Tuna and rice is a Jones family special and my earliest memories of family dinners are of tuna and rice.
What is it? White rice, a slathering of mayo, and canned tuna on top. That’s it – three ingredients.
As I got older and my High School friends started coming over and staying for dinner, I began to realise appreciating the simplicity of tuna and rice was an acquired taste. The reactions were usually:
“Ummm… do you have any chicken?”
Or the blank stare followed by, “…what is this?”
Where did it come from? This lazy meal which borderlines whether one can even claim to have expended effort cooking.
Step 1: Make rice (in a rice cooker of course).
Step 2: Open can of tuna.
Step 3: Prepare mayo
Step 4: Assemble.
Sometimes we got fancy and threw some slices of cucumber on the side. Flash.
I became tormented by the uncoolness of tuna and rice especially when my friends came over: “Mum, can’t we have something cool like Spaghetti Bolognese? Anything, just don’t let them know we eat tuna and rice!”
I haven’t eaten tuna and rice for a few years now and never really thought about it until yesterday when I realised where our family meal had come from.
Here! A little cultural souvenir that Mum and Dad picked up and never got rid of.
Everywhere in Solomons one can find tuna and rice. Every breakfast, lunch, and dinner, at least 83% of the Solomon’s population are eating some combination of tuna and rice. I just made that up but I’m betting I’m close.
Some say SolTuna (also known as Solomon Blue and formerly known as Solomon Taiyo) is the best canned tuna in the Pacific. Always cheap, always fresh, always available, no need to be refrigerated, no need to be cooked, available in more than one flavor, always there for you. Put it on rice, and you’ve got a meal fit for a (Solomon) king.
So while I’m here, in a place where tuna and rice is the coolest thing since Honiara Hot Bread started making sliced bread, I’ma embrace it.
And any frens that visit for dinner can count themselves lucky if we serve them a plate of tuna and rice.