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Twelve shades of red fish

About salmonids - wild and cage

Twelve shades of red fish

Alexander Saveliev

Head of the Fisheries Information Agency
And fresh salmon? The usual question in an ordinary Moscow fish store, which is followed by the same usual response seller: "Yesterday brought."

It's hard to imagine a more absurd dialogue in April, because it's almost a year since the pink salmon fishery ended.

We are lazy and ungracious, so we pay exorbitant prices for rubbish and pass by the best in the world Far Eastern fish.

It is also usually absurd to ask the question: “Is the salmon fresh?”. Usually, because salmon is really a fish. And it is ridiculous, because it is the collective name of the whole family of fish. Usually it is also called red fish, because it feeds on crustaceans in the Pacific Ocean. For the average consumer, all salmon are for one person. It is more correct, by the way, to say - to one snout, because the face of a fish is called a snout. 

But the aquaculture salmon is red due to astaxatine, which is added to the granulated forage and produces the desired result: someone likes red ponasyschennee, someone blush, someone in the orange shade. "Yes, though green," - answer the new traders Norwegian farmers, stirring astaxatin.

Color is not the only thing that distinguishes wild salmon and aquaculture. Few people know that cagefish are grown in conditions of limited movement, in extreme crowding of individuals, where the bottom is swarming with a thick layer of pesticides, feces, fodder residues, most often of animal origin, with a huge amount of antibiotics, growth stimulants, and, again, dyes. Paradoxically, it is in this artificial fish that the average buyer, especially in the West of Russia, finds its charms. "It melts in the mouth," say the impressionable mistresses, which apparently also gives the lack of muscle tissue in this imported guest.

In the East of Russia, something else like red fish is associated exclusively with wild salmon, in the West - with salmon and trout.

However, the most depressing thing is the price we pay for imported rubbish. She at times, I emphasize, is several times more expensive than our wild Far Eastern salmon. There is no such absurdity anywhere in the world! Nowhere! From London to Uganda, wild salmon is two to three times more expensive than aquaculture, and only in Russia - on the contrary. This can not be explained. It must be remembered.

I repeat, we are lazy and ungracious. And still trusting in advertising. Norwegian marketers, twenty years ago who started to promote the salmon in our market, or as it is also called, Atlantic salmon, have done their job brilliantly. They drove into public consciousness the image of their own, say gently, not very useful fish as a standard. And now at least a stake on his head ...

I will never forget, as in a very decent hotel on Sakhalin, dinner was offered for a salmon. On Sakhalin! To that to be surprised? It can be bought in Kamchatka, and in Vladivostok ... Worse, our Far Eastern salmon is often issued in the European regions of the country for imported cage. Greater gastronomic cynicism is difficult to imagine.

Now spring has come. At our eastern neighbors, the most, perhaps, discerning consumers of fish in the world, the cherry blossom has already faded, which means that the sima or "cherry salmon", as it was nicknamed by the Japanese, went to spawn. She will come to us later, but speak about it no less poetic: the dandelion has blossomed, then the sim went. For her, sockeye salmon, chinook salmon. First on Sakhalin, then on Kamchatka. Blossomed rosehip - went pink salmon or, as it is called here, silver. Then - coho, black trout, char, grayling, taimen, lenok, malma, keta.

A dozen counted? Red fish! Wild salmon! The best! We are generally the first in the world for salmon. Far Eastern salmon do not compare with aquaculture at all, but cost two, three, four times cheaper. Like this.

Now Sim is in a wedding dress. Her back is dark, with a blue tint. The abdomen is silvery. On the sides, the olive-green stripes alternate with pink stripes, which gradually become bright red with a crimson hue. Fins of fins are covered with white oval spots ... Fish of extraordinary beauty.

For those who are not inclined to the artistic perception of seafood, I recommend carefully reading the decisions of the commissions on the regulation of the production of anadromous fish on the website of the Federal Agency for Fishery. And then you will definitely know where, when and what kind of salmon are caught in Eastern Russia. In the West, we note, there is no fishing at all. Then you will ask the right questions at the fish counter and get the right answers. And with the introduction of technical regulations on fish and fish products in September, you can basically, in principle, track all seafood seafood from the fisherman to the counter, the entire chain with dates, the exact location of catch, transportation and storage.

That's not even Japanese, and Americans, whom we believe for mindless consumers of hamburgers, have long adjusted this. By the way, they are great connoisseurs and admirers of salmon. Fish they have on the arms of many states and even a combat helicopter is called "Chinook". So, they have a special label: "sashimi salmon" or "safe to eat raw". This means that the salmon can be eaten raw.

Fresh salmon in our conditions is an unreal story. Take a look at the map! From the East of Russia, delivering salmon to the main consumption regions, even when cooled, is problematic. "Only by plane you can fly." By the way, almost all the fish, beautifully laid out on the bright glaciers of Moscow or St. Petersburg supermarkets, are not chilled, but simply thawed. Well, this is a separate topic.

And now briefly about the freezing, which does not reduce the quality of fresh fish. Moreover, in the broad sense it is already heat treatment.

The following freezing gradation is adopted. Best of all sea frozen - frozen in the sea. Then land frozen - coastal frost. In addition, there is freezing in brine (with glaze), shock (dry, non-glazed). There is fish frozen in layers, there is individual fish, which is especially valuable.

Defrosting fish is not under running water, not at room temperature, but only carefully, shifting, for example, at night from the freezer to the refrigerator compartment.

And how to cook salmon, you yourself know. As usual…

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