Tuna Pizza – A Retro Recipe Re-Run

Posted on Feb 20 2013 - 6:18am by RetroRuth

Hey there! Let’s see a show of hands for everyone who likes tuna pizza! Come on, don’t be shy. Anyone? Anyone at all? Nobody??? Hmmm…well anyway, this week I was thinking about this recipe and laughing to myself, so I decided it would be a good idea to break this puppy out from the archives to re-run all its ketchup-tuna-and-biscuit goodness.  This originally ran in July of 2011 as part of our “Sing A Tune To Tuna” contest. It ended up being the First Place Winner in the Worst category, but don’t let that influence you too much. If you are willing, feel free to give this recipe a test drive. And be sure to send us pictures!

There is a first time for everything, even here on the Mid-Century Menu! And this post has the honor of containing two firsts: The first time we have had the same exact same entry from two contestants AND the first time we have featured this:

everywoman

Yes! *Enthusiastic head nodding* Check out this “handy new way” to make tuna pizza. Which begs the question: What was the old way?

But still, I was floored. Tuna and ketchup on pizza! Tuna!!!!! Ketchup!!! Can you believe it? I couldn’t. And I was really excited when I saw it.

And so were two other people.

Bob writes:

This is from the March 1958 issue of Family Circle comes Tuna Pizza! This recipe has so many mid-century things going for it:

1. It’s a “quick ‘n easy” recipe that looks like far too much trouble for the end result (that crust looks like a pain to make.)

2. There is at least one ingredient or step that is cringe-inducing (“Mix ½ cup Pet Evaporated Milk, ¾ cup Parmesan cheese and ½ teaspoon onion salt. Let stand to thicken.”)

Ew.

3. The math just doesn’t work no matter how you try: Biscuits + Evaporated Milk + Ketchup + Tuna do not, I repeat do not equal Pizza.

4. Ketchup? On Pizza? Seriously?

5. Really, it seems like the kind of thing Mom would serve when she’s mad at the family.

And Sharon writes:

The final tuna tempter is the unique Tuna Pizza with a crust made from biscuits topped with a double layer of sauce – one made from evaporated milk! The recipe is the selling feature for Pet Evaporated Milk, and appeared in the March 1958 edition of Everywoman’s magazine. There is no blanket of nippy shredded cheese over the pizza, just beautiful, naked chunks of canned tuna to tingle your taste buds!

Thanks for running this great contest!
Sharon

No, thank YOU Sharon and Bob, for sending me this…this masterpiece of…ridiculousness. Words seriously fail me. Seriously.

And you know what time it is when words fail me. Time to get cooking.

IMG_5799

Because I can’t let a challenge like this go unanswered. You guys sent me Tuna Pizza make with biscuits and ketchup and, by God, you are going to get it!

IMG_5804

This is the resulting sad approximation of some sort of pizza crust. I was proud that it was at least vaguely round in shape and somewhat thin. I honestly didn’t spend that much time fussing with it because…

IMG_5808

…I figured I was just going to ruin it anyway. By pouring “thickened” evaporated milk and parmesan cheese on it and then…

IMG_5810

…plopping on fat splats of ketchup.

IMG_5812

Yeah.

That looks about right.

Then came the all important “adding of the tuna” layer. Which Tom got a great action shot of:

IMG_5822

They’re watching me.

Always watching.

IMG_5823

There!

Lip-smacking-tastic. This almost doesn’t make me want to throw up.

IMG_5825

It even got a little oozy in the oven.

Shhh…if you listen real close…you can almost hear the gagging.

IMG_5826

Actually, this shot doesn’t make it look too bad. If you kind of squint, turn your head sideways and hold your hand over one eye you can sort of pretend it is a BBQ chicken pizza instead of tuna and ketchup.

Yeah…almost got it…

IMG_5827

…now! All plated up and ready for the Bridge Club.

The Bridge Club in Hell.

Or just ready for poor, poor Tom.

IMG_5830

“Do I really have to eat this?”

“Get too it, Buddy. People are waiting.”

IMG_5831IMG_5833

IMG_5834

I love that you can immediately see the look of concern.

IMG_5835

And then it gets worse.

IMG_5836

And worse.

IMG_5837

Finally, it’s down.

IMG_5842

“This is really, really bad. You should totally try it.”

The Verdict: Gross. I had one bite. One. That was it for me. Tuna, ketchup and parmesan are actually worse together than you could ever imagine. And then you slather it on a biscuit and you are heading straight to Insane-ville. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

Thank you Bob and Sharon for a highly entertaining finalist! I wish I would have gotten a picture of Tom’s face when he saw the recipe. It was equal parts horror, terror and panic. Truly a moment for the ages!

*Note: And yes, some eagle-eyed readers will note that I DID forget the onion salt! Oops! Well, if it makes you feel better, nothing was going to save this one!

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

  1. Ashley February 20, 2013 at 7:17 pm - Reply

    Makes you wonder if they ever tested those recipes out!

  2. Jenee Libby February 20, 2013 at 8:56 pm - Reply

    My husband and I are sitting here HOWLING at your poor husband’s reaction. Classic. The dark circles under his eyes speak volumes tee hee. Now my poor hubby is afraid I’m going to make him go through a similar torture test :D

  3. sarah k @ the pajama chef February 21, 2013 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    wow, i can’t even IMAGINE! this is crazy. love these ridiculous recipes :)

  4. sookie February 27, 2013 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    you also didn’t use the delicious, shelf-stable GRATED parmesan that the recipe calls for. ’cause that would’ve made it SO much better. gak.

    • RetroRuth February 27, 2013 at 5:29 pm - Reply

      Ha! Yeah, we messed up on that one. :)

  5. Jenny February 28, 2013 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    I live in Japan, and tuna pizza is really popular here. There’s no ketchup, just regular sauce and cheese and tuna and corn on top. I love it! It reminds me of a tuna melt!

  6. Scott March 5, 2013 at 8:41 pm - Reply

    Odd… Tuna pizza is actually really popular in Tunisia, but they don’t make it with ketchup. They use a thin crust, some tomato paste, good hard cheese, some olives and capers. It’s really delicious. The problem with this recipe is a thick crust and the sticky-sweet ketchup.

  7. GenuineImitation June 13, 2013 at 10:14 pm - Reply

    i just saw this post, so i’m a little late.. but we’ve had tuna pizza for years from the local pizza restaurant. Real Italian tuna pizza does NOT have anything to do with the above recipe, just in case you were worried about that. AND NEVER EVER CHEESE WITH FISH!

  8. Phil January 19, 2014 at 6:51 am - Reply

    I’m way late on this as well, but when I read, “Thanks for running this great contest!” I read it at first as “Thanks for ruining this great contest!”, which could be interpreted as a remark directed to the pizza recipe.

Leave A Response