Fishy question and answers
It seems as if my continual message of ‘become and educate buyer’ is having some impact. I say this as this week, I received some fishy queries as a result of my last message. Hopefully this will become a regular thing. What I will do is set up a ‘frequent question’ section on our website with some of the more colourful questions and answers. In the interim, here are a few questions that were asked recently and which I can answer.
There were many questions about Salmon, which does not surprise me, it being a very popular little dish. Here we go….
Is Atlantic salmon wild caught? The majority of Atlantic Salmon is now farmed. It is farmed not only in the Atlantic primarily in places like Norway, Faroe island, Iceland, but also in the Southern Hemisphere in countries such as Chile and New Zealand. It is now controversially being farmed in Canada on both coasts. You can also get wild caught Atlantic Salmon but it is very few and far between.
I heard Atlantic Salmon has naturally white meat, is that true? Correct. Farm-raised salmon is naturally gray; the pink color is added by carotenoid astaxanthin. The colour of the fish changes due to the quantities of this additive. Wild salmon is naturally pink due to their diet which includes natural astaxanthin, a reddish-orange compound found in krill and shrimp on which they feed.
What’s the difference between Atlantic Salmon and Pacific Salmon? The short answer is that they are two different species of the salmon and each used to be indigenous to the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans respectively. Aquaculture has changed that somewhat but in the main Atlantic Salmon is farmed and Pacific salmon is wild caught.
Is Wild caught better that farmed salmon? A difficult question. It is primarily down to one’s preference. To me you can’t beat the flavour and texture of the wild salmons. In saying that, you cant beat a piece of well farmed Atlantic. It is superb.
Do all fish have additives? I would suggest that most farmed fish have additives. It is generally necessary for their production. However, there are now some great organic farmed products in the market. Wild caught fish are definitely more natural.
What is glaze? Glaze should be pure water. It is added to the surface of fish as a protection usually to stop freezer burn during storage. It should be just a slight covering for this purpose, but some suppliers add to bolster up the weight of the product as we mentioned last week. So, a 10% glaze would mean that the net weight of the fish is only 90%. Then you need to understand prices.
Should products be labelled in Hong Kong? That is easy, a definitive ‘yes’. HK labelling laws are very specific and labelling of food items is mandatory. The laws are a little confusing as they are combination of different jurisdictional requirements. But this is an issue for the supplier who needs to make sure the labels meet the requirements. All products should have labels.
There are so many marketing accreditations. It is confusing. Do they mean anything? Good question and a little more complex, so I’ll make this a separate topic another week. But in essence, they should mean something and you should again be aware of them and what they mean. Both the supplier and seller should know what they mean and have accreditation to prove the said.
So, there are eight questions and, I hope, eight informative answers.
Send me more questions of you like via firstname.lastname@example.org or send a query to the website.
Ill cover more on labelling in couple of weeks.
Stay well out there