Wester Ross top in taste test

Fish Farmer - - Shows Must Go On -

WESTER Ross Fish­eries could not have had a bet­ter start to this year’s Boston show, af­ter its salmon was cho­sen as the world’s joint best by the in­flu­en­tial Boston Globe news­pa­per.

Globe re­porter Sh­eryl Julian con­ducted a trial, mak­ing and tast­ing more than half a dozen salmon brands ahead of the expo last month.

All North At­lantic salmon sold in the su­per­mar­kets is farmed, she pointed out, as it is no longer fished com­mer­cially.

‘We sam­pled salmon from East­ern Canada, Nor­way, Ice­land, British Columbia, Scot­land, and the Faroe Is­lands,’ she wrote. ‘We also tasted wild Sock­eye salmon from Alaska.

‘All of the farmed salmon looks sim­i­lar — that fa­mil­iar pink­ish colour with fat stripes in a zig-zag pat­tern. Only the Sock­eye stands out for its in­tensely deep hue.

‘In the tast­ing, our two favourites were Wester Ross from Scot­land and Hid­denFjord from Faroe Is­lands.’ Julian wrote.

‘Nor­way and Scot­land salmon were on op­po­site ends of the taste spec­trum. Nor­way salmon ($9.99/pound at Whole Foods Mar­ket, fish from Kvaroy Fish Farm) is what I think of as ‘wedding salmon’. This is what you get at events. The fish has big, deep, pink flakes, it’s moist, and if you close your eyes, you could be eating any mild fish. It has lit­tle salmon flavour.

‘The Scot­tish salmon we tasted ($14.95/pound at Cap­tain Mar­den’s, raised at Wester Ross Fish­eries) is ev­ery­thing salmon should be: per­fect moist tex­ture, de­li­cious flavour that tastes of the sea, al­most but­tery. This topped our list of favourites, along with Faroe Is­lands.

‘Faroe Is­lands salmon ($14.99/pound at Mar­den’s, from Hid­denFjord), tastes fat­tier than the Scot­tish, but not the least bit strong, with a dense, appealing tex­ture. This fish and Scot­tish salmon tasted the best.

‘Ice­land salmon ($8.99/pound at Whole Foods), a pale, al­most pink, colour, melts as you eat it; but the tex­ture is too soft and the taste un­re­mark­able.

‘Farmed East­ern Canada salmon ($12.99/pound at Cap­tain Mar­den’s) is a lit­tle chewy, mild to the point of be­ing bland. It’s a lit­tle dry and doesn’t flake eas­ily.

‘Or­ganic farmed King salmon from British Columbia ($25/pound at Cap­tain Mar­den’s) is shiny with very white fat streaks. It has a mild salmony taste with a beau­ti­ful, firm tex­ture. We didn’t think it was worth the pre­mium price. (Note: Though this is farmed, it’s King salmon, not North At­lantic salmon.)

‘Wild Alaska Sock­eye ($14.99/pound at Whole Foods, pre­vi­ously frozen) is very dark, al­most red, with lean, firm flesh that seems meaty. It has more flavour than farmed, but the dense tex­ture isn’t win­ning.’

Above: Wester Ross boss Gilpin Bradley (left) with Wheeler Seafood’s team

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