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Wild salmon

Helen Feb 11, 2014 07:28 AM

I've been looking for wild salmon for some time. Is it out of season or perhaps a shortage?

Costco has the frozen wild salmon but wondering if anyone has seen fresh?

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  1. f
    frogsteak RE: Helen Feb 11, 2014 07:35 AM

    out of season

    1. Flexitarian RE: Helen Feb 11, 2014 09:44 AM

      I eat a lot of (only wild) fish and used to buy only fresh. Then I started reading some articles about the fact that flash frozen on board fish can be fresher and just as tasty as fresh. This is because by the time the fisherman have gone out to sea, returned with the fresh fish, packed it, filleted it, or whatever then sent it to the markets where it is then unpacked, etc, the 'fresh' fish can be many days old. Not so with flash frozen on board fish or fish that is flash frozen after being brought back to shore.

      So, I started buy frozen wild fish, primarily at Costco and I have to say that I am very impressed. I can't even tell the difference. Actually, I just bought the Morey's Marinated Wild Pink Salmon at Costco the other day and had it and it was very good.

      I won't buy any of the frozen shrimp at Costco, though, as none of it is wild.

      If I happen to be at a fishmonger and there is a variety of wild fish that I want that I cannot get at Costco then of course I will buy it fresh, but I am not fixated on buying only wild fresh fish anymore since I did my research.

      13 Replies
      1. re: Flexitarian
        jayt90 RE: Flexitarian Feb 13, 2014 03:25 AM

        There is one type of wild shrimp at Costco (also Sobeys, Giant Tiger, and Loblaw), North Atlantic cold water shrimps. They are small, mild and pre-cooked.

        Loblaw has brought in medium sized organic farmed shrimp from Ecuador, and they seem to be on regular 'special' rotation. I have a package, not yet opened.

        1. re: jayt90
          Nyleve RE: jayt90 Feb 13, 2014 05:19 AM

          The online group buying thing WagJag periodically has Argentine wild red shrimp listed as one of their weekly specials. I've bought it twice now and it's a very good product. The shrimp are large, shell-on, flavourful and come in packages of two 2lb. Bags for about $39 total (so about $10 lb.). You order ahead and get a voucher which you then present at a particular retailer (they have quite a few around ontario) to pick up your shrimp. I quit buying any farmed shrimp altogether so this is great for me. Can't discuss the sustainability of the fishery, unfortunately, because there's no information out there about these critters.

          1. re: Nyleve
            jayt90 RE: Nyleve Feb 18, 2014 09:59 AM

            Wagjag is great, for seafood and The Butcher Shoppe specials. Unfortunately limited access to pick up except in GTA, Ottawa and one or two northern towns. I wish they had a London connection.

            1. re: jayt90
              Nyleve RE: jayt90 Feb 18, 2014 01:40 PM

              I live near Peterborough so my nearest pickup is Oshawa. But I just make a shopping trip out of it.

          2. re: jayt90
            prima RE: jayt90 Feb 13, 2014 05:34 AM

            Some Loblaw locations have stopped carrying the frozen organic shrimp from Ecuador. I've also found them at some Longo's (York Mills and Leslie location has both raw and precooked available) and occasionally at some Great Canadian Superstore locations.

            1. re: jayt90
              Flexitarian RE: jayt90 Feb 13, 2014 10:10 AM

              You're right. Forgot. I bought some and have them in my freezer. I forgot to check how big they were and bought them on impulse when I saw they were wild. I was really looking for the larger ones.

              1. re: Flexitarian
                jayt90 RE: Flexitarian Feb 13, 2014 10:47 AM

                They need to be sauced, as they are soggy. I've had them from several stores, hoping for better ones but I think they are overcooked ; I hope the plant in Eastern Canada is aware of changing tastes.
                It would be nice to see fresh or frozen St. Lawrence shrimp in Ontario.

                1. re: jayt90
                  prima RE: jayt90 Feb 18, 2014 04:31 AM

                  Agree that the coldwater shrimp from Costco are soggy. I didn't know what you meant until I prepared them. The shrimp had been thawed then rinsed, and drained in a colander for 30 minutes, but brought a significant amount of liquid to the stew to which they were added. I'll attempt to press the liquid out with a heavy plate while draining, if I purchase them again.

                  1. re: prima
                    acd123 RE: prima Feb 18, 2014 09:02 AM

                    Are they treated with sodium tripolyphosphate? If yes, it would be listed as an ingredient. that's what usually contributed so sogginess in seafood.

                    1. re: acd123
                      mcf RE: acd123 Feb 18, 2014 09:32 AM

                      Costco has a no stp policy wrt scallops, cannot imagine they'd accept it in shrimp. I buy the blue bags of frozen, uncooked shrimp there, and as long as I defrost them thorougly, drain and blot, they don't water down the sauces I add them to at all. Good texture.

                      1. re: mcf
                        Nevy RE: mcf Feb 18, 2014 09:39 AM

                        I've bought shrimp from Costco and Loblaws (PC Brand). Compared to fresh shrimp, both pale in comparison but I find PC brand lately really bad. Mushy, black spots... I had to throw the bag away. The Kirkland brands are consistently much higher quality. They're cleaner, have less ice in the bags, and good texture. My favourite is still frozen raw Canadian wild shrimp but I haven't seen that in a while.

                      2. re: acd123
                        prima RE: acd123 Feb 18, 2014 11:45 AM

                        Not sure. I already discarded the packaging.

                      3. re: prima
                        Vinnie Vidimangi RE: prima Feb 18, 2014 03:19 PM

                        Read on the internet about sodium tripolyphosphate as it is used with fish and seafood.

              2. dachopstix RE: Helen Feb 13, 2014 08:50 AM

                I've seen personally where farm raised king salmon fillets were passed off and sold as wild caught salmon

                Won't mention the store (don't want to be libellous, as I don't have physical proof), but I worked there myself and was in that department.

                5 Replies
                1. re: dachopstix
                  Flexitarian RE: dachopstix Feb 13, 2014 10:14 AM

                  Libel is only libel if what you say is not true, but if what you are saying is true and can be proven it cannot be libel. But, of course, you say you do not have physical proof. I don't know how a fishmonger can live with themselves by committing such fraud on unsuspecting customers who think they are getting something healthier and therefore paying a premium for it.

                  But how did you know the salmon was not wild? Because it was labelled as farmed and the store then advertised it as wild instead? This was not a result of a mistake but was intentional?

                  NYTimes had an article (and many others have appeared elsewhere) showing that more than 50% of fish sold in NY City (both in restaurants and stores) was falsely labelled as wild. They found out by genetic testing which is the only way to test for this.

                  1. re: Flexitarian
                    dachopstix RE: Flexitarian Feb 13, 2014 10:29 AM

                    Hey Flex,

                    Exactly - the box's label clearly stated farmed king salmon fillets, and it was being labelled and sold in store as wild caught pacific coho salmon fillets. It was a supermarket, not an independent fishmonger. I never thought to take pictures of it, nor brought it up because I was still employed. To be honest, I forgot the whole situation until I read this thread.

                    1. re: Flexitarian
                      Vinnie Vidimangi RE: Flexitarian Feb 13, 2014 04:24 PM

                      Have you ever heard of fish being thrown away because it was too old?

                      1. re: Flexitarian
                        beach_cook RE: Flexitarian Feb 17, 2014 01:02 PM

                        also true in Canada:


                        1. re: Flexitarian
                          pikawicca RE: Flexitarian Feb 17, 2014 01:29 PM

                          If you have the whole salmon in front of you, you can easily tell if it's wild or farmed, as the wild variety has a much more developed tail fin.

                      2. mcf RE: Helen Feb 13, 2014 08:53 AM

                        Only available frozen til about April to Oct or Nov.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: mcf
                          mcf RE: mcf Feb 13, 2014 08:54 AM

                          Okay, but I urge you to report it to local authorities.

                        2. e
                          erly RE: Helen Feb 13, 2014 02:05 PM

                          For the past few weeks I have been buying Wild Chinook Salmon from Diana's.
                          It is truly delicious.
                          My standby has been Wild Irish Salmon also from Diana's but have not seen it for a while.
                          Except for making Gravlox, I now prefer the Chinook.

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: erly
                            Flexitarian RE: erly Feb 13, 2014 02:12 PM

                            One of the other tricks retailers try is to switch one fish for another. Of course you can't switch whitefish for salmon but salmon for salmon or whitefish for whitefish.

                            DIana's is great because the heads are on the fish and therefore if you are knowledgeable enough you can identify the fish by looking at it which of course you cannot do with just a filet, even if the skin is still on. And, yes, they do clean the fish at request and take the heads off if you want. I just wish Diana's wasn't so far away from me as I live in DT Toronto.

                            1. re: Flexitarian
                              DockPotato RE: Flexitarian Feb 14, 2014 05:19 PM

                              A wee factoid - freshwater Whitefish is in fact a member of the Salmon family.

                              1. re: DockPotato
                                Flexitarian RE: DockPotato Feb 14, 2014 05:25 PM

                                Wow, I didn't know that but the flesh is not pink.

                                1. re: Flexitarian
                                  Raffles RE: Flexitarian Feb 14, 2014 05:28 PM

                                  pink might mean artificial food additives.....wild trout, a salmon relation, is not pink...

                                  1. re: Raffles
                                    Flexitarian RE: Raffles Feb 14, 2014 06:25 PM

                                    I meant the whitefish flesh is never pink

                                    1. re: Flexitarian
                                      DockPotato RE: Flexitarian Feb 14, 2014 06:59 PM

                                      Sorry, Flex, I read, "...wild trout, a salmon relation, is not pink..." and so was puzzled.

                                      Please take no offence.

                                    2. re: Raffles
                                      DockPotato RE: Raffles Feb 14, 2014 06:33 PM

                                      "...wild trout, a salmon relation, is not pink..."

                                      Every wild Trout I've ever caught has coloured flesh: Brook Trout are saffron coloured; Rainbow range from deep pink to red depending on season and Lake Trout can be orange to a subdued pink depending on the lake. Brown Trout are generally deep orange. Lake Huron spring Coho are deep red.

                                      If you encounter any wild Salmonid (except Whitefish) with pale-coloured flesh it's probably unfit for consumption as it was taken at the end of spawning when all bodily resources go into the act of reproduction. The meat tastes bloody awful. In many cases the living fish itself is in a state pf putrefaction.

                                      On the plate a perfect Salmonid (freshwater that is) is a pleasant pink when cooked. Except Whitefish. For clarification, "Salmonidae" include all Trout, Salmon and Char species.

                                      A photo shows what a wild, prime Lake Huron Rainbow looks like - about a 5 lb. fish as I recall. That beast was actually redder than a Coho but not by much.

                                      For comparison I show 2 pans of Lake Trout fillets which are lighter and more orange in colour. In latter years Lakers have been shofting to more pink as the strain stocked by MNR seems to be reverting to type or interbreeding with original stock (my unsuported opinion).

                                      1. re: DockPotato
                                        Raffles RE: DockPotato Feb 18, 2014 06:52 AM

                                        I stand corrected...

                            2. TorontoTuna RE: Helen Feb 13, 2014 04:08 PM

                              It's not in season 'till mid April. 'Hooked' are honest fishmongers who will never lie to you and have only sustainable product. Their beautiful white gulf shrimp and fresh yellow perch from Lake Erie are worth the trip there. Their lobsters NEVER see a tank, but are flown in the same day harvested. Big fan of this joint.

                              12 Replies
                              1. re: TorontoTuna
                                ComerDemonio RE: TorontoTuna Feb 13, 2014 05:34 PM


                                1. re: TorontoTuna
                                  jayt90 RE: TorontoTuna Feb 15, 2014 02:38 AM

                                  Wild Chinook, aka Spring or King salmon can be taken from the B.C. coast all year. Perhaps this is Diana's source.

                                  T. Tuna, when you refer to white gulf shrimp, is it Gulf of Mexico or Gulf of St.Lawrence?

                                  1. re: jayt90
                                    Alan408 RE: jayt90 Feb 18, 2014 07:15 AM

                                    Jay do you have a reference to BC's king salmon fishing season?

                                    1. re: Alan408
                                      jayt90 RE: Alan408 Feb 18, 2014 08:19 AM

                                      Here is a chart; midsummer and December are restricted. http://www.bcseafood.ca/about/seasona...

                                      1. re: jayt90
                                        Alan408 RE: jayt90 Feb 18, 2014 08:48 AM


                                      2. re: Alan408
                                        daislander RE: Alan408 Feb 18, 2014 10:56 AM

                                        Its not as clear cut as chart below. There are in season openings, closures and allocations that have to be followed. Not sure if your looking for commercial or rec but this is the best website as these are the guys who set the rules. http://www-ops2.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fns...

                                        1. re: daislander
                                          jayt90 RE: daislander Feb 18, 2014 11:07 AM

                                          Maybe you can guide us through that opaque government site, or summarize openings and closings for commercial Chinook fishery in B.C.
                                          This came about because Diana's is reported to be selling fresh wild Chinook in mid winter.
                                          If they can't get it from commercial boats in B.C., who would dare to suggest they are selling New Zealand farmed Chinook as wild?

                                          1. re: jayt90
                                            daislander RE: jayt90 Feb 18, 2014 11:20 AM

                                            This has been a pretty huge story here. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british... I might say natives at another time of year.

                                            Im not sure what or who Dianas is but the issue is we don't have many chinook salmon around right now. Well we do if you are dragging a lure or two tight along the bottom were we have 'resident winter chinook'. The gas and methods the commies use can't target these fish. So there is no way a commie boat is going out there, as there are no schools of fish traveling threw for them to target.

                                            Has anyone looked close at the raw fish? Farmed chinook you can tell a mile away it has those fat white stripe lines running threw it.

                                            I tired to find a picture but I can see it might be hard for someone who has never seen a wild fillet (for sure) to know the difference. Wild still has lines of course not not nearly as wide or threw it as much this is the best pic I could find for now http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-3rEycSfX9aA...

                                            1. re: daislander
                                              LexiFirefly RE: daislander Feb 18, 2014 02:08 PM

                                              Who are these "commies" you're talking about? Is this a fishing term I'm not familiar with?

                                              1. re: LexiFirefly
                                                daislander RE: LexiFirefly Feb 18, 2014 10:10 PM

                                                Commie= Commercial fisherman and rec= recreational/sportfishers. Sorry :-)

                                    2. re: TorontoTuna
                                      Flexitarian RE: TorontoTuna Feb 15, 2014 08:00 AM

                                      I really like Hooked as they stick to their principles of sustainable fish, being knoweldgable about what they sell and being a friendly store. They don't make you feel stupid if you ask questions or rush you.

                                      As for whitefish vs salmon, I think I should clarify what I was saying. If the meat of the fish is white it is difficult if it is just a filet, unless the skin gives some clues, to tell what kind of a fish it is. It is much easier if the fish is still whole as it is at Diana's.

                                      1. re: Flexitarian
                                        Dr. John RE: Flexitarian Feb 15, 2014 06:31 PM

                                        I too am a fan of Hooked as they really know their sources and the sustainability of the fisheries. Personally I have not had a substandard purchase from them.

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