Rabbit Tuna

Once upon a time there was a rabbit who thought he was a tuna

Rabbit Tuna is a typical appetizer of the Piedmont countryside. It is thought to be originally from the areas of  Monferrato and Alta Val Tanaro. However, its origins appear to be more mysterious.  The legend, in fact, says that its origins can be traced back to a convent in the city of Avigliana, near Turin.

It seems that the friars living there wanted to find a way to eat meat even during Lent. They decided to treat and preserve the rabbit meat in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as it is usually done with tuna, passing it off as sea food and, thus, continuing to enjoy such delicacy.

A fun fact: until its extinction, which occurred in the last century, Rabbit Tuna was prepared almost exclusively with Carmagnola Gray Rabbit which had very firm and tasty meat.

Where does the name “Rabbit tuna” come from?

Let's start from the basics: it is not tuna! In fact, it is made with rabbit meat after a long preparation.

The second part of the preparation it is very similar to how tuna fish is made. It closely resembles the making of tuna fish both in its shape, color, and taste.  The lean meat of the rabbit is boiled in flavored water  until it softens. It is then usually layered in jars with garlic cloves and sage leaves, covered with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and left marinate in the fridge.

This is naturally a poor dish of peasant origins that finds its roots in the need to preserve meat throughout the year.  Its preservation in Olive Oil was found to be the best for this kind of use.

Today Rabbit tuna is a dish for all seasons which is accompanied by other great traditional appetizers of Piedmont such as the Insalata Giardiniera (a mix of vegetables boiled in water and vinegar and preserved under white vinegar), the Sarsètt salad (a simple salad made with valerian leaves) or the classic green salad.It is recommended to let the Rabbit tuna rest in the fridge at least 48 hours after its preparation.

With regard to pairing,  we recommend our GAVI DUCHESSA LIA DOCG. With its delicate floral notes and savory freshness it will make you enjoy this typical appetizer of our lands to the fullest.   


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