Seriously Upgrade Your Next Tuna Melt With Some Bacon

Cheese sandwich with bacon
Cheese sandwich with bacon - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

Magically pressed between two crunchy slices of thick bread, the wonderful melted cheese slowly encases a gloriously flaky layer of tuna. The tuna melt presents an exploration of complementary opposites: the grilled bread and the gooey center, the fishy tuna mingling into creamy cheese. It's simply paradise, yet an upgrade is always up for consideration. For this round, why not throw bacon into the mix?

Honestly, why does a melt have to be one or the other? Can't bacon and tuna live in harmony? The answer is yes, they most certainly can, whether in the form of crispy, juicy rashers or using leftover grease to whip through a mayonnaise. It can give the melt more body, another layer of texture, added richness, and an irresistible meaty allure. The combination of meat and seafood is not uncommon, as the former can beautifully impart smoky flavors onto the delicate taste of the fish. Additionally, the bacon can breathe exciting life into a basic canned tuna -- it's a win-win.

The components in this melt can be altered depending on the flavors and textures you wish to accentuate. While a bacon-infused mayonnaise would lightly convey meaty hints, thick, crunchy rashers would present more robust characteristics.

Read more: 11 Things You Didn't Know You Should Be Doing With Bacon

Complementing Flavors

Frying bacon until crispy
Frying bacon until crispy - Krasyuk/Getty Images

The blend of tuna, bacon, and cheese may seem like a salt overload, but a careful selection of ingredients can ensure you harmonize their flavors without one overpowering the rest. A vast array of bacon varieties is available, yet for a tuna melt, a type of bacon whose flavor melds effortlessly with others is ideal. For instance, bacon with a particularly strong taste, like a smoked variety, may dominate the flavors in the melt, and could overpower the fine taste of tuna. Unsmoked bacon is likely milder in flavor, making it more flexible with other ingredients.

Different types of canned tuna will also impart an extra degree of flavor; albacore tuna is usually regarded as light-tasting tuna with a soft flavor, while skipjack and yellowfin are considered to have a more assertive aroma. Tuna's flavor is also derivative of the liquid it's packed in; oil-packed tuna is typically richer than water-packed, and with the addition of other rich ingredients (bacon and cheese), using a lighter tuna may be preferable.

The same logic also applies to the cheese selected. A milder cheese with a less greasy consistency is essential, as the added bacon (whether in the mayonnaise or rashers) will accentuate these flavors anyway. To avoid this, choose a light-tasting cheese with a good pull, such as mozzarella or Swiss cheese.

The Traditional And The Unfamiliar

Bacon and apple cheese melt
Bacon and apple cheese melt - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Who said a bacon tuna melt had only to include three ingredients? There are some conventional and unfamiliar additions you may consider adding to this excellent trio. Mayonnaise is a natural inclusion, as it adds a layer of moisture between the crunchy bread and other elements. A spread of mustard would also be complementary as the spice cuts through some of the rich cheese and bacon flavors. A layer of smashed avocado or sliced tomatoes would also attach a fresher dimension to the melt too.

If you're searching for more unconventional additions, you may wish to include chunky, juicy apple pieces. A crunchy, sweet apple would wonderfully complement the salty, rich notes inside the melt, offering respite from the deeply savory trio. A spread of sweet relish would also introduce more contrasting flavor profiles to the melt. If this sweet relish feels overpowering, it can always be balanced with a sour squeeze of lemon juice.

Adding bacon to your tuna melt injects richness, texture, and wonderful meaty aromas. It also opens a doorway to more intriguing melt variations. Don't overlook it the next time you crave a sandwich.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.