Salmon is one of the world’s most widely consumed types of fish. The majority enjoy its rich flavor and nutritional benefits. A recent study shows that it’s ranked third among the most popular fish consumed in the U.S.
However, different types of salmon are available on the market, each with unique characteristics. Many factors set these different types of salmon apart, from the sourcing location to their flavor profiles. The best part? People also enjoy eating wild salmon roe from the different types of salmon.
This article dives into the differences between the most common types of salmon, including sockeye, coho, king, and farmed salmon. Whether you are a seasoned seafood expert or just curious, here’s your chance to understand the key differences.
Getting this insight will help you choose the best one for your tastes and cooking needs.
Let’s get started!
What Is The Difference Between Different Types Of Salmon?
There are different types of salmon, each with its distinct taste, texture, and color. While all-female salmon produce salmon roe, the eggs vary in size, color, and flavor.
The difference depends on the species and environment in which it’s produced. For example, sockeye salmon roe is deep red with a strong, slightly bitter flavor. On the other hand, pink salmon roe is lighter in color and has a mild, slightly sweet flavor.
But what is salmon roe? Salmon roe is the eggs produced by female salmon fish. Also called salmon caviar, it’s a delicacy in many cultures. Salmon roe is often harvested at the end of the salmon’s life cycle when the fish is spawning. People buy it to either consume it raw or pickled.
Buying the best salmon roe from a trusted supplier comes with numerous benefits. You get to enjoy nutritional benefits for your body. Above all, it helps to know where the salmon came from. Nonetheless, buying salmon roe from a trustworthy supplier ensures quality.
You can enjoy your salmon roe as an addition to your breakfast or appetizer! The best salmon roe creates an irresistible flavor and color burst. Having originated from the icy waters, the finest wild salmon becomes a delicious addition to your meals.
The most common types of salmon include:
● Atlantic Salmon
Atlantic salmon is native to the Atlantic Ocean, unlike other species of salmon native to the Pacific Ocean. This difference in origin can affect the flavor and texture of the salmon, as well as its susceptibility to disease and parasites.
When it comes to its appearance, Atlantic salmon typically has a more streamlined body. It also displays a lighter color than other types of salmon. This salmon type appears silvery blue to green to brown, and it’s often covered in tiny black spots.
How does it taste? The flavor of Atlantic salmon can be slightly sweeter than that of other salmons. Also, it has a firm, meaty texture.
Atlantic salmon is a migratory species. This means that it spends most of its life in the ocean before returning to freshwater to spawn. Spawning season is when you can harvest Atlantic wild salmon roe.
● Sockeye or Red Salmon
Sockeye salmon originates from the North Pacific Ocean. Sockeye salmon is available in saltwater and freshwater environments, unlike other salmon species. Also, it’s famous for the long migrations to and from its spawning grounds. Besides, it can spend up to 3 years before returning to spawn.
Sockeye salmon is easily recognizable by its deep red color and firm, oily flesh. The red coloration is the result of high levels of astaxanthin. Also, the oily flesh is due to high levels of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Many people flock to high-end restaurants for grilled sockeye. Why is that? The taste of Sockeye salmon is often described as rich, bold, and slightly smoky. It also has a firm texture and noticeable oiliness. This flavor and texture make it a popular choice for grilling and smoking.
● Chinook or King Salmon
Chinook or King Salmon is considered one of the most prized species of salmon. Its salmon roe prices are also high and for a good reason. It’s different from other salmons in different ways.
First, Chinook salmon is the largest species of Pacific salmon, with some weighing over 100 pounds. This size and the high oil content of the flesh make it an ideal choice for a rich and oily cooking method. People like to grill, smoke, or roast.
Additionally, the flavor of Chinook salmon is rich and buttery, with a delicate sweetness and a slight nuttiness. This flavor profile, combined with the high oil content of the flesh, is an ideal preference for chefs and home cooks.
King salmon is known for its long migratory patterns. It can move from the Gulf of Alaska to California and other points along the Pacific coast. This extended migration results in different flavors depending on the fish’s diet and environment.
● Coho or Silver Salmon
Though it’s another type of Pacific salmon, it differs from the rest in several ways. Nonetheless, it’s among the favorites in the U.S., with a total commercial harvest of 18 million pounds in 2021. This makes it easy to find where to buy salmon roe for the silver salmon. Let’s see what makes it stand out.
Coho salmon is smaller than other species, with most fish weighing between 4 and 12 pounds. Despite its smaller size, Coho salmon is known for its rich, flavorful flesh and high oil content.
Undeniably, the flavor of Silver salmon is outstanding! It is delicate and mild, with a subtle sweetness and a slightly nutty taste. This mild flavor makes it a versatile choice for various recipes, including grilling, baking, and poaching.
The short life cycle of Coho salmon is also notably different. Silver salmon spend only 1-2 years in the ocean before returning to freshwater to spawn. This short life cycle enables a consistent flavor and texture from year to year. Consequently, it has become a popular choice for commercial and recreational fishing.
● Pink or Humpy Salmon
Pink salmon is the most plentiful Pacific salmon, with about 70% of the fish returning annually. What’s more?
Most Humpty salmon weigh between 1 and 4 pounds. They are one of the smallest types of Pacific salmon. But there’s more to the small size. Pink salmon is famous for its tender, delicate flesh, and low oil content.
What about the taste? The flavor of Pink salmon is light and mild, with a subtle sweetness and a somewhat nutty taste. So, if you enjoy trying different recipes with the same ingredient, you can grill, bake, or poach your Humpty Salmon. Better still, you can buy the wild salmon roe and enjoy it for breakfast.
Pink salmon has a relatively short life cycle, spending only 2 years in the ocean before returning to spawn. The short life cycle helps to maintain a consistent flavor and texture. Plus, it makes it easy for both commercial and recreational fishing.
Salmon is a diverse and highly prized fish species that people enjoy worldwide. As observed, there are different types of salmon, including Atlantic, Sockeye or Red, Chinook or King, Coho or Silver, and Pink or Humpy. Each differs from the others in terms of size, flavor, life cycle, and nutritional value.
When choosing salmon, it is essential to consider the source, season, and method of harvesting. This also applies to salmon roe. Farmed salmon is widely available and affordable but can have a lower-quality flavor and texture. Conversely, wild-caught salmon is generally more expensive but offers a fresher, more authentic taste. It’s also environmentally friendly.
No matter which type of salmon you prefer, enjoy it as part of a healthy, balanced diet. The high nutritional value, delicious flavor, and versatile cooking options make salmon a choice that will please your taste buds.