I was recently given the opportunity to receive and review Pure Alaska Salmon’s wild-caught canned Alaskan salmon. Now I’m generally not a big fan of canned fish, but because wild-caught Alaskan salmon tops the charts on the Seafood Watch consumers guide to sustainable seafood and eating sustainable foods is very important to me I took the offer.
I received 12 cans in total from Pure Alaska Salmon- six cans of RedHead sockeye salmon, six cans of Think Pink! pink salmon- and a complete marketing kit full of information about their family, fishery, business, and even several recipe cards to give me some great ideas on how to use their salmon. In fact I could probably fill another article just about all the great recipes and booklets they sent.
Pure Alaska Salmon is a family owned business with a long history of fishing. The Zurich family not only says they’ve fished for generations, but family member Kathy can prove it. Kathy has actually traced their lineage back 400 hundred years to the island of Vis in the Adriatic Sea, and since she’s an anthropology professor at the Western Washington University you’d be silly to doubt her. You can read more about the Zurich family on their website and about how their grandfather immigrated to America and brought with him adept nautical knowledge and fisherman DNA. It’s a true turn of the century American success story.
Because taste and food is very subjective I decided to merge several friends and fish eaters to help me review this product. I gave them each one or two cans and have them answer a questionnaire about their experience. I’ve compiled their answers into a condensed paragraph form (rather than bullet form), and any commentary on look or flavour is their words, not mine. For this reason this review is more extensive than most, but I believe it also makes this review better overall.
Stew says that he eats fresh fish less than once a week and canned fish about once a week. He’s eaten canned salmon before but doesn’t know if it was Alaskan salmon. Stew received a can of Think Pink! Pink Salmon, and ate it in a romaine and spinach salad. Stew says that the outer packaging was eye-catching and fantastic, after opening the can he thought it looked a bit sloppy, but after removing the salmon from the tin and tasting the amazing fresh flavour he was very impressed. Stew also said that eating sustainable food is very important to him at this stage in his life, and he would eat Pure Alaskan Salmon again.
Stew said that the smell and flavour of the pink salmon was "fantastic!"
David says that he eats fresh fish at least once a week, sometimes twice, and he occasionally eats canned salmon. David received a can of Sockeye Salmon and ate them as homemade lemon pepper salmon fish cakes. He said that the outer packaging was “nicely presented and had good product information and information about the sustainability of the fish in the can.” And added that “It looked much better than most tins of fish.” After opening the can David surprised to find bones, though he said they were quite easy to remove, his kids would likely be upset by the idea of eating bones in their fish cakes. David said his fish cakes turned out great and there “wasn’t very fishy tasting either which speaks to the freshness of the product.” David finished by saying that sustainable food is becoming more and more important to him as he hears stories of over fishing and that sustainability is the key to our future. David said he would definitely recommend Pure Alaskan Salmon especially to parents with children that are already canned tuna eaters.
Editors note: Pure Alaska Salmon recently started selling cans of their salmon in filets with the bones and skin removed.
David said his kids "loved it!"
Laura says that she eats fresh fish about once a week, eats canned fish less than once a week, and has eaten canned salmon before. Laura ate both the Think Pink! Pink Salmon as well as the Sockeye Salmon, eating it several different ways including sandwiches, and the bacon bowl salads below. Laura found the packaging looked just as appealing as the salmon when removed from the can and that the taste was “amazing.” Laura said that she would eat Pure Alaska Salmon again and would recommend it to her friends and family. Laura didn’t know that wild-caught Alaskan salmon was one of the best sustainable seafood choices, but that price is of the utmost importance to her as a consumer.
Laura says the taste is "amazing!"
Jerry says that he eats fresh fish twice a week and canned fish about once a week, he has eaten canned salmon before. Jerry received a can of Think Pink! Pink Salmon and ate it in a sandwich he made himself, he calls it “the sandy” (salmon, mayo, light dusting of chili flakes, sliced cucumber, couple of squirts of fresh lemon, all on fresh white Italian bread. Serve cold or light pan fry in butter). Jerry felt that the packaging and look of the fish in the can was good and had a great taste- “good flavour, better than most I’ve had”, he added. Jerry said he would recommend Pure Alaska Salmon to his friends and family and that eating sustainably is very important to him, but didn’t know that wild-caught Alaskan salmon was a sustainable food source.
Jerry says Think Pink! Pink Salmon probably goes best with chardonnay.
Abdi says that he seldom eats fresh fish, but often eats canned fish 2-4 times a week and has eaten canned salmon before. Abdi received a can of Think Pink! Pink Salmon and ate it in pasta with tomato sauce, and in a spinach salad sandwich. Abdi said that the packaging was very appealing and he wasn’t sure if the salmon was packaged in oil or water after opening it, but that the taste was very good. Abdi said that he would eat Pure Alaska Salmon again because he loves salmon and that he would recommend it to his friends and family. Abdi didn’t know that wild-caught Alaskan salmon was one of the best sustainable seafood choices, but eating sustainable foods does matter to him.
Abdi loved the convenience and sustainability of Pure Alaskan Salmon.
I don’t eat fish very often, but when I do you can bet that it’s extremely fresh and I probably caught it myself earlier that day. I’ve never been a big fan of canned fish, which was really unfortunate on tuna casserole night when I was growing up. When I opened my first can of Pure Alaska Salmon Think Pink! pink salmon I was surprised to see the bones, but I wasn’t put off by it. The smell was very nice, and I enjoyed my first taste of meat on a piece of cracker. The Pure Alaska Salmon family must know a thing or two about eating salmon so I decided to use the fish cakes recipe they provided. I made these fish cakes from scratch as directed by the recipe (skin, bones, and all), it took about an hour to finish. The result was not only a fish cake I was proud to eat, but a fish cake I’d be proud to serve to guests! I would definitely recommend Pure Alaska Salmon to fish eaters, especially those that care about sustainability.
The Pure Alaska Salmon Think Pink! pink salmon is absolutely delicious.
Everyone that helped me review Pure Alaska Salmon’s canned salmon enjoyed it. David had mentioned that the bones were bothersome because he had to remove them when making a meal for his kids. I didn’t have any problem making my fish cakes with the bones in, but it’s true some people are put off by this. Pure Alaska Salmon obviously knows this is a factor and now sells their same great salmon in a skinless and boneless filet. Overall I must admit that I really enjoyed my canned salmon and I was a bit skeptical going in. If I had to pick a favorite of the two I would say the pink salmon was my favorite because of its mild flavour. Even straight out of the can it makes for a great healthy topping to all kinds of dishes.
Pure Alaska Salmon sells sustainable high quality 100% wild-caught Alaskan salmon products. Combined with the health benefits of wild salmon, the high levels of Omega-3's, and the "best choice" ranking from Seafood Watch, Pure Alaska Salmon is an all around fantastic and sustainable food choice for anyone.