How to Choose Salmon


Salmon is arguably a contender for the title of "fillet mignon of the sea" with its rich flavor appealing to a wide variety of palettes and its tremendous nutritional value as a source of protein, Omega 3 fatty acids, and vitamin D. For all of its value in flavor and potential health benefits, there comes a price tag and it is important to get the most from your salmon dollar.

  • Have an idea of how much salmon you intend to cook and what else you will need for the meal. Salmon is a fairly delicate meat and will spoil outside of refrigeration if it is neglected for an extended period of time.

  • Additionally be aware of the differences between farm raised and wild caught salmon. Wild salmon tends to be a bit leaner and has an overall richer, gamier flavor making it generally the more desirable premium product, but pricing and availability in most areas favors farm raised salmon as the more economical choice. In making the choice, if it is available at your local market, you can consider whether the purchase is for a special occasion or an everyday meal. In every situation though a good cut from a farm raised fish is more desirable than a wild cut on the verge of spoiling.

  • Inspect your intended purchase visually. The flesh should be very firm and together. Any feathering of the flesh indicates a potential problem, as does slimy skin and scales that fall out at ease. The color of the flesh can vary depending on the particular variety of salmon and is not as important of an indicator of quality as the condition.

  • Get a chance to smell the cut of fish. This is probably the most important step, and should make or break your decision to purchase. Salmon should smell rather sweet with a bit of saltiness if it is fresh, while if the salmon has the more typical fish smell it should be discarded. Depending on the size of the particular store's inventory and whether they have more appealing alternatives may force you to reconsider purchasing salmon and fresh seafood in general from that store if the smell is rank and is not an isolated occurrence at the vendor.

  • When you purchase your salmon, take it home as soon as possible to avoid spoilage which can lead to illness and make a mockery of the time you spent picking a prime piece of fish.

Tips & Warnings

  • For the best results prepare your salmon as soon after purchase as possible.
  • Cook all seafood products thoroughly and promptly dispose of spoiled seafood products.

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