour.
* American Samoa supplies the United States with $500 million of canned tuna each year.
* The first cannery opened in 1954, and American Samoa today is one of the world’s major tuna processors and the most important commercial fishing port under the US flag (Dutch Harbor, Alaska, is a distant second). Canned fish, canned pet food, and fish meal now account for the bulk of the territory’s industrial output.
* The cannery contributes about $25 million a year to the local economy in wages.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the photo at the top of the post is from when my Mum was visiting last summer. We drove past the tuna factory and I made her get out and stand next to “Charlie the tuna” and do a fish face, even though there were about 40 factory workers watching her do it. Good on ya fossil for always being a good sport!