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help me enjoy salmon, recipes needed

Each week, I force myself to eat salmon because it's a "heart healthy" food, high in omega 3's, calcium, and vitamin D. I wish I could enjoy it, but I can't get by the taste. Whenever my husband and I eat at restaurants, and he orders salmon, I am always surprised that I can have a bite or two without making faces. Sometimes, his fish tastes rather good. I've tried broiling and baking it in sauces to disguise the taste, but I'm not always happy with the results. Usually, I have to keep my honey jar on the table as a back up to whatever sauce I've made. Please share recipes for roasting, broiling, baking, or poaching salmon as I'm ready to call it quits. Thanks for your help!

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  1. 2 suggestions for you 1) Eggs scrambeled with small salmon chunks, chives, cream cheese 2)Bagel layered w/ smoked salmon, cream cheese, onion. Good luck!

    2 Replies
    1. re: chicken kabob

      Just remembered a recipe a co-worker shared with me yesterday...
      Smoked salmon chunks on pasta in a cream sauce. I am sure you could find ways to " significantly lighten" up the cream sauce, or just use a very little cream. She said she added a dash of nutmeg to it, and it was delicious.
      Perhaps you could also make a pasta & salmon dish using olive oil -that is very heart healthy!

      1. re: chicken kabob

        I make a pasta sauce consisting of gently sauteed leeks and buttermilk thickened with Wondra or cornstarch. To this I add a can or two of clams, or chunks of cooked fish. I like to serve this with shell-shaped pasta (for visual pun purposes).

    2. Couple of questions for you.

      At home, what kind of salmon are you cooking/eating? Wild or farmed? I ask because if you have problems with the "taste" of salmon, perhaps you should try farmed salmon as farmed salmon generally has a milder taste than its wild counterpart.

      As to how to cook salmon, I generally find grilling it does the most to mute the taste of salmon; whereas poaching or steaming does the most to enhance the taste of salmon.

      I can't help you with sauces and whatnot because I generally just sprinkle some kosher or sea salt on my salmon ...

      4 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        I usually buy wild salmon, but I've noticed that when it is very orange in color, that I can barely eat it. Thanks for telling me that poaching and steaming enhances the taste. That is definitely not the way for me to go.

        1. re: addicted2cake

          You're forcing yourself to eat wild salmon? Oh man. For us salmon fans that sounds like "I force myself to choke down beluga caviar once per week -- any way to cover up the taste?". I mean, you personally aren't going to be affecting the fishery, but it still hurts to hear. And that can't be cheap!

          Farmed salmon is bland, so you could try that route. When I find myself faced with an uninspiring (read, bland) piece of salmon, my favorite preparation is to brown both sides in olive oil over medium heat in a pan with whole cloves of garlic and a handfull of chopped parsley, then add a glass of white wine and canned tomatoes. Partly cover, let it stew, correct for salt and pepper, and serve with pasta or over polenta. You could give that a shot.

          But I'd go with Sam's suggestion and look for other sources. Herring, sardines and mackerel are all packed with omega-3 acids, and should all be cheaper, too. You could also look for omega-3 enhanced eggs.

          1. re: tmso

            You're right, it isn't cheap, so I've stopped buying wild for now. Thanks for your favorite prep. I love all the ingredients you mention,and plan to give that a try. My husband likes salmon, especially if it's prepared well. I appreciate your sharing!

            1. re: tmso

              If someone's not loving the taste of salmon, herring and mackerel are NOT something to try - way too fishy. Sardines, maybe

        2. My son also did not like salmon until recently. I bake it very simply, with just a splash of lemon juice, then garlic powder and dried dill sprinkled on top. I make a lemon dill sauce and it is perfect with it (it's also great with roasted broccoli, asparagus, and broiled or grilled pork chops):

          3 tablespoons mayonnaise
          2 tablespoons lemon juice
          2 tablespoons dijon mustard (use less if the mustard is especially strong)
          1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed

          Alternatively, I've found teriyaki sauce is also good with salmon.

          3 Replies
          1. re: rednails

            This sauce sounds very nice. Do you spread it on the fish before you put it in the oven to bake or do you put it on the fish after it has cooked?

            1. re: addicted2cake

              I don't actually spread it, I just use it like a condiment, dipping the salmon in the sauce, like tartar sauce. You could drizzle it on for presentation if you want. It keeps forever in the fridge, and I always have some made. If you need it low-cal, use fat free mayo, it won't affect the taste. I found the recipe I don't-remember-where, a very long time ago, originally for grilled pork chops.

              Edit--You could also try slow-roasting the salmon. I don't have a recipe or method for that, but our chef at work (I work for a catering company) does a magnificent slow-roasted salmon that we serve as a cold plated lunch, with roasted provencal vegetables. It is unbelievably moist. I'm always in too much of a hurry, hence broiling at hi heat or baking at 350 for 10 minutes. Slow roasting takes about 2 hours, I think.

              1. re: addicted2cake

                The best baked salmon ever:
                mix mayo and dijon approx 2:1 then add lots of chopped fresh thyme OR chives and spread on top of salmon then bake at 375 F dill done. Very moist!

            2. If you get really fresh salmon that doesn't have any of the dark grey fat it shouldn't be fishy and have a great taste. I also like to grill salmon here is one of my favorites:

              Grilled Salmon with Balsamic Vinegar Sauce
              4 - 5 oz pieces of salmon (remember to get your fish from an experienced fishmonger)
              4 - 8″ square foil pieces
              2 grilled red peppers
              1 c washed fresh spinach
              1 c corn (use canned, frozen, or grill your own and cut off the cob)
              1/2 med. onion, cut in rings
              1 c dry white wine
              1/2 tsp ground hot pepper
              Sea salt & black pepper
              2 T butter

              Heat BBQ. Place foil on work surface and put a salmon fillet in the center of each. Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and 1/8 tsp hot pepper. Then evenly layer the spinach, onion, peppers, and corn over the fillets and top with 1/2 T butter. Fold the foil to make a bowl around the salmon and pour 1/4 c wine into each. Then tightly seal the foil at the top so the wine wont leak out. Place onto the grill and BBQ for 8-10 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily. Place the salmon on a plate and top with veggies and Balsamic Vinegar Sauce.

              Balsamic Vinegar Sauce: put 1/2 c balsamic vinegar*, 1 T molasses, and 1 T maple syrup into a sauce pan. Simmer until reduced by half. Remove and whisk in 2 T butter until melted. This sauce is also excellent on steak!

              1. Salmon takes pretty well to assertive seasonings. I personally like it in Asian-style marinades (i.e. teriyaki) and then pan fried, or with soy/maple and grilled. It's really nice when cooked on a cedar plank on the barbeque.

                1. a2c, wish I could help, but all my salmon recipes are subtle and try to bring out the salmon flavor--because I really love salmon. It is unfortunate that salmon is the perfect food for what you need. But you shouldn't have to eat stuff you don't like! Why not call it quits and find other sources of omega-3's (besides fish and seafoods there are tofu, walnuts, squash), calcium (all dairy and spinaches, chards, nori, tahini, many nuts, some citrus), and vit D (this is difficult)? Good luck!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    I completely agree...these are so many different ways to get these nutrients. For example, grass fed free range beef is extremely high in heart healthy omega-3's. Also, Trader Joe's has great fish oil supplements.

                    It seems like such a waste of a finite resource...

                  2. I stay away from the farmed salmon for all the "correct" reasons, but also because it just tastes muddy and blah to me. I usually get frozen wild-caught salmon from Trader Joe's; the coho is darker and stronger flavor, but the chinook (called "silverbright" on the packages) is lighter both in color and flavor. How I usually prepare it, after it's thawed, is to dry it off well, then salt and pepper it. Then I lay it in a puddle of olive oil, or mixed olive and chile oil, and let it sit covered for an hour or so, turning it over occasionally. Then I get a grill-pan, a gas grill or my skillet very hot and cook it briskly for 2 - 3 minutes per side. Sometimes I squeeze some garlic into the oil and/or sprinkle in a big pinch of herbes de Provence. I've done fancier things with salmon, but this is how Mrs. O likes it best, especially if it's a little crisp on the thin edges.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Will Owen

                      "...the chinook (called "silverbright" on the packages)..." AFAIK, "silverbright" is a dressed-up name for "Dog salmon" or, more properly, Chum Salmon.

                      1. re: Sharuf

                        Yup...this is correct. Chinook is actually the same thing as King Salmon, and it actually one of the strongest flavored varieties.

                      2. re: Will Owen

                        This sounds very good. I love crispy edges and the short cooking time. Many thanks!

                      3. if you don't like it, don't eat it. You can get the nutrition that salmon provides from other sources.

                        1. Are you buying farm raised or wild caught? I live on the OR. coast and before the Dept. of Fish & Wildlife curtailed our salmon season we had ample Coho & Chinook, although my favorites are the deep red Sockeye & Copper River. I don't buy farm raised. I find them flavorless. I like to grill but I'm sure a grill pan or cast iron skillet would work. I drizzle with olive oil and season liberally with cajun seasoning, minced garlic and dill, grill skin side down until almost done the flip for a couple of minutes to get a nice char on the flesh side. I remove the skin and scrape off the gray fat vein before serving. Don't forget about smoked salmon, it is delicious, makes wonderful dips, scrambled eggs, hash, chowder etc. I also make a Cajun fettucini. I saute onions, red bells, garlic, andouille sausage, shrimp and smoked salmon, then add alfredo sauce and lots of cajun seasoning and serve over the fettucini. And don't forget flax seed for Omega3.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: BeefeaterRocks

                            If I cut away the fatty grey area, will the fish fall apart? I guess I could eat it in chunks served over pasta or rice.

                            1. re: addicted2cake

                              It shouldn't fall apart if you cut it away -- are you cooking filets?

                              1. re: MMRuth

                                Yes, a fillet, about 2/3rds of a pound.

                              2. re: addicted2cake

                                You don't have to cut it, just take a knife a scrape it off.

                                1. re: BeefeaterRocks

                                  OK. I'll try scraping off the gray layer before I serve the fish. Can it be scraped off BEFORE baking/broiling? Maybe I could get the person behind the counter to do this for me. His/her results would probably be better than mine.

                            2. from real simple magazine - my favorite salmon recipe . . .

                              Citrus Salmon with Watercress Salad

                              4 6-ounce salmon fillets, skin removed
                              2 bay leaves
                              1 medium pink grapefruit
                              1/4 cup rice vinegar
                              1/4 cup olive oil
                              1 tablespoon sugar
                              1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
                              1 cucumber, peeled, if desired, and thinly sliced
                              1 bunch watercress, trimmed
                              2 cups cooked white rice

                              Heat oven to 375° F.

                              Place the salmon in a glass baking dish. Add the bay leaves and enough water to reach halfway up the sides of the fillets. Bake until the salmon is the same color throughout and flakes easily, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate; let cool.

                              Meanwhile, working over a bowl, cut each grapefruit segment from its surrounding membranes. Squeeze the membranes to release any remaining juice. Add the vinegar, oil, sugar, and salt to the juice. Pour all but 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette into a large resealable plastic bag. Add the salmon to the bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

                              To serve, add the grapefruit segments, cucumber, and watercress to the reserved vinaigrette in the bowl and toss. Drain the salmon. Divide the rice among individual plates and top with the watercress salad and salmon.

                              Tip: To section a grapefruit, peel it, then use a sharp knife to cut between each section, close to the membrane. Remove the segments intact.

                              Yield: Makes 4 servings

                              1. This is a quite simple one that I make quite often. You'll need salmon fillets with the skin on. Then mix some mayo with some wasabi to taste. Spread this mixture on the salmon fillets. Put them on a oven tray and chuck them into a oven that's been pre-heated to 200c.

                                Keep them in there until the salmon is cooked and the mayo mixture starts getting a nice brown colour.

                                // Mike

                                1. My quick but tasty preparation is remove skin and gray flesh, place fillet on wafer-thin lemon or lime slices on foil lined baking tray, apply mayonnaise, dried dill, and coarse parmesan or romano on top, bake 25 minutes at 350.

                                  1. I have tried to "like" salmon for years. It is not going to happen and I just am not going to subject myself to that kind of torture any longer. There are plenty of other sources for getting the same benefits. I do liike smoked salmon, hot or cold smoked, lox, salmon rillettes, but put a steak or fillet in front of me and i don't care how it has been seasoned or prepared. I'm not eating it. Luckily my DH pretty much agrees with me. Now if restaurants would offer other fish dishes I could be very happy. Very few do unless they are seafood/fish restaurants. I had great skate wing in Chicago at Brasserie Jo. But sadly most main stream restaurants only offer yucky old salmon.

                                    1. ooo, an opportunity to pretend I know more than I do..... Okay, we've just moved to the Pacific Northwest and after spending much time talking to salmon fisherman in my local farmer's markets, I am sure that I [drum roll please] have the answer to your problem:

                                      try a different type of salmon.

                                      Seems there are at least 5 species of salmon just in the pacific [King (chinook), pink, sockeye, chum and coho] and other species in the Atlantic and most importantly, they DO NOT taste the same. They are all good for you but they taste very different. Some are much stronger--have much more oil--than other types. Some have much less oil and are much milder. here is a link that describes different types of salmon [live not eatting]

                                      The other thing to consider is how fresh is your fish. Fish that is older will taste stronger. If you don't like a strong taste, be sure you are buying really really fresh fish.

                                      We had salmon last night. I think it was coho at $12 a pound. It was very mild. I set my oven at 350. I sprinkled a one pound filet with herb mix, placed it in a gratin pan with some olive oil at the bottom to help with the sticking and stuffed it in the oven. I think it was in for 10 or 15 minutes. After I took it out, I covered it with a lid to keep warm and continue cooking. Served with blanched spinach tossed with roasted rapeseed? oil and little boiled potatoes. Dessert was a nectarine cobbler thing.

                                      good luck!

                                      1. Its true that different types of salmon taste differently but how long its been around and whether its fresh or frozen are the big things. I know we're spoiled but its sockeye/red, chinook/king, or silver/coho for us. No humpback/pink which is what you find canned usually and no dog/silverbright. Fresh salmon during the season we are looking for light sauces mostly served alongside and usually the fish is grilled. But mid winter when the salmon has been in the freezer for a few months - we look for heavier sauces so here's some ideas:

                                        Mayo, Sour Cream, chopped onions/shallots/leeks/chives - spread on fish and bake
                                        Brown sugar, molasses, lemon/lime, salt and pepper - wrap in foil and grill or bake
                                        Mirin, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic - marinate fish for up to one hour, crust with coarse black pepper and sear
                                        Wasabi, Mayo - spread on fish and bake

                                        These are just a few ideas from my "we're having salmon again" recipes in my head. Hope they work out for you

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: AlaskaChick

                                          Not to hijack this thread, but AlaskaChick which variety of Pacific salmon do you like the best? Sockeye, Chinook or Coho?

                                          I really prefer Chinook to Sockeye because sometimes I think Sockeye is almost too oily, but I don't think I've had enough of Sockeye to be sure.

                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                            ???? I thought Chinook--aka King--was actually oilier than Sockeye? As it was told to me once, more oil in fish, higher dollar per pound. In my markets, King/Chinook always costs the most..........

                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                              In levels of fat/oil:

                                              I prefer Sockeye for smoking because of the oil content but don't have a real preference for other purposes - we eat salmon and halibut 2-3 times a week so whatever is available. That said - if I was standing at a fish counter and they were about the same price - I'd buy Sockeye for the deep red flesh and the oil that will keep it moist on the grill which is my favorite preparation. But if there was the coveted white King - mmmmmmmmmmm

                                              The most coveted fish is Copper River Socks and Kings - in that order for their very high fat content - they've a long way to go so need the extra fat but honestly - I think any other Sock or King is just fine for the price.

                                            2. re: AlaskaChick

                                              No argument as to difference between fresh or frozen. But even with fresh, there's fresh and there's fresh....

                                              which leads me to wonder. In Spain, i learned to sprinkle shrimp with kosher salt before cooking to "freshen" them and it did seem to me that the salt took away a bit of the fishishness. Wonder what impact, if any that would have on Salmon?

                                            3. I personally love this recipe:

                                              Really easy to prepare and tastes great!


                                              2 lb. salmon, fresh, fillets
                                              1/2 C. white wine
                                              8 Tbs. butter, cold, cut into 16 pieces
                                              1 tsp. dill weed
                                              1/2 tsp. garlic, minced


                                              Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the salmon for 12-15 minutes. The fish should be firm but not dry. Place the wine, dill and garlic in a small saucepan. Reduce on high heat until almost dry. Remove from the heat and quickly add all the butter while whisking briskly. When all the butter has been incorporated, allow to rest 10 minutes. Spoon over the hot salmon.

                                              Yield: 4 servings

                                              Here are photos: http://chewonthatblog.com/2008/02/15/...

                                              1. Yup, I pretty much like every kind of food, except salmon. My friend is a caterer here on the West coast and says its pretty common and for big parties people prefer halibut. I do like salmon sushi/sashimi and Cook's Illustrated once had a recipe for salmon with potato chips (!) on top that was OK. Also (so embarrassing) I don't mind Atlantic salmon. If you really want to eat it, try sushi, otherwise switch to other cold water fish which I think have some of the same health benefits.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: waver

                                                  Wild salmon is not readily available where I live but we have a source for the best farmed salmon. It is called Black Pearl salmon and it is full of the omegas that most farmed fish lacks. It also has none of that mushy, mealy texture. It is sweet and buttery and we prefer it to some dryer wild varieties. My non-fish-eater has become a convert with 2 recipes that I make.

                                                  1. Marinate the fish in soy and maple syrup. Heat a cast iron skillet to very hot and cook the salmon, skin side up with a tight fitting lid, about 10 minutes. The top of the fillet should be crisped and brown. Remove the skin (apparently this was completely gross to my daughter) and move to a platter.Add the marinade to the pan and cook a few minutes until it is reduced, then pour over the fish.

                                                  2. This is very inexact but you can really combine a variety of ingredients to make a good topping. Combine panko, melted butter, mustard and thyme. Apply a good amount of this mixture to individually cut portions. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes and serve with lemon.

                                                  1. re: greenstate

                                                    I really appreciate all the advice, preparation tips, and recipes everyone has generously shared thus far. I'm planning to hang in there a little longer and try some of your suggestions. The fish I buy, I presume, is fresh. It comes from Legal Seafoods in Newton, MA and their slogan is, "if it isn't fresh, it isn't Legal." I only see atlantic farm raised or wild in their case. I haven't seen other varieties, at least, not that I can remember. Thank you all for including links that will help in my quest to enjoy salmon. Chowhounds are the best!!

                                                2. Fresh is key. Wild is better. Sometimes "wild" is not really. :(
                                                  I like dill, pepper and lemon on mine. I grill it a lot with good wood smoke flavor. Grilling it on a "plank" is very popular, especially in the NW. Cedar is one... and there is a white wood (I can't remember), that they use.
                                                  Salmon slathered with mustard is very good.
                                                  You could try tuna....

                                                  1. I like salmon better in restaurants but here are some sauces I like with salmon at home:

                                                    poached salmon with champagne sorrell cream sauce
                                                    sauted, then lightly poached, orange maple ginger sauce made from saute pan drippings
                                                    poached with mulberry sauce
                                                    roasted or sauted with a light crust of sesame and celery seeds
                                                    My mom used to broil salmon and I never liked it. I think the high heat she used intesified the flavor.

                                                    1. I only buy farm raised (usually at Wegman's) and make sure it doesn't have that strong fishy odor...that's when salmon can put you off it for ever! I love this recipe - think it's from Cooking Light or Eating Well, not sure. But I've made just a few changes (like not using canned salmon) and I use fresh capers (in those plastic containers at Whole Foods). This is the only way I eat salmon now. I like to serve the salmon cakes on arugula (on which I've squirted a little of that Asian Silk dressing...I think it's WishBone Salad Spritzer).

                                                      Crispy Salmon Cakes w/ Lemon Caper Mayonnaise

                                                      Salmon Cakes:

                                                      1 T vegetable oil
                                                      ¼ cup finely chopped onions
                                                      ¼ cup finely chopped celery
                                                      1 T minced green bell pepper
                                                      ¾ cup crushed fatfree saltines (20), divided
                                                      1 T dijon mustard
                                                      ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
                                                      16 oz fresh salmon, poached (farm raised is best imo)
                                                      1 large egg, lightly beaten
                                                      2 T mayonnaise
                                                      ½ tsp fresh lemon juice
                                                      ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
                                                      2-3 dashes Tabasco
                                                      (if using fresh salmon, add a bit of salt to this mixture)

                                                      Heat 1 tsp oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat; add onion, celery and bell pepper and saute 4 minutes or until tender.

                                                      Combine onion mixture with ½ cup cracker crumbs, mustard, ¼ tsp black pepper, salmon, egg, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco in medium bowl; divide into 4 equal portions and shape into ½” thick patties.

                                                      Coat each patty with 1 T cracker crumbs; cover and chill for 20 minutes.

                                                      Heat 2 tsps oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add patties and cook 5 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Serve salmon cakes with lemon caper mayo.

                                                      Lemon Caper Mayonnaise:

                                                      6 T mayo
                                                      2 tsps capers, rinsed & drained
                                                      ½ tsp grated lemon zest
                                                      ½ tsp fresh lemon juice
                                                      ¼ tsp ground black pepper
                                                      1/8 tsp cayenne

                                                      Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and chill.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: meem

                                                        I, too, was going to suggest salmon cakes. I keep on trying salmon in the hopes that I suddenly see why so many people enjoy it so much, but salmon cakes and smoked salmon are the only preps I have found that I enjoy.

                                                      2. I haven't read through all the posts, but why are you so hell-bent on salmon? Like others have mentioned, there isn't a good way of getting sustainable farm-raised salmon, and salmon is high is pcbs and other toxins the way other large fish are. There are a lot of smaller fishes (which can get to be a little fishy tasting if not fresh or done right) which can provide you with more of the omega 3s and other good stuff while at the same time being lower in toxins and more environmentally friendly. I vote that if you dont love it, try to change it up a little. Buy cheaper, smaller fish, save some money, and expand your culinary horizons!

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: julseydesign

                                                          You are in luck! My new issue of Real Simple magazine (October) just arrived in the mail. There are 10 salmon recipes inside!

                                                          1. re: chicken kabob

                                                            When I'm in a hurry to get dinner going I just slather a salmon filet with either hoisin sauce or Ginger People sweet chili sauce and bake at 425. EIther sauce provides a nice glaze and additional sauce can be served alongside
                                                            (and over shadow the salmon flavor if that's what's desired!).

                                                            1. re: chicken kabob

                                                              OOOPS. Please disregard above comment. No salmon recipes like I had originally though. Sorry =)

                                                          2. Absolutely my favorite way to prepare salmon is this recipe from Country Living.


                                                            The maple, ginger root, lemon and soy sauce all work so well together with the salmon.

                                                            1. One thing I've noticed with salmon... the longer you cook it or the more done it becomes the salmon taste fishier.

                                                              For example, salmon (raw) sushi has a mild salmon flavor, but take that same piece and grill the piece the flavor would be much stronger.

                                                              I would actually recommend steaming or poaching since it's a gentler method of cooking and the fish doesn't dry out as much as you would have during grilling, pan frying or baking.

                                                              Steam (Chinese style) slivers of ginger, garlic and a little salt. Depending upon the thickness of the piece... steam about 7 to 10 minutes.

                                                              Garnish the cooked fish with slivered green onions, cilantro, a little soy sauce and pour some hot oil (about 2 tablespoons heated in a pan just below the smoke point) over all of that..

                                                              For poaching, there are many poaching methods listed on websites (Good Eats for example).

                                                              1. My absolute favorite - OMG so good. Even my 2 year old totally gobbles it up.

                                                                1. Can you eat raw fish? Cook Salmon never taste right to me. But Salmon sashimi is my favorites. Salmon sashimi has completely different favor and texture.