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Color in Wild Salmon

Jim Leff Mar 31, 2010 10:22 AM

I eat a lot of wild alaskan salmon. it's pricy, but I've been trying to put health first.

I bought some yesterday from the usual vendor, but the color wasn't the usual deep red. I know that with regular salmon, color is achieved via all sorts of unnatural methods, and is not an indicator of anything. But in wild salmon, is a shallow pink color a bad sign?

  1. j
    jerry i h Mar 31, 2010 06:43 PM

    When I worked for a meat/fish market, we sometimes got king salmon from alaska that was totally white. As I remember, they were called 'ivory', and commanded a higher price. It tasted the same as the deep red type.

    1. n
      normalheightsfoodie Mar 31, 2010 01:28 PM

      I have had white salomon before. I am so turned off by artificially colored salmon.

      1. ChefJune Mar 31, 2010 12:42 PM

        Jim, actually, some wile Alaska salmon is WHITE! (rather creamy white). and sometimes it can even be marbled white and pink of several shades.

        One of the best fish I ever cooked was a whole one that I ordered from Alaska that was marbled like that. One of the best tasting salmons I can ever remember!

        1 Reply
        1. re: ChefJune
          ipsedixit Mar 31, 2010 02:43 PM

          White salmon is something to be treasured and savored, if available.

        2. goodhealthgourmet Mar 31, 2010 11:15 AM

          the color of salmon flesh depends on the level of astaxanthin in their diet - it's a carotenoid, but it's not beta carotene. but ipse's answer was on the right track - this particular batch you purchased must have just been eating a diet lower in carotenoids...pale pink is fine.

          1 Reply
          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
            eight_inch_pestle Mar 31, 2010 11:44 AM

            Not to mention the anomalous white salmon. Just yesterday morning at the fishmonger an elderly woman in line ahead of me went totally batsh*t when she saw some wild white king salmon nestled among its pink brethren. Wasn't on my menu, but will try it soon.

          2. ipsedixit Mar 31, 2010 11:10 AM

            Really just depends on their diet.

            Wild salmon gets their color from the krill they eat. Maybe this batch just came across a patch of krill that didn't have alot of beta carotene.

            1. todao Mar 31, 2010 10:36 AM

              It's not easy to judge wild salmon by its color. Wild "Alaskan" salmon includes Chinook, Coho, and Sockeye and the colors can vary from red to something closer to pink.

              1 Reply
              1. re: todao
                Jim Leff Mar 31, 2010 10:38 AM

                I'm talking about color range within the same species from the same vendor/wholesaler.

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