Seafood Expert Jon Alexis of TJ’s Seafood: It’s Copper River Salmon Time
<p>Today is a big day for salmon lovers: It’s the opening day of Copper River salmon season.
Every spring and summer, wild Pacific salmon spawn into the mighty Northwest rivers, working their way upstream to spawn. Via a direct flight into DFW Airport, Dallasites can get the same fresh wild salmon that diners from Anchorage to Seattle used to claim as their own.
What makes this salmon special? To accomplish their incredible journey, the salmon build up fat deposits and burn it as fuel as they go upstream. This fat is what packs the salmon with healthy omega-3s and a creamy delicious flavor. Rarely does nature give us something that is so prized for both its taste and nutrition.
Each salmon knows the river to which they’ll spawn. The river’s length, elevation and water temperatures are ingrained in the salmon’s DNA. Much like harsh conditions produce great grapes (and thus wine), the tougher the river, the better the salmon. Each river produces a salmon unique in flavor and texture.
Copper River salmon is considered by many to be the finest salmon in the world. The harsh conditions of the Copper River produce an amazing fish. These salmon traverse 300 miles of rapids and climb nearly a mile in elevation. The salmon’s flesh is packed with omega-3 rich fat that fuels them all the way up the Copper River.
While Copper River King salmon is the most famous Pacific wild salmon (the first catch is met at the hangar with a celebrity greeting and paparazzi), it is by no means the only one. Some locals argue that the Columbia River “Springers” that run in April, whose fat is uniquely marbled throughout the fish’s flesh, are the best. Other chefs prefer the Copper River Sockeyes, a smaller salmon with an even richer most intense flavor profile.
There may be debate about which Pacific wild salmon is the best, but there is no debating that Pacific wild salmon is the best salmon in the world. It’s one of nature’s true delicacies.
How long will we have Copper River Salmon? The catch is determined by a quota. This limit ensures the catch is sustainable, so our kids can all enjoy Copper River Salmon.
Jon Alexis is the co-owner of TJ’s Fresh Seafood Market & Catering, 11661 Preston Road, Dallas, 214-691-2369. Learn more about Copper River Salmon here.
Ed. Note: TJ’s says its delivery of Copper River Kings is expected to arrive Monday, May 17th. “If you buy at least 1 lb of Columbia River King Salmon this week, we’ll give you a coupon for 10% off 1 lb of Copper River King Salmon next week.”