What is tuna ice cream (in Mexico)?

Are you tired of the same old boring ice cream flavors?

Well, have no fear because I, your friendly neighborhood ice cream blogger, am here to introduce you to a unique and delightful treat – tuna ice cream.

That’s right, you heard me correctly. Tuna. Ice. Cream.

I can already sense some of you turning up your noses and wrinkling your foreheads in confusion. “Tuna ice cream?” you may be thinking.

“What on earth is that?”

Don’t worry, my lovelies, I’m here to answer all your questions and introduce you to the fascinating world of tuna ice cream in Mexico.

What is Tuna Ice Cream (in Mexico)?

Let’s start with the basics. Tuna ice cream is a unique dessert that is widely popular in Mexico.

It is made from the fruit of the prickly pear cactus, which is known as “tuna” in Spanish. The flesh of the fruit is sweet and juicy, with a texture that is similar to watermelon or kiwi.

Tuna ice cream has a bright pink color, thanks to the fruit’s vibrant hue. It has a sweet and slightly tangy flavor that is truly one-of-a-kind.

But where did this unusual ice cream flavor come from?

The history of tuna ice cream in Mexico is shrouded in mystery, but some believe that it originated in the city of Tulyehualco, in the southern part of Mexico City.

Legend has it that the nuns at the local convent were the first to make tuna ice cream, using the fruit that grew in the convent’s gardens.

Ingredients Used in Making Tuna Ice Cream

So, what goes into making this unique ice cream flavor?

In addition to the tuna fruit, the ingredients for tuna ice cream are fairly simple.

The basic ingredients include:

  • Heavy Cream
  • Tuna (canned or fresh)
  • Whole Milk
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Egg yolks
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil

How to Make Tuna Ice Cream at Home

To make Tuna Ice Cream, heavy cream, whole milk, sugar, and salt are heated in a saucepan until the sugar is dissolved. Egg yolks are then whisked in until the mixture thickens.

Next, the mixture is strained to remove any lumps and cooled in an ice bath.

Fresh or canned tuna is pureed in a food processor or blender until it forms a smooth paste. The tuna paste is then mixed into the cooled cream mixture along with lemon juice and olive oil.

The mixture is then churned in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once churned, the ice cream is transferred to a container and frozen until firm.

The combination of sweet and savory flavors in tuna ice cream may not be for everyone, but it can be a unique and adventurous dessert option for those willing to try it.

How It Is Served

Tuna ice cream can be served in a variety of ways, depending on personal preference. Some options for serving tuna ice cream include:

  • Scooped into a cone or bowl like traditional ice cream
  • Served alongside savory dishes like sushi or ceviche for a unique flavor combination
  • Garnished with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt, or a squeeze of lemon juice to enhance the flavor
  • Paired with crackers or bread for a savory and sweet snack

As with any unconventional flavor of ice cream, it may be best to introduce tuna ice cream to guests or diners gradually, perhaps as a small sample or part of a tasting menu. This allows people to experience the unique flavor without committing to a full serving.

Health Benefits and Nutritional Value of Tuna Ice Cream

Tuna ice cream is not typically considered a healthy food choice due to its high fat and sugar content. However, tuna itself is a nutritious ingredient that is rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and various vitamins and minerals.

Here are some of the health benefits and nutritional information of the main ingredients used in tuna ice cream:

  • Tuna: Tuna is a low-fat, high-protein fish that is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to reduce inflammation, improve heart health, and support brain function. Tuna is also a good source of vitamins B12 and D, as well as minerals like selenium and potassium.
  • Heavy Cream: Heavy cream is high in fat and calories, but it is also a good source of vitamin A and contains small amounts of calcium and potassium.
  • Whole Milk: Whole milk is a good source of calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus, but it is also high in saturated fat and calories.
  • Egg Yolks: Egg yolks are a good source of protein, vitamins A and D, and choline, but they are also high in cholesterol.
  • Sugar: Sugar is a source of energy, but it provides no nutritional value and can contribute to weight gain and other health problems if consumed in excess.
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil is a healthy fat that is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, which can help to reduce inflammation and improve heart health. It is also a good source of vitamin E.

Overall, while tuna ice cream is not a particularly nutritious food, it can be enjoyed in moderation as a fun and unique treat.

Also find out: Is ice cream acidic or neutral from its ph level?

Tuna in Mexico

Now that we’ve explored the world of tuna ice cream, let’s take a closer look at the tuna fruit itself.

Tuna is a staple ingredient in Mexican cuisine and is used in a variety of dishes, both sweet and savory.

The fruit grows on the prickly pear cactus, which is a common sight throughout Mexico.

The fruit is harvested in the late summer and early fall and can be found in markets throughout the country.

Culinary Uses of Tuna in Mexico

In addition to tuna ice cream, there are many other ways to enjoy this unique fruit in Mexican cuisine. The fruit can be eaten raw, either on its own or in a fruit salad. It is also used to make jams, jellies, and syrups.

Tuna is also a popular ingredient in savory dishes. It can be grilled, sautéed, or roasted and served as a side dish or topping for tacos and other Mexican dishes.

Significance of Tuna in Mexican Cuisine

Tuna is a versatile fruit that has played a significant role in Mexican cuisine for centuries.

It is used in a variety of dishes and drinks and is a staple food in many regions of Mexico.

Tuna is also an important cultural symbol in Mexico and is often used in festivals and celebrations.

For example, during the Mexican Independence Day celebrations, tuna is used to make a traditional dessert called capirotada.

Nieve de Tuna

Nieve de tuna is a traditional Mexican dessert that is made using the flesh of the prickly pear fruit.

It is similar to tuna ice cream, but there are some differences between the two.

Nieve de tuna is typically made using a different method than tuna ice cream and is often made using just water, sugar, and fruit.

It has a slightly different texture and flavor than tuna ice cream, but both are equally delicious.

Differences between Tuna Ice Cream and Nieve de Tuna

While tuna ice cream and nieve de tuna may sound similar, there are some notable differences between the two.

Tuna Ice CreamNieve de Tuna
A dessert made with tuna, cream, sugar, milk, egg yolks, and olive oil.A dessert made with the fruit of the prickly pear cactus (known as “tuna” in Spanish), sugar, and lime juice.
Sweet and savory flavor due to the combination of tuna and other ingredients.Sweet and tangy flavor due to the combination of prickly pear fruit and lime juice.
Served as a unique and adventurous dessert option.A popular dessert in Mexico and other Latin American countries, often sold by street vendors.
Made with a base of cream, milk, and egg yolks, and churned in an ice cream maker.Made by blending the prickly pear fruit with sugar and lime juice, and then freezing the mixture in an ice cream maker or by hand.
Typically served in scoops like traditional ice cream, or paired with savory dishes like sushi or ceviche.Served in small cups or cones, and often garnished with additional lime juice or chopped fruit.

Regional Variations of Nieve de Tuna

Nieve de tuna is a popular dessert in many regions of Mexico, with each region having its own unique take on the classic sorbet.

For instance, in the state of Puebla, nieve de tuna is often flavored with lime juice and served with a sprinkle of chili powder.

In Michoacán, it is often served with chopped nuts and a drizzle of honey.

Mexican Sundae Origin

Mexican sundaes, also known as “helados” in Spanish, are a popular dessert in Mexico and often feature a variety of toppings and flavors.

The history of Mexican sundaes dates back to the early 1900s, when ice cream parlors began popping up in urban areas.

How Tuna Ice Cream is Incorporated in Mexican Sundaes

Tuna ice cream is a popular ingredient in Mexican sundaes and is often paired with other traditional Mexican flavors such as cinnamon, caramel, and chocolate.

One popular Mexican sundae featuring tuna ice cream is the “Tres Marias“, which is made with three different flavors of ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, and tuna), topped with nuts and chocolate syrup.

Popular Mexican Sundae Flavors

In addition to tuna ice cream, there are many other traditional Mexican flavors that are commonly found in sundaes.

Some popular Mexican sundae flavors include:

  • Cajeta: A sweet caramel sauce made from goat’s milk.
  • Chocolate Abuelita: A chocolate-flavored sauce made from Mexican chocolate that is typically spiced with cinnamon and other flavors.
  • Mango: A sweet and tangy fruit sauce made from fresh or frozen mango.
  • Tres Leches: A rich and creamy sauce made from three types of milk (condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream) that is often flavored with vanilla or other spices.
  • Dulce de Leche: A rich and creamy caramel sauce made from sweetened condensed milk.
  • Horchata: A sweet and cinnamon-flavored sauce made from rice milk.
  • Piña Colada: A tropical-flavored sauce made from pineapple and coconut milk or cream.
  • Tequila: A boozy sauce made from tequila and often flavored with lime or other citrus fruits.

These flavors can be combined with traditional sundae toppings like whipped cream, nuts, and cherries, and served over scoops of vanilla or chocolate ice cream.

They can also be used to create unique and creative sundae combinations that reflect the flavors and ingredients of Mexican cuisine.

Top Places to Try Tuna Ice Cream in Mexico

Here are some of the top places to try tuna ice cream in Mexico:

  • La Flor de Michoacán, Mexico City: This ice cream shop is known for its wide variety of fruit-flavored ice creams, including a delicious tuna ice cream. Their ice cream is made with fresh and natural ingredients, and they offer both dairy and non-dairy options.
  • Paletería La Michoacana, Various Locations: Paletería La Michoacana is a popular chain of ice cream shops in Mexico that is known for its traditional Mexican ice creams and popsicles. They offer a range of flavors, including a refreshing and tangy tuna sorbet.
  • Helados y Paletas Tocumbo, Various Locations: Helados y Paletas Tocumbo is another popular chain of ice cream shops in Mexico that specializes in traditional Mexican ice creams and frozen desserts. Their tuna ice cream is made with fresh tuna fruit and is a customer favorite.
  • Nevería Roxy, Oaxaca City: Nevería Roxy is a small ice cream shop in the historic city of Oaxaca that has been serving up delicious ice creams and sorbets for over 70 years. Their tuna ice cream is made with fresh and natural ingredients and has a unique sweet and savory flavor.
  • La Michoacana, Morelia: La Michoacana is a famous ice cream shop in the city of Morelia that is known for its creative and innovative ice cream flavors. Their tuna ice cream is made with fresh tuna fruit and is a must-try for anyone visiting Morelia.

These are just a few of the many places in Mexico where you can try delicious and unique tuna ice cream.

Whether you’re a fan of sweet and savory flavors or just love trying new and unusual ice cream flavors, tuna ice cream is definitely worth seeking out.

What does tuna ice cream taste like?

Tuna ice cream has a unique taste that is hard to describe. It has a slightly tangy and sweet flavor with a hint of graininess from the seeds. The taste is quite refreshing and light, making it perfect for a hot summer day.

Is tuna ice cream popular in Mexico?

Yes, tuna ice cream is a popular dessert in Mexico, especially during the summer months. It is widely available in ice cream shops and restaurants across the country.

Are there any variations of tuna ice cream?

Yes, there are many variations of tuna ice cream, depending on the region and personal preference. Some people add other fruits, such as pineapple or mango, to the mix, while others incorporate spices like cinnamon or vanilla.

What is tuna ice cream Oaxaca?

“Tuna” can refer to the fruit of the prickly pear cactus, which is commonly eaten in Mexico. In Oaxaca, it’s possible that “tuna ice cream” could be a dessert made with prickly pear fruit as a primary ingredient.

Alternatively, “tuna” can also refer to a type of fish. If this is the case, it’s possible that “tuna ice cream” could be a savory dish rather than a dessert. However, I have not come across any traditional Mexican recipes for fish-based ice cream.

It’s also possible that “tuna ice cream Oaxaca” is a modern creation or fusion dish, combining traditional Oaxacan flavors with ice cream in a unique way. However, without more information, it’s difficult to say for certain.

In Mexico, tuna is not a fish but a fruit

In Mexico, the word “tuna” commonly refers to the fruit of the prickly pear cactus, also known as the Opuntia cactus. This fruit is often used in Mexican cuisine and is a popular ingredient in dishes such as salads, salsas, and drinks.

Prickly pear fruit, or “tuna,” is usually oval or round in shape and comes in a variety of colors, including green, yellow, orange, and red.

The flesh of the fruit is juicy and sweet, with a slightly tart flavor, and contains small, edible seeds. The prickly pear cactus is a common sight in Mexico and is known for its resilience and ability to thrive in harsh desert environments.

Is tuna the same as dragon fruit?

No, tuna and dragon fruit are not the same.

Tuna refers to the fruit of the prickly pear cactus, while dragon fruit, also known as pitaya, is a tropical fruit that comes from several species of cactus in the genus Hylocereus.

While both fruits are similar in shape and size, they have distinct differences in taste, texture, and appearance. Tuna has a sweet, juicy flavor with a slightly tart taste, and its flesh is often described as similar in texture to watermelon.

Dragon fruit, on the other hand, has a more subtle flavor that is often compared to a cross between a kiwi and a pear, and its flesh is typically white with small, black seeds and a crunchy texture.

Additionally, while both fruits are commonly found in Mexico and other parts of Latin America, dragon fruit is also grown in other parts of the world, including Southeast Asia and Australia, while prickly pear cactus is native to the Americas.

Leche Quemada Ice Cream

Leche Quemada Ice Cream is a delicious Mexican ice cream that is flavored with “leche quemada,” which literally translates to “burnt milk.” Leche quemada is a traditional Mexican candy made by slowly heating sweetened milk until it caramelizes and turns a deep amber color.

To make leche quemada ice cream, the burnt milk is mixed with cream, sugar, and other ingredients to create a smooth, creamy ice cream with a rich, caramel flavor. Some recipes may also include cinnamon, vanilla, or other spices to enhance the flavor.

Leche quemada ice cream is a popular dessert in Mexico, particularly during the summer months when ice cream is especially refreshing. It can be enjoyed on its own or served as a topping for other desserts, such as cakes or churros.

Pitaya Mexican Fruit

Pitaya, also known as dragon fruit, is a tropical fruit that is grown in many parts of the world, including Mexico.

It is believed to have originated in Central and South America and is now widely cultivated in countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, and Israel.

In Mexico, pitaya is often consumed fresh as a snack or used as an ingredient in various dishes, such as fruit salads and smoothies. It is also sometimes made into juice or used to flavor desserts such as ice cream or sorbet.

There are several varieties of pitaya, but the most commonly consumed in Mexico is the red pitaya, which has a bright pink or red outer skin and white flesh speckled with black seeds.

The flesh of the fruit has a mild, sweet taste that is often described as a cross between a kiwi and a pear.

Pitaya is also valued for its nutritional content. It is low in calories and high in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants, making it a healthy addition to any diet.

Tuna Ice Cream Summary

In conclusion, tuna ice cream is a unique and delicious dessert that is a must-try for anyone visiting Mexico.

Its sweet and tangy flavor, combined with its refreshing qualities, make it a perfect treat on a hot summer day.

While it may seem unusual to those unfamiliar with it, tuna ice cream is a beloved part of Mexican cuisine and culture.

So, the next time you visit Mexico, make sure to try this amazing dessert and experience a new world of flavors.

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