Yesterday I Ate a Tuno Sandwich

Given that the supermarkets unceremoniously (and without warning) dumped yours truly last year, and given that they are undoubtedly working up to doing the same this Autumn, the Cardinal has one or two apocalypse supplies set aside below decks. Part of these are ‘hmm, that looks as though it might provide a house(boat)-arrest giggle’ in nature, nutritional boredom being one of life’s great passion-killers. Tinned Tuno is one such item.

This is not it, but while searching for an image of Kit-e-Kat with which to illustrate the way the Tuno presented itself, I couldn’t resist – who could? – a can of The Watery Wellness Trust Ltd’s new range of ‘Wellness Tuna Dinner Gravies Bits in Ample Gravy’.

I don’t know what an ‘Ample’ is in this context, but apparently you can make gravy out of them, whatever they may be, just like turkey gizzards and beef juices and onions and things. Nor do I know why they only use the Tuna’s “bits” – cheaper, perhaps, since no-one wants to tuck in to a dead tuna’s donger, if truth be told.

The colour of the Wellness tin is also appropriate, being a similar shade of blurgh-blue, and thus foreign to the English eye in terms of nutrition (we Ing-er-lish just don’t do blue food).

Nope, this is the stuff.

Plant-based Protein – num num num. I do mightily commend the Thai manufacturers for the hyphen. Plant-based protein and correct grammar, who could ask for anything more?

I do worry though what Tuno with UnNatural Sea Salt Added may be like.

Is there much call in culinary circles for unnatural sea-salt? Is it the sea or the salt that is unnatural, or both? Just how unnatural are we talking about?

Anyway. Onwards and upwards.

So what was it like? Well, not bad, considering. I made a sandwich – fresh, soft white bread, chopped onion and then a slathering of this Kit-e-Kat lookalike. The tin even has a convenient ring-pull, and the underside (as well as the topside) has been printed with a “fish skellington” (sic? I nearly was!) and the legend ‘No bones about it!’ just so that you know you’re not going to choke Fluffy or Tiddles. Um, yourself, choke yourself. Not Kit-e-Kat at all, this is human food.

The look and texture was quite convincing, as far as I can remember (and I am having to fling my mind back some forty years and more to when, Gollum-style, I ran naked and ate things such as real dead tuna fish). The flavour I don’t know about; it tasted quite inoffensive really, with just a trace of a hint of something from the sea that’s on the warm-afternoon dead side of cool morning-fresh. Is that tuna? Don’t know, don’t care. It made a reasonable enough sandwich, something sufficiently out-of-the-wotsit to give myself a talking point when locked away alone in my bunker, on my little perch, desperate for something to talk to myself about and fed up with the phrase ‘Pretty Polly’.

The chopped onion helped.

Ship’s Stores boast a variation on the Tuno theme too; Tuno with Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce-Flavour-Ample-Gravy.

My god, but I’m adventurous!

I was thinking about a boaty adventure today, but I didn’t have one when it came down to it.

Having been moored on some of the Watery Wellness Trust Ltd.’s restricted forty-eight hour moorings – for some forty-five hours – I removed myself this morning to the towpath, via the usual Services. The intention was to go much farther, but as mornings go it was too bloo*dy miserable, and the breeze at sparrow-fa*rt was a tad high on the single-hander discouragement scale. It still is.

Her Majesty’s Meteorological Office promises fewer breeze-ergs in the breezes tomorrow, whereupon I may well reinstate the ‘boaty adventure’ on the day’s schedule.

It also, mind you, foretells of temperature ergs in the eighties of the Fahrengezundheitings… such temperatures as have a pale and wan Hutson scurrying under rocks, teary-eyed and terrified of the Sun. I make no reference at all to the Scots when I cry ‘It burns! It burns!’

It’s nuclear, you know; fusion, not just yer regular common or garden fission, and it’s only eight light-minutes away. If that’s not terrifying then I don’t know what is.

Question for you: why is it that we reel back in horror looking down from the top of an office block, and yet we give not a thought to the infinity of emptiness over our heads, with the only thing preventing us from falling up into it being Gravity, the weakest (by far) of the (so far known-) Four Fundamental Forces of Father Nature.

Were the planet Earth to spin just a little faster than it does thus making centripetal force hereabouts more of a thing, why – the Cardinal and I might fall up and into The Sun, thus mightily pleasing the Canal Rozzers of the The Watery Wellness Trust Ltd.

Would ninety-three million screaming, bulging-eyed, damp-trousered miles constitute a “bona fide” cruise? Are there mooring rings on the surface of the Sun? Armco?

nb Cardinal Wolsey 508533 realises the gravity of the matter

Probably not.

Besides, I’d have to come back for water and to empty the Elsan.

Oh boy, would I have to empty the Elsan.

Now, luncheon. Hmm. I think I have a packet of freeze-dried textured-soya Marmoset nipples in Melon & Marmite Sauce somewhere in stores…

Another question for you: why is it that these companies making veggy and vegan food insist on making them look and (I assume) taste like bits of dead animal? Why can’t these products just be – oh I don’t know – ‘plant-based protein‘? Something new. I had a fake-beef pie the other week that – to me at least – was so damnably convincing that it was unpleasant.

Ho hum.

Chin-chin, chaps.

Ian H., still, another day of watching (other people’s!) boats go by.

Most splendid. Most splendid indeed.

12 Comments

  1. As an omnivore I too have always found it curious that Vegan friends will tell me that something tastes just like “real” chicken nuggets or sausages. I would think this would be the last thing they’d want to be reminded of – and if they want me to give up meat = why serve me something that looks like meat? Very curious.

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    1. The manufacturers (and it sound so wrong just using that word in connection with food!) are only one small step away from adding gristle and bone and veins and sinew into the vegetarian concoctions! So much of what the produce is uniformly brown and suspect-looking.

      I wonder when the first of these companies will be brave enough to produce ‘Human Chunks’ – tastes just like human liver/whatever? πŸ˜‰

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  2. I could not agree more about the meat imitation. Just use the amazing ingredients available and make something good to eat. Is it really more work than reconstituting peas and beans into a meat like product?

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    1. The “logic” seems to be that we poor vegetablearyans and veganusians somehow “lack” meat and must therefore be provided with close analogues for our mental well-being…

      What, as you say, would be wrong with just bunging in great ingredients and allowing the flavour to be whatever it comes out as? Tiscrazy.

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  3. If you don’t eat meat then why would you want your veggie/vegan supplies to taste like it?
    Emptying the Elsan into the sun…that would give it a shock…not used to people being able to get at it instead of complaining about it.

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    1. My money’s on the manufacturers being scared – or rather, their accountants being scared – by the notion of coming up with an incidental or novel flavour, something just “savoury” instead of “bull” or “pig”. They daren’t take the risk. That pie the other week was horridly convincing!

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  4. I was served something called “nut cutlets” as a Christmas dinner once.Personally, I thought it looked like Mam’s Meatloaf, the one from a Saturday paper recipe page. The taste was mainly of Worcester sauce.Good thing the Macon was drinkable

    And why do “they” insist on putting the totally meat-free mixture into skins, like a link of sausages?

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    1. It is odd thinking, isn’t it? There’s a small company makes the most excellent vegan “sausages” – except that they put them in, as you say, a plastic skin that’s nothing more than a damne nuisance. Nut cutlets are an abomination, the work of Ms The-Devil.

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  5. The manufacturers of Quorn are launching a new meat substitute product which they claim is indistinguishable from rump steak. ‘I can’t believe it’s not buttocks’ will be in the supermarkets next week. For the record, they never taste like what they’re meant to taste like (IMO). I’m very partial to veg that tastes like veg

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  6. You make the point I often make – why do vegan/veggie producers make food taste like meat or their meat equivalent? I don’t want anything that tastes like beef (or pork or lamb or human) and why is it that the vegan dishes I see waft through my news feed are all so grey, colourless and look unappretising? Do Vegans not eat vegetables? There’s the odd over-cooked grey bit of broccoli (I think) too much Tofu, cashew nuts and stuff! (I have no idea what) Vegetables taste wonderful why would you want to smash them up and make them taste like the things you don’t, won’t or want to eat? The latest ad – Vegan butcher!!! (breathe!)

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    1. It is weird, isn’t it? I love nowt more (almost) than a plate of steamed fresh veggies, long gone are the days of Phyllis Nan Sortain Pechey (Fanny Cradock) when everything had to be boiled for days and days.

      In the early days of vegetarianablism and later vegannessnous restaurants in particular used to be utterly appalling – how incinerated would Sir like his stuffed aubergine?

      The worst meal I had in that sense was in far-flung Europe (I shan’t name and shame Prague, because it was always great, aside from the food)… I hadn’t planned on eating at all but “they” found out that I was veggie, and the kitchen promptly presented me with a tin of diced veg (remember those), still swimming in the water that came in the can… and topped with grated cheese.

      I often wonder how long it was before someone found it all, scraped from my plate and into the plant-pot next to the table.

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