Bizarre Snacks – Installment 2: Ding Dongwon, the Tuna’s Hot!

It’s got protein, oil, a little sugar and very little bad fat. It comes in small tins, or light pouches. Tuna. It’s hard to argue with tuna as a trail snack. That is, unless you don’t like tuna, in which case it is just gag inducing. Dan likes tuna. Meena not so much. Dan has taken tuna pouches on the trail and happily sat on a ledge drinking juice and spooning wonderful, oily chunkfuls of tuna into his mouth, while Meena has sat there holding her nose wishing she were a thousand miles away.
So, we searched for a compromise – tuna that does not taste or smell quite like, you know, tuna. This is tough to find, so we turned to H Mart, the Korean grocery store located in Burlington, Mass. We figured Asian tuna would be fishy, yes, but also spicy and may, therefore, hide some of the tuna smell, while providing the basic tuna ingredients.
May we present – Dongwon Tuna with Hot Pepper Sauce! Yes, that is actually the company’s name, stop laughing!
For about $1.99 this 5.3 ounce tin offered about 200 calories, and a fair amount of protein. We figured the extra calories came from the Hot Pepper Sauce – gleefully listed on the can as, you guessed it, hot pepper sauce! Also, amazingly, this tuna came with potato, garlic and carrots. Huh?
Anyway, a little about Dongwon. Based in Seoul, Korea, this little gem of a company specializes in canned fish products, mainly tuna. And by little company, we mean super-giant-mega-multi-national corporation. Here’s what CEO of Dongwon, Kim Hae-Kwan, has to say about his company, in typically humorous badly translated English, “Dongwong F&B promises to continue providing the safer and healthier food products to our customers as we have until today, so that we can reborn as the healthiest Korean food company in this 21st century.” If you’d like to read more about Dongwon, the website is: http://www.dw.co.kr/english/index.htm
Oh, by the way, dear readers, lest you look down on Dongwon, the next time you pick up your can of Charlie the Tuna, you can thank Mr. Hae-Kwan. That’s right, Sunkist is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dongwon.
Back to the Hot Pepper Sauce Tuna.
Dan was pleasantly surprised overall. While not terribly “hot” by most Korean food standards, the sauce did add some zing to the tuna chunks, and the potato and carrot bits were actually really tasty – kind of like Chunky soup only with tuna instead of beef. And though the sauce did skew a little toward marinara texture, the addition of garlic gave it a nice smoky flavor. The obvious shortcoming was the tin, which rendered the snack impractical for the trail, and obviously $1.99 per tin is pricey for a can of tuna, but as a special treat or maybe a car camp weekend, Dongwon’s Hot Pepper Sauce Tuna hit the spot.
Meena took one sniff after opening the can, and ran into the other room. After several minutes of pleading and knocking on the locked door by Dan, she agreed to take a bite, which was followed by furious hand gesticulating near her mouth, much spitting sounds and other words better left unsaid.
The cat also refused to eat the Hot Pepper Sauce Tuna.

So, to sum up – if you like tuna, you’ll like this. If you don’t like tuna, maybe it’s best to stay away.

When given the choice between Dongwon and Friskies, the cat choose Friskies. Dan however, selected Dongwon

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6 Responses to Bizarre Snacks – Installment 2: Ding Dongwon, the Tuna’s Hot!

  1. I like tuna and I like spicy food. I reckon you've found a winner here guys! Nice!

  2. Hey Dude, I'm with you! I thought this was a great little find, perfect for a damp spring hike when you're looking for a little kick. The lady of the house begs to differ however!

  3. Mary says:

    I love tuna! will have to look for that. When I was in tasmania last year there were rows and rows of differently flavored tuna–with sundried tomatoes, chiles, different spices..yummy! Wish we had those over here.

  4. Hi Mary, glad to hear from ya. Yeah, I'm a fan as well, and it's tough to get good tuna in New Hampshire as well. You're where, Alaska, right? You can check Dongwon, I think you can order directly from their web site but I'm not positive. How's your next big adventure poll coming? Figured out where it'll be yet?

  5. Peter Noonan says:

    dongwon? is it good with the hung-lo noodles? 😉

  6. If they're not part of the same company, they should be!

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