Not your same old Salmon

Wild salmon have lived in the pristine waters of the Pacific Northwest for thousands of years. The rich, creamy taste of wild salmon that all of us around the world have come to crave can be attributed to their high oil content. Because of their long spawning run in which they may migrate thousands of miles, these fish fatten up for their voyage, giving them great flavor, succulent texture and lots of omega-3s.

All this fat content might be concerning to those watching their weight, but fortunately for us, salmon is highly regarded as a great source for two amazingly healthy and important omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Some studies have indicated that the intake of sufficient levels of omega-3 may help reduce the risk of heart disease and some types of cancer. It’s easy to see why salmon is so popular in recipes for health conscious and weight watching diets.

There are five different species of salmon, each with its own unique characteristics in size, color and flavor:

Chinook salmon, or King Salmon as they were affectionately coined in Alaska, is the official state fish of Alaska. Like their nickname suggests, they are the largest of all the Pacific salmon.

The king salmon usually weighs around 30 pounds or more. Their skin is irregularly spotted on their blue-green back. They also have a black pigment along their gum line. Spawning kings range in color from red to copper to almost black.

The king salmon has a rich flavor, firm flesh, and a pleasing red color. Kings caught at the mouth of the Yukon River have a huge store of oil in their flesh for their long upriver migration. The result is an extra-rich flavor.

Sockeye Salmon is also called the red salmon due to the bright red color of its flesh. It is also the second most abundant salmon species in Alaska.

Sockeye salmon are the slimmest of Pacific salmon. Sockeye are generally a greenish-blue color with silver sides and a white or silver belly.

The Sockeye salmon has an exquisitely rich flavor due to the high concentration of oils. It is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Coho salmon are known as silver salmon in Alaska and are an excellent game fish.

Coho salmon have bright silver sides and have small black spots on their back.

The flesh color of silver salmon is orange-red and is retained during cooking. The texture is firm and the fat content is high. The taste is a pleasing full salmon flavor, slightly milder than that of the Sockeye.

Atlantic Salmon

Atlantic salmon are not native to the Pacific coast but are raised in large numbers in pens. They run wild on the Atlantic coast only.

Atlantic Salmon have a milder flavor than wild salmon. The flesh has a medium-firm texture with large flakes and a medium fat content.

Keta Salmon or Chum Salmon

The Keta Salmon have a light pink to orange colored flesh which is lighter than the Sockeye and Coho. The texture is more firm and coarse than the other salmon.

Keta Salmon is milder in flavor and more lean than the Coho, Sockeye and King Salmon.

Whether you like your salmon Lomi Lomi, smoked, sashimi style, or Fresh Air Flown Wild from Alaska, stop by your local Foodland to pick some up today and check out our recipes on!