Salmons were tasted three ways: Alone, with crème fraîche, and with bread. The first four were cold-smoked salmon. The SeaPal was hot-smoked. The SeaPal really didn't sway the tasting but generally was liked, although not as well as the cold-smoked style. In retrospect it should have been eliminated from the tasting. Each of the nine tasters ranked their 3 favorites for each category; they received 3, 2, and 1 points, respectively. The salmons were tasted double-blind.
Winner: Ducktrap River Wild Salmon
Rest, in order of ranking:
• Spence & Co Wild Coho
• Costarella Seafood
• Echo Falls Wild Alaskan
• SeaPal - Hot Smoked Wild King
Salmon #1 Ducktrap River (Maine) Naturally Smoked Wild Salmon Nice mouth feel. Not mushy. I like. Smokey and sweet. Dense texture with salt on finish. Not aggressive nice salt, good texture. Very nice – better if cold. Very good smokey flavor.
Salty and dry. Stringy. Very salty. Strong smokey flavor.
Salmon #2 Costarella Seafood Wild Sockeye Smoked Salmon (San Francisco, CA) Less salt, more fish (but not fishy). Good. Light and more fluffy. Not too salty. Good texture. Good for cream cheese spread. Not as salty as #1.
Stringy. Some gristle. Less firm than #1. Slightly fishy. Very mild flavor. Drier, more fibrous. More aggressive. Salmon#3 Spence & Co, Wild Coho Salmon (Massachussets) Smoothest. Good. Real salmon flavor. Not too much smoke. Good texture. Pleasant smoky aftertaste. Softer flavor – more subtle. Buttery.
Worst. Fishy, funky linger on the tongue. Less firm. Fishy and slightly oily. Chewy. Too fishy needs more smoky flavor and less fishyness.
Salmon #4 Echo Falls Wild Alaskan Salmon (Washington) Moister. Nice linger in mouth. Best taste! Salt well integrated. Fun! Pleasure to eat. Ok.
A bit stringy. May be saltiest. Chewy with salty aftertaste. Very salty not very pleasant. Drier. Best in spreads. More intense smoke. Odd texture. Salmon #5 SeaPal (Whole Foods) Hot Smoked Wild King Salmon (Ft. Bragg, CA) Nice flavor. Real salmon mouthfeel and texture. Just a hint of oak and sugar-very salmoney. Tasty. Good texture. Flakey. Good smoke. Great texture.
Mild almost bland. Just ho-hum taste. Not appealing. Tough. Fishy. Fishy taste.