Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Can the price of wild salmon go any lower?

Copper RiverImage by Travis S. via Flickr
Salmon from the Copper River in Alaska gets more press than others.

Fresh, wild sockeye salmon fillets have dropped another dollar -- to $7.99 a pound -- at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack.

These fillets, which glisten with natural oils, made their first appearance at Costco on May 21, earlier than usual, and came from the famed Copper River in Alaska. 

They were priced at $13.99 a pound -- one dollar less than in 2010.

Usually, the Copper River fish disappears after about two weeks, replaced by fresh sockeye salmon from somewhere in the northwestern United States, and the price drops to $8.99 a pound.

This year, the Copper River catch must have been much bigger than normal, because on June 5, the price dropped to $8.99 a pound at Costco.

Then, about 10 days ago, wild sockeye salmon fillets with no specific U.S. origin appeared in the seafood case at $8.99 a pound.

Today, the price dropped to $7.99, and I picked up a nearly 2-pound fillet, which should yield six to eight portions.

For dinner tonight, I'll bake the salmon for about 20 minutes at 375 degrees for medium rare. First, I usually squeeze fresh lemon juice over them and add chopped herbs and ground Aleppo red pepper. 

I'll serve them with blanched and garlic-sauteed collard greens (99 cents a pound at H Mart in Englewood).

Salmon from the Yukon River in Alaska have even more healthy fats than Copper River fish. 

The Yukon River salmon are genetically programmed to store those fats for their 2,000 mile-plus journey up what is the longest salmon river in Alaska.

Wegmans carries Yukon River wild salmon, but the nearest store is more than 30 miles from my home. 

The fresh, keta salmon fillets are $11.99 a pound at the Wegmans in Bridgewater. The store describes the flavor as "rich" and "buttery."

Jersey blues

Also at Costco today, I picked up 2 pounds of Jersey Fresh blueberries, the equivalent of three pints at $1.83 a pint. That's not such a great price, but they are plump and sweet.

Although I've been harvesting red-leaf lettuce from my garden, I also bought a pound of Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix ($4.79) for variety in my salads.

I had a $10 Costco gift card the company sent to me after I complained that I found a small, black fly in the spring mix.

A 2-pound package of Cabot sliced cheddar cheese from Vermont is now $7.49, up from $6.99. Bananas are 3 pounds for $1.47.


The wild salmon fillet I bought from Costco today yielded eight portions that were a little smaller than usual.

They cooked in a preheated, 375-degree oven in 10 minutes for rare and 12-13 minutes for medium. The rare salmon melted in my mouth.

I reserved three raw portions for my wife and son, who like their salmon cooked through.

After I ate, I delighted in rolling up the skin that had stuck to the aluminum foil in the pan, and popping them into my mouth.

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