Tuna Fruit Salad–Tuna Vintage Recipe Contest Finalist #1

Posted on Jul 6 2011 - 6:03am by RetroRuth

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.

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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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit in...to the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (www.midcenturymenu.com), No Pattern Required (www.nopatternrequired.com), and I Ate The 80's (www.iatethe80s.com).

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9 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Sara In AZ July 6, 2011 at 10:02 am - Reply

    I would LOVE to see the bananas and mayo combination on Chopped!

    And here I was so sure that the mayo would pull it all together! 🙂

    • RetroRuth July 6, 2011 at 1:37 pm - Reply

      Actually, it really DID taste better with the mayo, which was a little shocking. Or maybe it was just that the mayo lubed it up so I didn’t have to chew as much before I bolted it down.

  2. Miss RM (aka Karen) July 6, 2011 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    Hooray! I’m a finalist!! I just KNEW that salad had to suck!

    • RetroRuth July 6, 2011 at 1:38 pm - Reply

      Ohhhhh yes, it really sucked. You can really pick them, Miss RM! 🙂

      • Miss RM (aka Karen) July 6, 2011 at 1:46 pm - Reply

        It’s all thanks to the Tested Recipe Institute! They never let me down!

  3. Andrea July 7, 2011 at 1:10 am - Reply

    In terms of these recipes, I would like to know … tested by whom, exactly? And for what purpose? Methinks this institute responsible for testing them has some sort of sinister purpose …

    Put me down as another one who would love to see the bananas and mayo combo on Chopped!

  4. Carolyn July 19, 2011 at 11:30 pm - Reply

    Tom’s expressions are priceless!

  5. Jen February 10, 2012 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    OMG OMG OMG!!!! The facial reactions!! Those are the best. I have TEARS rolling down my cheeks!! Please stop because I can’t take it anymore!

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