Top 4 Secrets to Picking the Best Salmon

Top 4 Secrets to Picking the Best Salmon

You love salmon. But unless you’re actually a bear and the salmon you’re having for dinner just leaps into your mouth from the stream, you must choose your fish before you can eat it. And let’s face it, knowing how to choose the best salmon is hard.

What does it mean for salmon to be the best? What qualities are you looking for? At Santa Cruz Fish Co. these are the questions we asked and spent years dedicating our time and money to answering. As experts in curating the best salmon on the planet, we’re here to help with our list of the Top 4 Secrets to Picking the Best Salmon.

Any bears reading this can stop now. For everyone else, let’s dig in!

1. Freedom from Contaminants 

In the wild, salmon encounter a lot of opportunities for contamination from parasites and pollutants. Parasites are killed through cooking of course, but if you intend to prepare sushi (or simply aren’t keen on eating dead parasites), that leaves you with one choice: farmed salmon. The concern with farmed salmon, however, is that this environment introduces man-made contaminants like antibiotics, pesticides, hormones, and more.

So where do you turn? In the United States, it can be hard to find a solution! At Santa Cruz Fish Co., we turned to imports from select sustainable farms of the New Zealand Alps. Which leads us to point #2: sustainability.

2. Sustainability (Impact on the Environment and Community)

Intuitively it might seem that wild caught salmon is the most sustainable, an idea once embraced by global seafood sustainability leaders like Seafood Watch. Times have changed, though, and declining salmon populations, overfishing, and the demise of salmon’s natural habitat have all made clear the negative impacts of fishing on the wild salmon population and those who rely on the healthy stock of salmon in the wild.

The answer? Sustainable aquaculture (farmed salmon), which allows wild populations to rebound naturally and without obstruction. But how do you trust a source is truly sustainable? Seafood Watch gives out a Green Rating, its top-rating for sustainability, to one (and only one) salmon, again sourced from the clear glacial waters of the New Zealand Alps. (are you sensing a theme here?) 

So knowing that you need clean and sustainable salmon, let’s turn our attention to the most conventional concerns: Taste & Health Benefits.

3. Taste

If you’re like us, you’ve purchased a wide variety of salmon, and let’s face it, they’re not all created equal in flavor and texture. There’s Sockeye salmon, known to be especially rich in its fishy flavor, and Humpback salmon, a lighter colored and lean option. These are what you find in most canned salmon and they often leave something to be desired. So when we set out for alternatives we arrived at Chinook salmon (King salmon). As the largest salmon in the world, it’s arguably the most flavorful. And due to a higher fat content, it has a rich, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth texture. For us, this was the ultimate prize!

4. Health Benefits

We’ve all heard it before. Salmon is high in the all-important omega 3 fatty acids, which help keep your mind and body functioning at peak performance. So which salmon provides the best source of omega 3’s? You guessed it, King Salmon. When we sourced our king salmon from halfway across the globe, we found that the high omega 3 fatty acid content that led to that flavorful, melt-in-your-mouth fish, also provided the most health benefits. The King Salmon is crowned King (pun intended) yet again!

Our Takeaways

Just like you, as seafood lovers, we at Santa Cruz Fish Co. pride ourselves in finding and never settling for less than the best. Even if it means importing from halfway across the globe that prized salmon that checks all the most important boxes.

As an educated salmon buyer, you know now that a contaminant free, sustainable, and delicious salmon exists, whose consumption leaves you, your family, and the environment healthier than you found it.

Since this salmon can be almost downright impossible to find here in the United States, we’ve made it easy to find, purchase, and have on your table in days.

If you’re a human reading this, don’t take our word for it on what you’ve read here. Try our salmon filetssides, burgers, or our extraordinary Alder Wood hot smoked salmon for yourself! Or grab our Sampler Box today and we’ll have it delivered to your door in 48 hours at no extra cost!

Taste Mouth-Watering King Salmon

PS: If you’re a bear and you’re still reading this, we may not be able to help you. However, we’d like to offer our sincere congratulations! Literacy is quite a feat for a bear. We’re impressed! Taste our Mouth-Watering salmon! 

To order Santa Cruz Fish Co. King Salmon or learn more visit

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