Atlantic Salmon

Species Information

Salmon all swim upstream in temperature or cold waters of the Northern Hemisphere, spawning in fresh water but spending much of their life at sea. They get their pink to red color from eating krill.

Adult Atlantic salmon spend their entire adult life in open ocean habitat migrating along the coast of North America to Greenland to find suitable forage. Juvenile Atlantic salmon hatch in the spring and spend the first two years of life in fresh water rivers and streams.

Cooking & Handling

Keep salmon as cold as possible and serve it within 2 days. Store refrigerated topped with crushed (not cubed) ice in a perforated pan set over a second pan.

Salmon is an excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

Try recipes that allow the delicate salmon to come through and avoid accompanying flavors that overpower the fish.

Salmon is often used in cold dishes such as mousses, terrines, salads, sandwiches and hors d’ oeuvres.

Flavors that work well with salmon are almond, basil, butter, chervil, cream, cucumber, dill, lemongrass, lime, mushroom, pine nut, potato, scallion, shallot, spinach, tarragon, white wine and yogurt.

Cooking Methods

Bake, Broil, Grill, Poach, Smoke

Global Supply

Australia, Canada, Faroe Islands, Norway, Iceland, Ireland, United Kingdom, United States

Seasonal Availability

Fresh and frozen are available year-round.

Did You Know?

Atlantic salmon is the only salmon native to the Atlantic Ocean.

The Atlantic salmon is a highly prized game and food fish.

Spawning adults darken to a bronze color after entering freshwater and darken further after they spawn. When spawning has been completed, they are often referred to as "kelts" or "black salmon." Their silver color returns after they re-enter the sea.

Scientific Name

Salmo salar

Market Name

Atlantic salmon

Common Names

Atlantic salmon, farmed salmon, Eastern salmon


other salmon, rainbow trout

Raw Characteristics

  • rounded, broad in the middle, and tapered at each end
  • silver skin with distinct black cross-like spots
  • rich orange to pinkish-orange color meat
  • fatty meat appears almost marbled
  • market wt 4–6 lbs

Cooked Characteristics

  • mild tasting
  • retains orange to pinkish-orange color
  • medium texture; oily
  • large, moist flaky


Icelandic: lax
French: olomós tou Atlantikoú
German: echter lachs
Italian: salmone
Japanese: sake masu-rui
Spanish: salmón