Environmental issues are rarely black-and-white, and fish farming is a case in point. On the one hand, aquaculture helps ease the impact that fishing has on wild seafood stocks. On the other, fish farms are blamed for spreading disease among wild fish populations. Salmon, the Atlantic species of which is widely farmed, is a touchpoint for the debate. While we're not taking sides, we can say one thing is certain: farmed Atlantic salmon never tastes as good as wild Pacific salmon.
We are in the middle of salmon season, which generally runs from May through September. In this week's NYT Magazine, food writer Mark Bittman expounds on the culinary appeal of farmed versus wild salmon, reaching the conclusion we already knew: "in flavor, texture and color, the Pacific species of king (or Chinook), sockeye and coho are all superior to any farmed salmon."
You will, of course, pay more when you opt for wild salmon. But your tastebuds will thank you.
Bittman offers up no less than twelve recipes for wild salmon dishes--raw, grilled, poached, and in burger format--that each look delightful. The barbecued lemon-and-herb concoction is a no-brainer.
Check out all of the recipes at NYT Mag.
Photo: Wild salmon with green beans and sauce verte. (Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times)