- Joined Nov 7, 2011
My wife and I did blind tastings of farmed Atlantic salmon and wild sockeye. I did two identical preps. Brined and cold smoked and pan seared.You say that, Ed, as though somebody comes along and paints them.
The color of farm-raised fish comes from the same chemical found in krill that gives wild-salmon their color. The color is, of course, never as deep in farm raised, which is what makes it visually identifyable.
This anti-farm-raised attitude really makes my teeth ache. There are, to be sure, some significant problems with shallow-water fish farming. But those are environmental and sustainability issues, which the aquaculture industry has been working very hard to solve. And most of them do not exist with deep-water farming, although that is much more expensive.
However, test after test has shown there is no significant difference in flavor or texture between farm raised salmon and wild.
One of our members is a fishmonger who periodically runs some tests with his customers, having them taste both kinds. The just folks customers can't tell the difference at all. The foodies can tell the difference only because of the color. As it turns out, in blind taste tests (I've run a few of my own, incidentally), there are very few people who can tell any difference----although almost everybody claims that they can ahead of time.
Far as I'm concerned, this anti-farming attitude reflects culinary snobbery at its very worst.
Meanwhile, unless you're a hunter/gatherer yourself, there's a long list of proteins you shouldn't be eating if you feel so strongly about wild vs raised. To push the issue, that would include cattle of all kinds. After all, a grain-finished cow, or even one that is grass fed, has no resemblence to a free-range steer.
But, realistically, if you purchase your proteins you have never eaten wild catfish. It's very unlikely you have ever eaten wild mussels. And it's almost a surety you've not eaten wild striped bass, wild covina, wild cobia, wild rainbow trout, or half a dozen other finned fishes we could name, including, to put a point on it, branzino.
We both liked the farmed cold smoked over the wild. My wife preferred the wild pan seared. I like the farmed.
Not a fair tasting since they were not the same species but was is available to us on average in both wild and farmed