© Paula Trites
Atlantic Salmon are quite different from Pacific Salmon; they’re not really very closely related.
Pacific salmon isn’t actually a single type of salmon, but rather seven different species. They all die after spawning.
Atlantic salmon are all one species, “Salmo salar.” The fish can spawn up to 3 times, and lives after spawning. It has bright pink flesh and is fattier than Pacific Salmon.
Atlantic salmon are native to both sides of the Atlantic, that is, Eastern North America and Western Europe. The wild population is no longer sufficient for commercial fishing. Most are now fish-farmed and harvested at about 10 pounds (4 kg.)
Salmon fillets are pure flesh. Salmon steaks are cut through the backbone and include a lot of bone which make them more fiddly to eat.
When buying fresh Salmon, choose fish with no fishy smell and with clear eyes. The gills should be bright red with no slime, and the flesh should spring back when pressed.
When poaching a salmon, remove the head, tail and skin after poaching.
When grilling fillets or steaks, they don’t really need any marinade, just seasoning with some salt, pepper, and perhaps some herbs.
To steam salmon, place in a covered steamer and steam for 3 minutes. Remove steamer from heat, still leaving it covered, and let stand to finish cooking. Let stand 5 minutes for lightly-cooked, pink flesh; 7 minutes for firmer flesh. You may if you wish when placing it in the steamer place it on a bed of herbs to make a fragrant steam to flavour the fish.
Store fresh salmon in fridge, and use within 1 to 2 days.
Freeze salmon double-wrapped for up to 4 months. To thaw, thaw overnight in refrigerator.
“Boot’s [Ed: Boot’s, the pharmacy in England] errand boy G.R. Elliott recalls the sale of a new line (tinned salmon) causing a sensation:
The usual price at that time was 8d; Mr Boot’s price was 4/2d a tin. Good quality, too. After the news circulated, the sale was sensational. A case contained 3 dozen tins and we sold as many as 40 cases on a Saturday. 120 dozen tins in a single day from one shop. Hard to believe, is it not? Many of the orders were ‘a tin of salmon, please, and will you open it?’ Tin openers were not to be found in every poor house then.” — Eastoe, Jane. Victorian Pharmacy. London, England: Pavilion. 2010. Page 165.