Community Message Boards
Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: "Red" Salmon vs "Pink" Salmon

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Duluth, MN
    Posts
    1,687

    Question "Red" Salmon vs "Pink" Salmon

    My SIL was over recently and we were talking about food and the topic of salmon came up. She said that "red" salmon had higher nutrients and was more healthy than "pink" salmon. I hadn't heard that before, but I was under the impression that color can be misleading due to what ever the fish are eating - especially farm raised.

    So, is "red" salmon healthier than "pink" salmon? Where does the mighty BB weigh in? Which fish reigns supreme?
    Blogging it! A healthy serving of books, a dash of food, a splash of knitting, all topped off with the occasional trip. Serving recipe reviews on Mondays, book reviews on Thursdays.

    Scifi with a Dash of Paprika

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    24,224
    I did a bit of searching and found this:


    Sockeye or red salmon has a higher oil content and are usually harvested in the North Pacific and Arctic oceans, and regions near California. Once cooked, flakes tend to be medium in size and rich in flavor.

    Humpback salmon, better known as pink salmon, is the smallest Pacific salmon in North America, and are less oily and milder tasting.
    Though I haven't been able to find anything that says one is healthier than the other.
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by sneezles View Post
    I did a bit of searching and found this:

    Sockeye or red salmon has a higher oil content and are usually harvested in the North Pacific and Arctic oceans, and regions near California. Once cooked, flakes tend to be medium in size and rich in flavor.

    Humpback salmon, better known as pink salmon, is the smallest Pacific salmon in North America, and are less oily and milder tasting.

    Though I haven't been able to find anything that says one is healthier than the other.
    I read the same thing in more than one website. I got the sense that the higher fat content would mean more Omega 3 fatty acids. But, I couldn't find it written down exactly that way. The color of the flesh just seems to have more to do with the species of salmon. But the color of the flesh also indicates that the deeper the color, the more fat.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    24,224
    Found this page which compares different types of red salmon and I'm beginning to think that pink salmon is only available canned (except for maybe Alaska).

    My personal preference is for wild Pacific salmon and I tend to lean towards the redder pieces in the fish mongers case.
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    NashVegas, baby!
    Posts
    5,889
    Another aspect of this is that farm-raised salmon are considered less healthy for various reasons, and farm-raised salmon is often artificially colored pink. So the idea that pink = less healthy may be a distillation of pink = farm-raised = less healthy.

    http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/id/QAA400061

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Heading WEST!!
    Posts
    15,348
    Sockeye and King salmon tend to be darker in color.
    Coho and the other varieties tend to be pinker.

    From all the research I have done, there is such a small difference (very small) in omega-3 content from the red and pink that one should eat for taste preference (and cost).
    The sockeye is more expensive, the pink less so.

    Remember that the nutritional analysis will vary from fish to fish because it depends on the water temperature, their diet, health, etc....just like our bodies and the chemistry vary from meal to meal and from season to season

    Overall, for those concerned about Omega-3 content in, say, canned pink versus canned red .....it's within 10 or so mg.
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    24,224
    Well, the humpback salmon is a wild pink salmon though it's true that farm-raised are not the same in color as wild. Though color varies greatly wild salmon also. Found this CL article
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    In my heaven on earth
    Posts
    13,237
    I find a significant difference in flavor between a wild salmon and a farm raised salmon and really prefer the wild after growing up in Alaska. I've never heard of a humpback salmon though. I've regularly heard of King, Silver (Coho), Sockeye and Chinook types of salmon, at least wild caught in Alaska.


    "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself" ~ George Bernard Shaw


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Duluth, MN
    Posts
    1,687
    What folks have mention is what I thought as well, so when the SIL mentioned this I was like "whoa, where did this come from?" And I know that fish from different terroirs (to steal a wine phrase) are going to have different oils and flavor. Like where I live - I like lake trout from Lake of the Woods (big lake in N MN/So Canada) but not from Lake Superior.

    It is the nutrients levels that I don't know about.
    Blogging it! A healthy serving of books, a dash of food, a splash of knitting, all topped off with the occasional trip. Serving recipe reviews on Mondays, book reviews on Thursdays.

    Scifi with a Dash of Paprika

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    456
    Quote Originally Posted by Robyn1007 View Post
    I find a significant difference in flavor between a wild salmon and a farm raised salmon and really prefer the wild after growing up in Alaska. I've never heard of a humpback salmon though. I've regularly heard of King, Silver (Coho), Sockeye and Chinook types of salmon, at least wild caught in Alaska.
    Silver and Coho are the same? Is Silverbrite also the same? I've gotten that from TJ's a few times and we've really liked it, it's labeled wild Alaskan. (and I would call it pink rather than red but I'm not expert)
    Lorien

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    693
    I've always thought that wild salmon was naturally more red in color because the fish have to work harder to swim freely in the ocean, which develops more myoglobin, thus making them redder. I've also understood that is the reason that wild salmon is less fatty - these salmon get a good work-out! Meat that develops with less work (i.e., salmon being farm raised) is "pinker" because they just swim around in ocean pen areas, rather than exert real muscle power to swim the oceans.

    Here's something I found in another web site that has another reason for the color of fish: "The pink colored of some fish, such as wild salmon and trout, is due to astaxanthin, a naturally occurring pigment in the crustaceans they eat. Fish such as sharks and tuna has a dark or red flesh because it contains more myoglobin as they are fast swimmers and a migratory fish."

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    In my heaven on earth
    Posts
    13,237
    I just looked it up and Silverbrite are the same as Chum which I had forgotten about and, yes, sliver and coho are the same thing.

    Oh, and the silvers are frequently the strongest fighters so they're the most fun to fish for!


    "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself" ~ George Bernard Shaw


  13. #13
    Many years ago I was researching the power of advertising slogans. I read that sometime in the teens or 20s, a fish cannery was having poor sales of their red salmon and were being consistently outsold by another cannery's popular pink salmon.

    They coined the slogan, "Guaranteed not to turn pink in the can!" for their labels and their sales jumped dramatically!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    24,224
    Quote Originally Posted by ADM View Post
    Many years ago I was researching the power of advertising slogans. I read that sometime in the teens or 20s, a fish cannery was having poor sales of their red salmon and were being consistently outsold by another cannery's popular pink salmon.

    They coined the slogan, "Guaranteed not to turn pink in the can!" for their labels and their sales jumped dramatically!
    That turned up on a search I did this morning but over at snopes ! All very amusing!
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Heading WEST!!
    Posts
    15,348
    Quote Originally Posted by Varaile View Post
    What folks have mention is what I thought as well, so when the SIL mentioned this I was like "whoa, where did this come from?" And I know that fish from different terroirs (to steal a wine phrase) are going to have different oils and flavor. Like where I live - I like lake trout from Lake of the Woods (big lake in N MN/So Canada) but not from Lake Superior.

    It is the nutrients levels that I don't know about.
    editing to add...here is a link for that table as it doesn't seem to print out here neatly:
    http://www.alaskaseafood.org/flavor/sbg5.htm
    scroll to the bottom...

    so it sounds like you are not specifically looking for omega-3, which is why most people eat fish.
    Perhaps this will help (alaska does not farm, so these are all wild salmon):

    VALUES FOR ALASKA SALMON - 3 oz. (85 g) cooked, edible portion
    Calories Protein (g) Fat (g) Saturated Fat (g) Sodium (mg) Cholesterol (mg)*
    KING (Chinook) 196-200 21-22 11-11.5 3 50-55 70-75
    SOCKEYE (Red) 180-190 23-24 9-9.5 1.5 50-55 60-70
    COHO (Silver) 157-165 23-24 6-7 1-2 45-55 40-49
    CHUM (Keta) 130-135 22-23 4 1 50-55 80-85
    PINK 130-131 22 4 .5-1 57-75 55-81

    VALUES FOR ALASKA CANNED SALMON - 1/4 cup serving size (63 g approximately)
    Calories Protein (g) Fat (g) Saturated Fat (g) Sodium (mg) Cholesterol (mg)*
    SOCKEYE (Red) 90-110 13 4-7 1.2-1.5 228-270 27-40
    PINK 86-90 12-13 4-5 1 270-346 35-40

    *The National Cholesterol Education Program of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) recommends a diet that includes no more than 300 mg of cholesterol per day.

    REFERENCE SOURCES:
    Release 10 USDA #15210, 1992
    Release 10 USDA #15211, 1992
    USDA Handbook #8, 1987
    Nestlé Foods, April 1994
    Sidwell, V.D. 1981 Chemical and Nutritional Composition of Finfishes, Whales, Crustaceans, Mollusks, and their Products.
    NOAA Technical Memorandum, NMFS Charleston, U.S. Department of Commerce
    Nettleton, J.A. 1983 Seafood Nutrition: Facts, Issues, and Marketing of Nutrition in Fish and Shellfish. Huntington: Osprey Books
    Pennington, J. 1989 Food Values of Portions Commonly Used (15th edition). New York: Harper & Row
    Exler, J. 1987 Composition of Foods: Finfish and Shellfish Products (Raw, Processed, Per Pound). Washington DC:
    Human Nutrition Information Service, USDA Handbook 8-15
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Sedro-Woolley WA
    Posts
    340
    Here is a listing of salmon species and characteristics that was published in one of the Seattle newspapers a couple years ago. I do not remember where they got the information.

    Atlantic
    Size: averages 10 pounds
    Flesh color: deep pink
    Region: mostly available farmed, from around the world; wild only available through sport fishing
    Season: year-round
    Cooking characteristics: Some say farm-raised fish lack the robust flavor and meatiness of wild fish.

    Chinook or king
    Size: averages 15 to 20 pounds. though they can get to 100 pounds.
    Flesh color: off-white (sold as "ivory salmon") to pinkish red
    Region: wild from Alaska to Southern California
    Season: mid-May until late September; Copper River kings available May and June
    Cooking characteristics: superb texture and flavor, but thick fillets can be challenging to grill evenly

    Chum, dog, keta
    Size: averages 10 pounds
    Flesh color: reddish when caught still at sea and feeding; paler when caught during spawning
    Region: wild from Oregon to Alaska, also Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea
    Season: May through September
    Cooking characteristics: Flavor and texture vary widely during life cycle; fish caught while still feeding at sea have best flesh.

    Coho or silver
    Size: averages 8 to 12 pounds
    Flesh color: deep red to 'pinkish orange
    Region: wild from northern Alaska to Monterey Bay, Calif.
    Season: July through September, with a peak in August
    Cooking characteristics: not as rich as chinook, but also with excellent flavor and texture. and smaller, so easier to handle

    Pink, humpback
    Size: averages 3 to 5 pounds
    Flesh color: pale pink
    Region: wild, mostly Alaska (representing more than 50 percent of the Alaska salmon catch)
    Season: May through September
    Cooking characteristics: Mild flavor, lean flesh; often used for canning. May appear as whole fish in the market and will be lower in price than other varieties, but not particularly desirable

    Sockeye or red
    Size: averages 5 to 12 pounds
    Flesh color: bright, deep orange
    Region: wild, mostly from Columbia River through British Columbia and Alaska
    Season: late May to September
    Cooking characteristics: high fat content; often used for canning or smoking, but delicious fresh

    Name: steelhead (sometimes called steel head salmon, sometimes steel head trout; genetically related to both)
    Size: averages 5 to 9 pounds
    Flesh color: red to pink to white
    Region: Pacific Northwest
    Season: wild available July and August, mostly available through sport fishing, though may occasionally appear in some Pacific Northwest markets; also available farmed
    Cooking characteristics: thin fillets, delicate in flavor, more trout-like

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •