Taste Test: The 5 Pacific salmon species

Allison Hepworth - July 10, 2023

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A few years ago (when all 5 salmon species were available and abundant), the team at Skipper Otto put salmon to the test. In a blind taste test, the team tried each of the 5 species of Pacific salmon, side by side, and compared them. The results were fascinating, surprising and delicious!

The Method

How the taste taste was performed:

  • all 5 species of salmon were treated the same way
    • each fillet was carefully laid out on its own cedar plank which had been soaked all day in water
    • each fillet was prepared with salt and pepper, and crushed garlic and olive oil paste was spread on each fillets, along with a dabs of butter
  • each cedar plank was labelled A, B, C, D, and E and the “answer key” was hidden away so only the cook (Sonia) knew which was which
  • everyone labelled their paper plates with the same system so when they were served, they could tell the pieces apart
  • everyone was given paper and pen and asked not to try to guess the names of the samples but instead to spend time savouring the unique flavour of each piece and attempting to describe it
  • once samples were enjoyed and notes written, the team shared their thoughts and, finally, voted on their top choices


The Results

Choosing a favourite proved difficult. Everyone agreed that each salmon species was delicious in their own right and it came down to individual preferences.

The overall results however were:

Chinook – was thick and meaty with rich buttery flavour. It was chosen by more than half the group as their favourite

Coho – wonderful flavour and held the cedar plank smoke taste quite well. It was chosen by many as their 2nd choice

Pink & Chum – loved for their mild but delicious flavour. Both were chosen as favourites and 2nd choices by a few.

Sockeye – with its rich red coloured meat many knew by sight which species it was, and was enjoyed by all.

In the end, the main takeaways were:

  1. All 5 species of salmon are delicious
  2. Don’t overcook your salmon

Thinking of trying out your own side-by-side taste test? Share your results and send photos to [email protected].

Allison Hepworth - July 10, 2023

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Taste Test: The 5 Pacific salmon species

Allison Hepworth - July 10, 2023

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