People who read the old Gazette — and they are legion, for they are many — might remember my story about scoops of tuna salad and egg salad that was published in Wednesday’s newspaper.
It was part of our ongoing “In and Out of the Kitchen” feature, and it was just a simple piece about a Lenten lunch I remember from my days at noble St. Bonaventure University. A scoop of tuna salad, a scoop of egg salad and a plateful of potato chips: we Bonnies called the whole thing “Scoops.” I heard from a couple St. Bonaventure alumni, guys who graduated during the early 1970s, and we reminisced about the cafeteria food at Hickey Hall.
Someone else read the thing — folks from television’s Cooking Channel, and by extension, good old Charlie the Tuna.
People who know StarKist tuna and the company’s classic television advertising will recall Charlie — the blue hipster fish in thick glasses and fisherman’s cap who was constantly trying to make the grade for StarKist. But he was always thrown back, as only the finest tuna got to be StarKist. “Sorry, Charlie ....” was always the last line.
When you think about it, it was kind of an odd aspiration. Charlie had a death wish — he wanted to die and end up in a casserole or sub sandwich. He probably should have found a dolphin — smart guys of the deep — and got some counseling.
Anyway, I know company public relations folks scour the Internet every day. They look for key words that involve their products or clients, and try to find ways to generate some extra publicity. Folks who represent “Hungry Girl,” a show on the Cooking Channel, contacted me Thursday morning.
“Came across your ‘Salad Scoops for Lent’ piece on DailyGazette.com, and wanted to reach with a recipe I thought you may enjoy,” wrote Danielle Calogera of Coburn Communication in New York City. “While I’d never try to replace your beloved ‘Scoops,’ Hungry Girl’s ‘sweet ‘n sassy egg bites’ using StarKist tuna may be a great alternative during the Lenten season.”
I’ve got to give Danielle and Hungry Girl credit. These egg bites kind of combine the two basic ideas behind “scoops.” StarKist tuna is mixed with mayonnaise, diced red bell pepper and diced sweet onion. The mixture is scooped into halves of hard-boiled eggs. The “bites” are basically deviled eggs with tuna fish instead of the usual egg yolk, mayo, mustard and paprika mix.
I’m no gourmet, and I’m sure the egg bites will appeal to some folks. But I’ve got to keep my “Scoops” separate. Egg salad goes into one sandwich, tuna salad goes into another. I would never think about combining other favorites — like spaghetti and mashed potatoes — so eggs and tuna are never a coupled entry. Or entree, in this case.
I kind of wonder what other people might think about tuna fish “Scoops” going into hard-boiled egg whites.
Maybe they’ll catch on.
Either way, Danielle got a little bit extra from her email note north. Like Charlie the Tuna ... I took the bait ... and she now has a little free advertising!