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Mar 31, 2010 10:22 AM

Color in Wild Salmon

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?

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  1. 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

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

    2. 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. 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

          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. 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

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

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