Salmon 101: Discovering the Different Types of Salmon

Salmon is a popular and nutritious fish that is found in various parts of the world. Different species of salmon have distinct characteristics in terms of flavor, texture, and color. Here are the primary types of salmon:

1. Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar)

Atlantic salmon, also known as Salmo salar, are native to the northern Atlantic Ocean. They have a rich, buttery flavor and a tender, firm flesh that ranges in color from pink to orange. Atlantic salmon are commonly raised in aquaculture systems and are available year-round.

2. Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

Chinook salmon, also known as King Salmon, are the largest and most prized species of salmon. They have a high fat content, making their flesh rich and buttery. Chinook salmon have a deep orange to red flesh color and a firm texture. They are primarily found in the Pacific Ocean, particularly along the West Coast of North America.

3. Sockeye Salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka)

Sockeye salmon, also called Red Salmon, are known for their vibrant red flesh and bold flavor. They have a firm texture and a distinct, robust taste. Sockeye salmon are primarily caught in the Pacific Ocean and are highly sought after for their culinary qualities.

4. Coho Salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch)

Coho salmon, also known as Silver Salmon, have a milder flavor compared to other salmon species. They have a medium-firm texture and their flesh ranges in color from pale orange to deep red. Coho salmon are found in both the Pacific Ocean and certain freshwater systems, making them popular among anglers.

5. Pink Salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha)

Pink salmon, also called Humpback Salmon, are the smallest and most abundant species of Pacific salmon. They have a delicate and mild flavor with a pale flesh color. Pink salmon are commonly used for canning and are also enjoyed fresh or smoked.

6. Chum Salmon (Oncorhynchus keta)

Chum salmon, also known as Dog Salmon, have a mild and delicate flavor with a firm and slightly coarse texture. They have pale to medium-colored flesh and are often used for smoking, curing, and making salmon roe. Chum salmon are found in both the Pacific Ocean and certain freshwater systems.

These different types of salmon offer a range of flavors and textures, allowing for a variety of culinary preparations and dishes. It’s worth noting that availability may vary depending on the region and fishing seasons.