Copper River salmon in Alpharetta

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

Many years ago I traveled to Seattle for business. It was June and the height of the wild salmon season. I wasn’t real fond of the fish at the time but locals insisted I try it. I’ve been hooked ever since.

There’s a tremendous difference between wild-caught salmon and the farm raised garbage that’s available year-round. The texture is more firm and the flavors much more rich and intense.

The salmon fishery at Alaska’a Copper River always starts the wild salmon season. There’s is short season but they produce the best product. You may only have a few weeks to enjoy this fish before it’s gone for the year. But wild salmon from other parts of the Pacific northwest will be available for most of the summer and early fall.

Here’s where you can find this delectable fish in Alpharetta.

Rays on the Creek – They’ve been promoting their Copper River salmon on Facebook quite a bit recently. Yesterday it was pictures of a pineapple and jalapeno salmon topping being smoked on a big green egg. If you want Copper River salmon at a restaurant, Ray’s is likely your only choice.

Vinny’s – They usually offer wild caught salmon as specials throughout the summer. Chances are this isn’t from the Copper River but it’s nonetheless delicious.

Want to make it yourself? Don’t be intimidated! I usually marinate my fish for an hour or two in a citrus juice and soy sauce along with an aromatic veggie like onion or garlic. Pat it dry and pan-sear to medium rare in a touch of olive oil. It’s simple and really brings out the flavor of the fish.

A handful of fishmongers will carry Copper River salmon this year. Expect to pay $25-30 per pound.

Whole Foods/Harrys – Each will carry Copper River fish as well as other wild-caught salmon throughout the summer. Prices are steep.

Kathleen’s Catch – I’d buy from her. Prices will be about the same as Whole Foods or maybe a dollar or two cheaper. The difference is that you’ll get better service with Kathleen.

Other wild-caught salmon is available at Costco. Selection is always hit or miss with your best chances of finding something in the morning after they open. Prices will be good of course.

Grocery stores may also carry wild salmon including Publix and even Kroger. They usually don’t completely remove the tiny pin bones from the grocery store fish so be careful!

1 comment on this post.
  1. Richard:

    Purchased a nice fillet of Copper River at Main and Windward Kroger on Thursday. Fresh out of the air shipment box. Only $19.99, and no pin bones. It was delicious, with a little rosemary, thyme, olive oil, white wine and mustard glaze, then broiled for 7 minutes.

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