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Atlantic Salmon

Salmo salar

Bay salmon, Black salmon, Caplin-Scull salmon, Sebago salmon, Silver salmon, Fiddler, Outside salmon

In the fall, when Pacific salmon is no longer available, it’s replaced through to spring by organic Cape d’Or Atlantic salmon. Whole on our counter they have a silver-blue sheen with black spots on the upper body, and average 60 to 76 cm (24 to 30 in.) in length and weigh 3.5 to 5.5 kg (8 to 12 lbs.). The thick, pinkish-orange fillets have a natural fatty sheen and a buttery finish when cooked. We love the sweet flavour and succulent large medium-firm flakes. Fill the belly with bread or grain-based stuffing and roast whole for special occasion dinners. Cure a fillet for gravlax, or hot smoke it on a barbecue for the holidays. Poach it in aromatic court bouillon and serve with rich lemony hollandaise or basil mayonnaise. Pan-fry it until golden, basting it with butter and fresh thyme or rosemary. It’s just as delicious eaten raw as tartare or sushi. Atlantic salmon is high in protein and an excellent source of Omega-3 fat.

The North Atlantic Ocean is the native habitat of Atlantic salmon, including rivers in Europe and on the east coast of North America. An anadromous species, they spend one to four years in the freshwater rivers and streams where they are hatched, and then another year or two in the ocean. They return to their natal river to spawn, through their sense of smell. Adult salmon feed on squid, shrimp, and herring. The population in the wild has suffered from overfishing and habitat destruction. Historically they were economically and culturally significant to First Nation’s recreational and commercial fisheries, and to local communities.

For the first decade of business, we didn’t carry any farmed Atlantic salmon. The detrimental effects traditional open net farming were having on native salmon species, and the environment on Canada’s west coast was well documented and went against our values. But Cape d’Or, a Nova Scotia land-based, closed containment fish farm changed that. They hatch and raise salmon, growing them to market weight in a state of the art facility. Their goal is to produce a superior tasting salmon by creating a healthy, stress-free growing environment. Ocean water naturally filters through 600 feet of gravel before being pumped into the facility, and the salmon eat an organic diet. The fish are disease, parasite, chemical, hormone, antibiotic, and GMO-free, and there is zero risk of fish escaping. They are an exemplary model of fish farming on Canada’s east coast and provide jobs to rural seacoast Nova Scotians.

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