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Not-so-wild salmon.


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#1 whippedkeptboy

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Posted 09 April 2005 - 07:06 PM

"Tests performed for The New York Times in March on salmon sold as wild by eight New York City stores, going for as much as $29 a pound, showed that the fish at six of the eight were farm raised. Farmed salmon, available year round, sells for $5 to $12 a pound in the city."

Much squirming ensues.

#2 Leslie

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Posted 09 April 2005 - 07:21 PM

wow. Sorry to hear this.

I actually called my seafood manager yesterday, where I shop, to find out where his wild salmon was coming from after I read a member's review yesterday that they were eating wild salmon in NYC. I thought it odd because there is always a big hoopla in Seattle in May when the wild Alaska Copper River salmon season begins, because it is touted as the *beginning* of the Alaska Wild Salmon season.

He said his wild salmon at the moment (selling in Seattle) is Oregon troll caught King salmon. He will also be getting some troll caught Alaska King salmon. I still don't really understand all the intracasies of the various wild salmon seasons, but I'm gradually becoming more educated on it.

#3 ngatti

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Posted 09 April 2005 - 08:17 PM

I knew I was right!!!!

Every restaurant in NYC is advertising "wild" on their menus. Yet my fishmongers keep telling mr that there's nothing around yet (this all through the month of March). One and a half weeks ago, there's a break and I can get the real deal.

I never tried to sell farmed as wild, though I did menu it as "NZ organic farm-raised", which it was.

This makes me feel good. i thought I was going nuts. How are all these guys getting wild and I can't?? Well, now I know.
yer 'avin' a larf, mate

#4 ngatti

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Posted 09 April 2005 - 08:27 PM

I'm surprised Ripert and others could not tell. One only has to look at the tail fins. Pound salmon have worn down fins on the top and bottom. Wild salmon retain more of a natural delta shape. Wild salmon is also usually shipped without gills. I don't know why this is. One more thing: Wild salmon is a bitch to pin. I don't think Ripert and others do much pinning anymore. ;) It's a commis job.

edit: re M. Slavin: anyone paying 4.50/# for "wild" salmon should know better. The price tells you what the product is.
yer 'avin' a larf, mate

#5 Orik

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Posted 09 April 2005 - 09:55 PM

Every restaurant in NYC is advertising "wild" on their menus. Yet my fishmongers keep telling mr that there's nothing around yet (this all through the month of March). One and a half weeks ago, there's a break and I can get the real deal.

Yup. I was surprised to see salmon at WE last month too.

Where do you think Eli's got theirs? (freezer?)
I never said that

#6 Rail Paul

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 02:35 AM

At M. Slavin & Sons in Brooklyn, the store manager, Phil Cohen, said: "Our salmon is from Canada. All wild salmon in Canada" is farm raised."

I'd be pretty irritated if I bought fish at Grace's. It's bad enough they're accused of selling mislabeled fish, but they're charging top dollar ($29) for fish that prob cost them $8 to $10 at wholesale.

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#7 ngatti

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 02:42 AM

At M. Slavin & Sons in Brooklyn, the store manager, Phil Cohen, said: "Our salmon is from Canada. All wild salmon in Canada" is farm raised."

I'd be pretty irritated if I bought fish at Grace's. It's bad enough they're accused of selling mislabeled fish, but they're charging top dollar ($29) for fish that prob cost them $8 to $10 at wholesale.

More like $2.89-$3.50, Paul (scaled and gutted, but head on). Filet runs about 4-5 bucks.

Slavin? That's classic, but that's Slavin.
yer 'avin' a larf, mate

#8 bloviatrix

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 02:57 AM

I saw wild salmon in the market the other day, which just seemed odd to me. I remember in years past getting excited when wild salmon showed up in mid-may. Now I see I was right.
Future Legacy Participant.

#9 macrosan

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 08:37 AM

All wild salmon in Canada is farm raised

;) Someone should buy the poor guy a dictionary.

So is someone going to get prosecuted for this ?

#10 ngatti

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 12:10 PM

I'm surprised Ripert and others could not tell. One only has to look at the tail fins. Pound salmon have worn down fins on the top and bottom. Wild salmon retain more of a natural delta shape. Wild salmon is also usually shipped without gills. I don't know why this is. One more thing: Wild salmon is a bitch to pin. I don't think Ripert and others do much pinning anymore. ;) It's a commis job.

edit: re M. Slavin: anyone paying 4.50/# for "wild" salmon should know better. The price tells you what the product is.

I see from the article that Ripert and pasternack were inspecting *filets*.

Yes, much more difficult to separate visually. Still, there are a few general guidelines.

The flesh of farm-raised tend to have wider white bands alternating with the common pink color of the flesh.

Wild Kings tend to a more uniform color with llittle or none of this 'banding'. Again I emphasize that wild kings are much more difficult to pin.

Pulling the fish from the "wrong pile" made me laugh out loud. That guy's a real joker.
yer 'avin' a larf, mate

#11 marcus

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 03:13 PM

There is a post on the eGullet thread that appears authoritative, from a Washington State poster, that indicates that there is at least a small quantity of wild fresh Oregon salmon available now. Whether any of this makes it to the East coast is another question.

#12 yvonne johnson

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 03:30 PM

I'm not surprised by the findings in the NYT. "Wild", "day boat", "line caught", "'diver' scallops" etc are gimmicks. An excuse to put the price up and, in most cases, when I see them on menus, I take them with a pinch of salt.
It was not a new dish, as I recognised my tooth marks. Wilfrid

#13 marcus

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 03:39 PM

I'm not surprised by the findings in the NYT. "Wild", "day boat", "line caught", "'diver' scallops" etc are gimmicks. An excuse to put the price up and, in most cases, when I see them on menus, I take them with a pinch of salt.

These are all meaningful characterizations, and represent potentially significant increments in quality over conventional commercially caught fresh fish. They are only gimmicks when they are used fraudulently, which is apparently now pervasive. The message that I take away from the NYT article, is only to buy fish from the dayboat stands in the greenmarkets, and to be very wary of ordering fish in restaurants.

#14 ngatti

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 03:43 PM

There is a post on the eGullet thread that appears authoritative, from a Washington State poster, that indicates that there is at least a small quantity of wild fresh Oregon salmon available now. Whether any of this makes it to the East coast is another question.

Indeed, I menued it this week. There was some last week also. The first time all year I was able to menu "Wild"
yer 'avin' a larf, mate

#15 Rail Paul

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 03:47 PM

I'm not surprised by the findings in the NYT.  "Wild", "day boat", "line caught",  "'diver' scallops" etc are gimmicks.  An excuse to put the price up and, in most cases,  when I see them on menus, I take them with a pinch of salt.

These are all meaningful characterizations, and represent potentially significant increments in quality over conventional commercially caught fresh fish. They are only gimmicks when they are used fraudulently, which is apparently now pervasive. The message that I take away from the NYT article, is only to buy fish from the dayboat stands in the greenmarkets, and to be very wary of ordering fish in restaurants.

Katy McLaughlin wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal on this precise topic about two years ago.

She solicited opinions on the eGullet website, as I recall, and several people offered comments. Her conclusion was "peeky-toe" or "dayboat" or geographically specific labels could allow some wholesalers to double the usual price.

I believe Nick referred her to a knowledgeable fish seller who was quoted.

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman