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July 6, 2011

Tuna Fruit Salad–Tuna Vintage Recipe Contest Finalist #1

By RetroRuth & Tom

Well, we’ve finally done it.  After 10 cans of tuna and a bunch of recipe tests, we have finally found the first Finalist in our “Let’s Sing A Tune To Tuna Contest”. And it is quite the find, let me tell you. Gentle readers, I present to you…Tuna Fruit Salad.

Check out this post here on the Mid-Century Menu blog, with bigger pictures!

Tuna Fruit Salad 2

Yep.  There it is!

This entry is from Karen, who writes the following:

I hope you haven’t been inundated by the fruit salads. There seem to be a perverse number of them!


You know, in my opinion, one fruit salad with tuna in it is plenty perverse. I don’t think I can take much more than that.  

Tuna Fruit Salad 1

Yeah, thanks Tested Recipe Institute.  This looks like something tasty I can feed to people whom I never want to return to my home. And if they are stupid enough to come back, I would feed them Shrimp-Pineapple Salad. 

But you know what? You don’t have to take my word for it. Since Tom ate most of this one, I think I will just let Tom tell you the rest, in his own words:

So let’s start with the positives:  1. It appears to cover all four food group: fruit and vegetable group, meat group, mayo group, and dinner roll group.  All washed down with a cool, refreshing glass of red ice water.  Therefore, it’s a meal, but it’s also a salad.  Pure mid-century genius.  2. It’s from the Tested Recipe Institute.  So it’s been tested.  If it has been tested, it must be good, right?

And now the negatives:  1. Bananas and mayo.  There is no way this is ever good.  I want these as mystery ingredients on Chopped because there is no chef alive that can make this combination work.  Mayo dissolves bananas.  I don’t understand the chemistry that is taking place here, but it needs to get published in a top-notch peer review journal.  [Too nerdy Ruth?  Yes?  But keep going anyways?  And stop typing what you are saying?]  2. “French” dressing.  I don’t want to ruin the surprise, so let’s just say that I did not realize just how simple French dressing actually was.  (The delicious flavor of paprika!  In oil!)  3. You know, I’m just going to make #3 the rest of this post…

As the preparation began, the salad began to make its presence felt.  Is there someone in this room?  If you are here, wilt the lettuce three times.

Tuna Fruit Salad face

I think we may have a finalist.  So these are the ingredients, doing what they do. You know, mocking me.


Caramel apples?  Delish!  Wait, “French” dressing?  Now I don’t have a degree from some fancy Dressing U, but this recipe seems a bit off to me.  Nope, must trust it… Tested Recipes.  Although they don’t say if this recipes actually passed any test.  And what was that test?  Safely stripping varnish off antiques?  Uncle French’s Varnish B-Gone and Dressing?



French Dressing

This could be ok.  I’ve been wrong before. 


Ummmmm… are apples supposed to glisten this much?


I’m sure the glob of mayo on top pulls this all together.  Maybe this is cutting edge mid-century fusion cuisine.  And here I am doubting the brilliance.


I am not pouting here.  I’m mourning.


This set of pictures really doesn’t properly capture the real flavor.  Nothing special happened.  Imagine tuna, oil, mayo, pineapple, banana, and filler all thrown together in your mouth.  That’s pretty much it.  No epiphany.



Wait. There it is. I think I’ve got it: Dr. Tuna’s Modern Dietetic Dinner. The dinner of the future. Today!



I also want to let the record note: I ate this entire plate. I think I’ve eaten my FDA recommended allowance of mayo for the month. But there was fruit. So I felt healthy. And after all, isn’t that what really matters?

The Verdict: Horrible dressing, bananas and mayo, cucumbers, tuna, and worst of all: crisp and delicious apples ruined.  A good solid finalist.  A mix of flavors that were once placed on separate continents for a reason. 

*Note from Ruth: It truly, truly sucked. Thanks, Karen!!!

Stay tuned for our thrilling adventures next week, AND find out who the next finalist is!

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4 Responses to Tuna Fruit Salad–Tuna Vintage Recipe Contest Finalist #1

  1. Eartha Kitsch Reply

    July 6, 2011 at 8:10 am

    I can’t even imagine how these ingredients taste together so that MUST be a sign that it’s icky. And I don’t ever remember seeing a recipe branded as an “Unnatural Monster” so Karen, you might be on to something! Congratulations!

  2. Carole M. Reply

    July 6, 2011 at 9:20 am

    In the newest issue of Reminisce Magazine, there are some vintage ads. One is for a brand of gelatin no longer available. It has a truly appalling recipe for a molded lime gelatin/tuna concoction. I am oddly drawn to it and I believe I will make it this summer. I’d scan and send, but I’m not sure if that violates copyright laws. You could check it out yourself; our library has the magazine on its shelf.

  3. RetroRuth Reply

    July 6, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Eartha – It was TOTALLY unnatural! I can’t say I was shocked but…it was worse than I thought it would be.

    Carole M. – Well, now I am intrigued! Thanks for the head’s up, Carole. I will have to check it out. 🙂

    • Citizen Blogger Reply

      April 24, 2012 at 7:53 am

      Some food particulate was not meant to ever touch each other. Like in your salad. The pictures are convincing. The look on his face is perfect!

      The only thing worse than that is icky jello concoctions. When I was a kid everyone had copper jello molds hanging in their kitchens. They Jello’d us to death in the 1960’s. Aspic was savory stuff in unflavored Jello. Like meat and meat juices. Major gag. Oh God. I can taste it when I type it, lol.

      Sweet stuff like fruit was called a garden jello salad. Some of those were pretty good.

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