Tuna Melts are Personal
and mine is perfect
Hilariously, half of the people in the world won’t f*ck with canned tuna at all, to which I say—goody, more for us!
How-I-Like-It Tuna Salad from TSSG was an absolute weekly staple during the *ick1 that shall not be named. I served it to my family, usually on Mondays or Tuesdays, atop warm short-grained white rice with Broccoli D on the side. It had tuna casserole energy without the hot tuna part. Also on the table: crispy seaweed for making perfect ssam bites, kimchi, furikake, and Kewpie mayo. Ignoring that my younger son enjoyed neither tuna nor Broccoli D and stuck to rice and kimchi on those nights, these were good times.
My ultimate tuna melt is from Eisenberg’s Deli in NYC, may she rest in peace. (I am not yet willing to entertain its resurrection as S&P, since when something dies and comes back, that makes it a zombie, and zombies are dangerous.)
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My golden memories of Eisenberg’s date back to my first pregnancy, with Leo; I craved tuna melts, with bacon and muenster on rye with an urgency that was slightly alarming. The pickle they came with needed no explanation, but the house melt raised other questions: Was it a tuna melt with bacon, or bacon with some tuna? Who can say. They were amazing and until the day that the craving turned off as radically as it had switched on, I treasured them2.
The tuna melt in today’s video doesn’t have bacon, and it isn’t closed-up, as many believe a melt should be (the Eisenberg’s people thought so, and so does my comrade Molly Baz, and I love them, but they’re wrong). My new one, which I’m calling an Adventure Melt, has something new: a slab of iceberg, strategically inserted between the melted-cheese-and-tuna layer and the bread. This inclusion is 100% inspired by my love of iceberg3 and also by Palace Diner, author of this iconic tuna cross-section.
Just because something is classic doesn’t mean it can’t evolve, right? I never did an Iceberg Implant before the day we shot this video, and am so glad I took the chance. May this open-faced phenom bring you as much delight as it hath brought unto me.
And Now For the Recipe!