What journey does a salmon take from our waters to your plate?
In a challenging and rewarding process of searching for schools of fish, using indicators like whales and sea birds, we sometimes get on the bite. When we find good fishing, things quickly get exciting and laborious.
Each fish we catch bites one of the meticulously sharpened hooks attached to whatever lure is the skipper's current favorite. Once hooked, the strong salmon tug at the line while we jump to reel them in.
Once retrieved, the lively and vibrant fish are stunned in the water and pulled aboard.
Our fish quality starts the moment each one is hooked; stunning and immediate heading prevent the fish from flopping around and bruising or losing scales.
Using a saltwater-filled pipette, all blood is flushed from the fish's vascular system.
Cleaning the fish involves removal of entrails and all viscera with precise cuts made by a sharp and practiced knife.
At this point, the fish has transitioned to a recognizable and palatable piece of meat, boasting shiny silver scales and bright, salmon red flesh .
After vacuuming each fish to remove any slime or excess water, they are precisely placed on a frosty freezer tray and rapidly brought down to temperature in our -40° F blast freezer.
Once our fish are down to temperature, we dip them in a cold saltwater bath to form a thin ice coated glaze that seals in moisture and keeps oxygen away from the salmon's tender flesh.
Glaze creates a freezer-stable product that maintains its day-of-catch freshness throughout the journey from our family to your fork.
Why wild salmon?
If you are concerned about how your seafood choices affect your body and the planet, the truth is that sustainably managed wild fisheries are the best choice. In terms of taste, texture, and color, wild salmon is far superior to any farmed variety. Salmon are touted for their superfood status, largely due their copious quantity of heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids.
The fat content of salmon provides the distinct flavor and soft, buttery feel of the meat. The fat content depends on the type of species, ocean environment and spawning cycle. Salmon pack on fat to leave the ocean and make the long, vigorous trip to freshwater. Salmon eating their natural diets and swimming in the chilly, clear Alaskan waters result in a culinary delight packed with nutrients. Farmed salmon are fed pellets full of chemicals, stuffed in pens and their flesh dyed red to imitate the real thing. Simply put, nature's process cannot be mimicked; the quality of wild salmon is unparalleled.
For further information on wild and sustainable seafood, see Alaska Seafood Sustainability In Plain English.