Salmon are kind of like onions.
No, not because they make you cry. )Hopefully salmon don’t make you cry._ They’re similar because you can buy onions that are grown on a farm, but you can also find and harvest onions in the wild, too. Both onions, both very different things. The same goes for salmon.
When you buy fish at the market, you will most likely see some labeled “farm-raised” and some labeled “wild” or “wild-caught.” Sure, they’re both salmon, but they’re very different things. What is the difference, you ask? Great question.
Here’s what to expect from salmon, whether you go the farm-raised or wild-caught route:
What does that even mean? That’s a good question. In the broadest sense, it means that it was raised in some kind of aquatic farming operation, not the wild. But salmon farms vary in size, location, breeding practice, and just about everything else. Farmed salmon will differ in the same way that a carrot farmed in New Jersey differs from a carrot farmed in California.
What does farm-raised salmon taste like? Farm-raised salmon is what people tend to think of when they think of salmon. It’s generally fatty, mild in flavor, and a soft pink-orange hue. It has plenty of stripe-y striations of fat, which creates those big fleshy flakes that separate easily with a fork.
How do I cook this stuff? The beautiful thing about farm-raised salmon is that it can take a beating. It’s a lot harder to overcook than wild salmon, thanks to that high fat content. You can cook farm-raised salmon to medium rare (maybe slow-roast it), but you can also take it further, without being concerned about the fish drying out quickly.