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What should fresh salmon smell like?

Many of our customers are avid fishers, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts who eat their meals outside, over a fire, after a day of harvesting. Some, however, live far from the ocean or the river and are less familiar with the delicious wonders of Bristol Bay sockeye salmon. We understand that for these folks, there may be a bit more confusion about what constitutes fresh fish, especially if and when it arrives at your door frozen. 


It is important to understand that “fresh” fish found in the grocery store does not always mean quality fish. Unfortunately, in the commoditized seafood market, fresh can often simply mean thawed. This means when shopping in person - at the grocery store, for example - you should avoid sockeye salmon fillets that have gapes in the meat or meat that is fading to orange. Unless you are eating on the back deck or river bank in Bristol Bay during the summer months, the best option is fresh-frozen sockeye fillets. Fresh-frozen means that the fish was frozen by a high-quality spiral freezer when it was fresh so that when it thaws - preferably in your fridge over a few hours - it will thaw into the same level of freshness that it was frozen at. 


When unboxing and then thawing your first Pride of Bristol Bay order, you’ll notice a few things that help show how fresh our product really is. First, the flesh will be bright red when thawed. When frozen, it may be more orange, or a classic “salmon” color. Second, the salmon meat will be firm to a gentle touch, not mushy. Rushing thawing with a hot water bath can make fresh-frozen fish mushy; we recommend an overnight thaw in the fridge. Once removed from the vac-pack, the salmon will be damp, but not slimy. Finally, fresh salmon should smell fresh. There is no fishy odor to fresh fish; it may smell like the ocean but not the ocean at low tide - more like the crisp, fresh smell of cold-running river water. 


Enjoy!

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