Finding tuna that you don’t need to drown in mayonnaise

Pricewatch: From the ‘weirdly spongy’ to the ‘wonderfully firm and meaty’

Ortiz €3.19 for 112g €28.48 per kg

This is a very highly regarded product from Spain, a country that knows a whole lot about tuna so it has to be treated with some respect. It is much more widely available now that was maybe 10 years ago and that is to be welcomed. It has a very pleasing saltiness to it and it was not excessively greasy. The texture of the fish was nice and meaty. While it is not as good as some of the jarred options out there to our mind it is the best tinned option out there.

Verdict: Very good quality

Star rating: * * * *

Rio Mare €5.95 for 320g €18.59 per kg

We have tried this tuna fish before and thought it was excellent which is, perhaps, why our experience on this occasion was that bit more disappointing. It comes in a twin-pack and in a multi-pack of little tins which are handy enough if you are looking for a very small amount for sandwich. It is also a very good price. When this is slathered in mayonnaise it is probably grand but we ate it alone and we judged it more harshly for that. We were most disappointed, both by the texture and by the taste and we found it to be far too greasy and excessively salty and the tuna lacked the meatiness that we expected.


Verdict: Nice price but disappointing taste

Star rating: * * *

John West €2.45 for 110g €22.27 per kg

This is a mass market product and almost certainly the most well known tuna brand on the market. That is why we expected more from it. It is cheaper than many other options on the market - although by no means the cheapest that can be found. It fared poorly in the taste test. It had a weirdly spongy texture and was far too salty. It was barely identifiable as fish - never mind tuna - and really paled in comparison to some of the high end - and admittedly more expensive - options available to Irish consumers.

Verdict: Poor

Star rating: * *

Shines Wild Irish Tuna €7.49 for 212g €35.33 per kg

This product is new - to us. We were delighted to find it. First let’s deal with the elephant in the room: the price. It is pretty dear but - to us - it is a price well worth paying for both supporting and Irish product and - more importantly - getting a product that is really high quality. The tuna has a wonderfully firm and meaty texture and is not overly salty - although there is enough in the mix to give it a lovely flavour. The olive oil is decent and we’d be delighted to find this on our salad. It is too expensive to drown in mayonnaise mind you. We have to question the use of the word “wild” on the packaging. It suggests that selling wild tuna is something to boast when, in fact, the vast majority of the tuna we eat is wild.

Verdict: Excellent

Star rating: * * * * *

Conor Pope

Conor Pope

Conor Pope is Consumer Affairs Correspondent, Pricewatch Editor and cohost of the In the News podcast