Salmon

There is certainly a lot of info everywhere about eating salmon. I know a man who goes to remote spots in Alaska every year and brings back a lot of salmon. He is not especially healthy, in my opinion. My doctor says to eat salmon at least 3 times a week, a schedule Ruth & I try to adhere to. So what is the best salmon to eat? Your guess is as good as mine. I only know that buying salmon to eat is a good idea.

There seems to be a lot of controversy about which salmon to eat. Is farmed salmon as good as wild caught? I don’t know. I hear a lot about eating only Faroe Island salmon. Is that wise? Again, I don’t know. All I do know is that eating salmon is delightful. Right now we are eating a lot of coho. This is about availability more than anything. We used to buy and eat only king salmon but decided that was snobbery and unnecessary.

Our first experience at buying salmon was several years ago. Ruth and I were new to the Northwest and trying to do the right thing. We were in Port Townsend, WA and went to a local supplier. “Our fleet just caught one,” we were told. “Do you want some of it?” Yes. “OK, we’ll bring it in.” How much do you want?” “We’ll take the one you caught,” we said. It was a chinook that weighed about 20 pounds. We ended up buying fillets of it. It was delicious and a good lesson. WE were naive.

Now we know better. So here is our story after several years of buying and eating salmon and living where good salmon can be bought. We just took our first cruise to Alaska, which was not the feast of salmon that we were expecting. In fact, salmon was seldom on menus or offered to us as an entree. We finally found good, wild-caught salmon, but it was not normally available. We finally had a salmon lunch near the end of the cruise. It was only mediocre. It seemed like every port we were in from Ketchikan to Wrangell claimed to be a salmon capital and major processor. We only bought 2 cans of salmon in Haines, and it was not good quality salmon we later judged. It was canned King.

Alaska is home to 5 types of salmon: chinook, chum, coho, pink, and Sockeye. We favor coho and king for eating without knowing exactly why. Chinook and King are the same thing. This is the state fish and the largest salmon species. We have not eaten chum that we know about. They are smaller than chinook or coho. Trophy weight throughout Alaska is about 15 pounds. Coho, also called silver, are coastal fish. They’re said to be great fighters and good at acrobatic stunts. The pink variety, also called humpies, are numerous and weigh 3 to 5 pounds. They frequent streams and offshore waters all along the coast. We have not, to our knowledge, eaten them. Sockeye seem plentiful and turn red in fresh water just before spawning. They’re prized by sport fishermen and women because they don’t normally take the bait. We saw them spawning near Juneau on Douglas Island.

All 5 are saltwater species. King salmon peak in June but are normally available from May through September. Sockeyes are usually available in June and July. Cohos peak from mid July until the end of September in Alaska. Chum salmon, also known as dog, peak from mid July to mid August. Pink salmon are at their peak from mid July through September.

Hope this helps.

Hank

About roads-rus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roads-rus

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