Tasting panel finds farmed salmon tastes better than wild – Fishfarmer Magazine

Tasting panel finds farmed salmon tastes better than wild14 October, 2013 –

THE influential Washington Post newspaper has conducted a tasting panel which has found that most people taking part say that farmed salmon tastes better than the wild variety

It was aimed at settling the age old argument over which salmon is the better. The paper assembled a panel of tasters that included seafood chefs, wholesalers and food journalists who were given ten different salmon samples to taste blind. These included farmed salmon from Norway, Scotland and Chile and wild King salmon and wild coho salmon. According to the paper, farmed salmon beat the wild salmon hands down. It was both definitive and surprising – at least for the tasters and the paper.Callander McDowell, the Manchester based Aquaculture Industry Strategic Planning and Marketing organisation, says says the news has come as a major surprise to many and of no surprise to others.The Washington Post maintains that they would be no longer saying that wild tastes better than farmed the reality is that this taste test was not about farmed and wild at all but rather between Atlantic and Pacific salmon.While many consumers are often confused over the wild – farmed debate, the reality of this taste test was that the panel were actually trying to tell the difference between three different species of fish – Atlantic salmon, Chinook or King salmon and Coho or Silver salmon. They are three very different fish and it was surprising that this seafood oriented panel couldn’t discern the difference between them. Callander McDowell said: “Certainly, as the paper observed, the Pacific species and the Atlantic salmon can be differentiated on look alone. They have a very different texture and irrespective of whether it is farmed or wild, Atlantic salmon has a much better mouth feel and eating quality, which is why it is so popular amongst consumers. “We, at Callander McDowell, think that the taste panel have simply reflected this consumer preference in their blind tasting. The issue isn’t really about whether the salmon is farmed or wild. Given that many Alaskan salmon are hatchery raised anyway, the difference between farmed and wild is already well and truly blurred.”Of course, such blurring is irrelevant when it comes to the environmental group Oceana who were quick to react to the Washington Post taste test with a blog, an article in the Huffington Post and a letter to the Washington Post. They say that the Washington Post article was dangerously misleading because it highlights that farmed salmon are a good choice and a viable alternative to wild salmon. “Oceana would argue they are not but actually, it is Oceana who are misleading because the Washington Post never said such a thing at all, claims Callander McDowell” What they said was that in a blind tasting, farmed salmon tasted best. This is not the same, although we at Callander McDowell have no doubt that farmed salmon does taste better and is the best choice. “