When buying salmon at a store or fish market, all you need is a little common sense. Just be sure to buy your salmon from a reputable fresh-fish establishment, and follow the informative tips below to add flavor and freshness to your meals.

Purchasing Salmon

There are several characteristics to look for when buying salmon cuts.

When buying salmon steak and filets, look for:

  • deep salmon-pink color
  • meat that is firm, elastic (springs back when pressed gently) and is translucent
  • a mild aroma somewhat similar to that of fresh fruit
  • smooth, clean cuts—no gaping or separation of muscle fibers (indicates old fish)
  • air-tight packaging with no liquid

When buying whole salmon, look for:

  • firm, glossy skin
  • clear eyes, not cloudy eyes
  • bright red gills
  • firm light-pink flesh that is elastic and translucent
  • a mild aroma

When buying frozen salmon, look for:

  • good, consistent pink color and no odor
  • tightly sealed packaging
  • any evidence of frost (frost can indicate that the packaging hasn’t been sealed properly)
  • little or no air space between salmon and the packaging

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