Salmon

Broiled SalmonI love salmon. I eat it every week, sometimes twice (or more!). I love broiled salmon, grilled salmon, salmon salad, salmon mousse, poached salmon, cedar-planked, smoked salmon...any way I can get it.

I lived in Alaska for a tour of duty while I was in the US Coast Guard. It seemed every one of my shipmates built or bought a smoker, cought the fish, and smoked them to send home. The odd bits ended up in a big stainless steel bowl on the mess deck with crackers nearby; I had more than my fill of it then. For  years afterward I would have nothing to do with smoked salmon, but I have overcome that psychological trauma in a big way.

I remember a couple of years ago when I had an intern who enjoyed grilled salmon as much as I. We were working late nights rushing to finish a project, and rather than take the time to leave our suburban office park in search of chow, I would sometimes bring in a salmon filet and we'd fire up a grill in the parking lot after everyone else had left. It made the late nights a lot more palatable, and provided fond memories.

There are several kinds of salmon with varying intensity of flavor and color. Lorna and I both like the Atlantic salmon for most uses. Only it has the freshness I want for my Cold Poached Salmon, and I like the delicacy of flavor compared to some of those more vibrant Pacific salmons.

Lorna's uncle Jack used to own a fishing boat in Vancounver, and when we visited we had our fill of grilled, broiled, or canned King, Coho, Sockeye, and  Pink salmon.

I still prefer the Atlantic when I can get it, although it is virtually all farmed these days. There are many drawbacks to salmon farming, and a certain degree of corporate trickery, such as the widespread practice of adding astaxanthin to feed as a means of improving color. Astaxanthin is not dangerous (as far as I have found) but it is an unnatural and inexpensive replacement for the natural krill and shimp that give wild salmon their rosy color.  For a while, salmon farmers could use the SalmoFan color wheel to match the feed components to the desired color of the fish when harvested. I do not know if it is still in use.

There are also environmental concerns with farmed salmon. These go beyond the scope of this site, but they are very easy to find on the internet.