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Salmon at Whole Foods -- a new record!

r
rjbh20 May 19, 2011 02:21 PM

Dropped by WF yesterday to pick up some frisee (which was pretty mediocre, as it happens) and strolled by the fish counter. Prominently displayed was wild Alaskan king salmon -- at $32.99 a pound. Now I'm all for sustainable fisheries and am well aware of the negatives of salmon farming as its done in Chile (and probably elsewhere), and i have no problem paying up for quality products. But $32.99 a pound for salmon??? Must have been flown here on a Gulfstream. It also occurred to me that the retail turnover of said product at that price is likely to be low, so its probably going to sit around for awhile.

Anyone here at buyer at that price?

  1. f
    ferret Aug 1, 2011 11:49 AM

    The "flown in on a Gulfstream" isn't too far from the truth. CNBC reran a special on supermarkets yesterday and they featured Whole Foods salmon as an item that distinguishes them from the competition. WF has an expediter stationed in Alaska for 4 months during salmon season and they contract with local fishermen who line-catch each salmon. The expediter examines each fish for freshness and size and they're cleaned, packed, shipped and in the store within 48 hours of being caught (the salmon they showed were earmarked for Chicago).

    1. v
      Val Jun 10, 2011 04:28 PM

      heck, no, I would not buy it at that price! If anything, wild salmon prices should be coming down a bit now since the season is May to Sept. BUT our Whole Foods is offering halibut for $7.99 per pound (frozen but still that's great)...and I haven't eaten halibut in years because the price is always over $16 per pound here in SWFL. So I was happy to pick up a pound and will use it this weekend.

      1. LorenM Jun 10, 2011 03:49 PM

        So the Safeway in my area is selling fresh Copper River salmon fillets for $8.99 lb right now (no joke) and I am smack dab in the middle of the country. Is there something "fishy" about this? (Bad pun intended).

        2 Replies
        1. re: LorenM
          Sam Salmon Jun 10, 2011 07:42 PM

          Yes it's almost certainly previously frozen farmed product.

          1. re: Sam Salmon
            LorenM Jun 10, 2011 08:36 PM

            So curiosity killed the cat and I went and bought some $8.99 Copper River Chinook/ King salmon at Safeway(I was at work when I saw the ad and posted my previous comment) . I am quite familiar with farmed, too-lightly pink Atlantic salmon garbage. This very obviously is not judging from the appearance. This is a deep red just like other wild caught King and Coho salmon I have prepared. It was advertised "fresh" by Safeway which is a huge chain in the weekly ad but who knows? It did look like it was kind of sloppily filleted. I'm a little rusty myself at filleting a salmon but I know I could have done a way better job. I mentioned to the lady helping me what a great deal it was and she said that when she started working there, it was $23.99/ lb. So I am at least hopeful it will be delicious and that's all I really care about. Anyway, I will be cooking it up tomorrow so we'll see what it turns out like.

        2. r
          ribeye621 May 19, 2011 02:58 PM

          I don't know if it's Copper River or not but I got an e-mail from my local fish market and Copper River salmon is $24.99 a pound this year, last year (according to them) it was around $39.99 a pound due to more limited supply last year. Though the same company is selling Wild Alaskan King Salmon fillets for $18.99/lb so maybe WF is ripping you off.

          Bottom line: I'd pay that much at a local fishmonger but not at a chain store like WF, although I live in the Midwest so it's hard to find good seafood here, despite living next to a big ol' lake.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ribeye621
            visciole May 19, 2011 03:35 PM

            WF is ripping someone off? NO WAY! ;)

          2. i
            Isolda May 19, 2011 02:38 PM

            I have paid that for Copper River salmon, but not for anything else (okay, maybe beef tenderloin). Our WF doesn't have very good seafood for some reason, so I always ask to smell it before buying it at any price, but I'd sure as heck not pay that unless it was really, really fresh.

            1. penthouse pup May 19, 2011 02:31 PM

              Don't know where you live but in the New York area, that's the going rate. Copper River Chinook salmon can be higher. in the Pacific NW, the prices are undoubtedly lower...matter of supply and demand--and over-fishing in certain areas...Hard to splurge at the price, I totally agree and only do it during peak season.

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