Did you know that most Americans did not eat tuna until the 20th century? On this week's episode of A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio sits down with Andrew F. Smith, a food historian and author of the recent book, American Tuna: The Rise and Fall of an Improbable Food. Learn about how Mediterranean immigrant populations popularized the fish in the United States, and how the Japanese made it a staple of culinary culture. Hear about how American preferences in terms of tuna preparation have changed over the decades, from canned to raw. With all of the media attention concerning methylmercury, is tuna still safe to eat? Tune in to learn more about the different varieties of tuna, population levels, and the role of sport fisherman in the tuna industry. This episode has been brought to you by Hearst Ranch.
"Once you remove the oil from it, it's actually a very mild-tasting fish. You can use it as a substitute in pretty much all of your chicken recipes."
"80% of the Bluefin tuna stock that was around in the 1970s is now gone. The thought used to be if we restricted catching, then we would give the population an opportunity to recover... There's no evidence that supports that."
-- Andrew F. Smith on A Taste of the Past