|Main ingredients||Tuna, mayonnaise|
Tuna salad is typically a blend of two main ingredients: tuna and mayonnaise. The tuna used is usually pre-cooked, canned, and packaged in water or oil. Pickles, celery, relish, and onion are ingredients that are often added. When the spread is placed on bread, it makes a tuna salad sandwich. Tuna salad is also regularly served on top of lettuce, tomato, avocado, or crackers, or by itself.
Quick homemade tuna salad is often made by omitting the eggs and only adding relish to the tuna and mayonnaise or egg mayonnaise-substitute. Eggs are omitted because they must be cooked whereas the other ingredients are purchased ready to eat. Relish adds a piquant flavor but, unlike commonly added vegetables, requires no chopping.
In Belgium, the dish pêches au thon/perziken met tonijn (peaches with tuna) is made from halved canned or fresh peaches stuffed with tuna salad. It is widespread throughout the country, and due to its ease of preparation, it is common fare at potlucks.
Sometimes, as a healthier alternative to mayonnaise, mashed avocado and a squeeze of lemon juice are used in the preparation of tuna salad.
Tuna salad has been eaten for over 100 years. The first written reference to tuna salad, in America, appeared in 1907, and by 1914 dozens of recipes had been published. Tuna salad, especially with celery, is similar to chicken salad while also being much cheaper, a fact that helped its early rise in popularity.
Due to tuna salad being high in vitamins, it gained the status of a dieter's dish in the 1960s.
- Andrew F. Smith (2012). American Tuna: The Rise and Fall of an Improbable Food. Volume 37 of California Studies in Food and Culture. Berkeley, Cal.: University of California Press. pp. 76–78. ISBN 9780520261846. OCLC 840601734.
- Eric Boschman; Nathalie Derny (2008). Le goût des Belges, Volume 2 (in French). Brussels: Lannoo Uitgeverij. p. 9. ISBN 9782873865252.