Types of salmon in BC
The largest of all Salmon, the King Salmon is the most desirable species for several reasons: it has the highest percentage of body fat, the most Omega 3, and (many feel) the best flavor. King Salmon is available in several pigment variations including red, white and marbled flesh. 15-35% fat.
Red Salmon eat only Krill and Phytoplankton as opposed to fish, so they have the most Astaxanthin and obtain a noticeably deeper orange hue than other species. Spawning sockeye turn bright red and olive green during spawning season; the males form hooked jaws and form a hump for defending nests from other males. 10%-22% fat.
Though having a lower fat content, the smaller Silver Salmon can taste close to Sockeye if from a reliable source but they normally do not contain the same amount of Omega 3 or Astaxanthin. “Coho Salmon” were introduced to the Great Lakes, first in 1873 and then successfully in the 1960’s. 5%-15% fat.
The smallest and most abundant of Pacific Salmon, the Pink Salmon males have a distinguished humpback. Bright silver when in the ocean and turning gray and yellow during spawning, “Humpies” are not as flavourful as premium kinds due to lower fat content. Pink Salmon are generally only found canned though at a fraction of the cost of premium species. 3%-9% fat.
Chum Salmon is the type found at discount grocers in the frozen section. The outer skin of Chum Salmon is unusual and resembles tie-dye. “Dog Salmon” do not naturally obtain the same intensity of orange as the others. “Spring Chum” is said to taste great when obtained fresh.) 2%-5% fat.