Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Are Copper River salmon really better?

Hold onto your hat, it's Copper River salmon time in Seattle. The first batch was flown in today on Alaska Airlines, to much rejoicing.

Now we can watch normally sane people plunk down an amazing $30 per pound or more for salmon. That's something here in the heart of salmon country. (update 2: price is up to $38.95 per pound in Dayton, Ohio)

Why? Are Copper River salmon really better than other salmon?

Since blogfish is the home of a self-proclaimed expert (I caught my first salmon when I was knee-high to a Sasquatch, and I've eaten some salmon before the fish even knew they were dead), I decided to look into it.

According to Copper River Seafoods, it's fine salmon, careful handling, and smart marketing. Now that's believable, it's gotta be good to start with, absolutely must be handled right, and without a bit of hype who's gonna pay $60 for a dinner they have to cook themselves?

Some competitors outside the Copper River make solid claims that they have some equal or even better salmon to sell, but weaker marketing leads to substantially lower prices for their fabulous Yukon kings. You might want to try some.

My unoffocial poll of local salmon experts (who requested anonymity) says Copper River salmon is great, but no better than some other salmon that fetches much lower prices. Blogfish's taste testing ordeal (hey somebody had to do it) yielded the same conclusion along with some annoying bulges near my hipbones (musta been the Pinot Gris, but that's another story).
After all this, will blogfish pay the price to take home some Copper River salmon this year? Yes, but after the first week or so when prices start to come down.

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