What Does Salmon Roe Taste Like?


Does salmon roe taste good? Good-quality, fresh salmon roe tastes good. It is sweet, salty and bitter at the same time. Salmon roe is a decoration of a festive table and a storehouse of many vitamins and minerals. It contains vitamins of group B (B1, B2, B5, B9 folic acid), A, E, D,  calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and iodine. 

What does salmon roe taste like? Salmon roe has a somewhat bitter taste, but it does not indicate the roe’s poor quality. Salmon roe has a tender, soft, creamy, salty taste and fishy smell. Salmon eggs are easily separated and are bigger than sturgeon caviar. Salmon roe is of the same size, transparent and golden-orange or bright red in color. 

Salmon roe should taste salty. It can be moderately salted or very salty, but you should not taste a lot of bitterness. If the salmon roe is bitter, it was prepared either from old, frozen raw materials, or too many different “chemicals” were added. The eggs themselves should be elastic, but with light pressure, they should burst in the mouth, leaving a characteristic delicate aftertaste and in no case stick to the teeth.

There should be no characteristic presence of the smell of fish oil and, in general, a foreign smell. Poor-quality salmon roe is just characterized by a chemical smell, through which it is impossible to understand what is in the jar at all.

Salmon roe does not mean that the product is directly related to salmon. It implies that the roe was taken from one of the salmon family species like pink salmon, salmon, chum salmon, coho salmon, sockeye salmon, brown trout, chinook salmon, etc. The collective names of several fish species include salmon and trout.

The salmon roe of different salmon species is not the same in color, size and taste:

  • Chum salmon. Eggs with a diameter of 5-7 mm, orange-red or pale red with an orange tint.
  • Pink salmon. The diameter of the eggs is up to 5 mm, medium size, light orange color.
  • Sockeye salmon. Eggs are small, about 3 mm in diameter. The color is bright red, dark red. Thus often, inexperienced buyers take this caviar for a low-quality fake. But the bright color is a feature of sockeye eggs.
  • Coho salmon. Eggs are small, up to 4 mm, slightly bitter in taste, of burgundy color.
  • Trout is the smallest in the salmon family, no more than 2-3 mm, does not taste bitter, the color is yellow or bright orange.
  • Chinook salmon has the largest roe of 6-7 mm in diameter. The color is deep red. The taste is bitter-spicy.

Sometimes some salmon roe is bitter, but this is not a sign of a poor-quality product, but rather a peculiarity of taste. So the most obvious bitterness is found in sockeye salmon roe. Also, eggs of coho salmon and chinook salmon may have a slightly bitter aftertaste. The most common salmon roe taste is soft and creamy pink salmon and chum salmon.

The main signs of a quality salmon roe are salmon eggs being of the same size, light, transparent, without excess liquid, not wrinkled, without bursting individual eggs. It can have different colors: from amber (pink salmon) to golden orange (chum salmon) and bright red (coho salmon, salmon).

A common misconception is that preservatives spoil the taste of salmon roe. It is not true at all. Preservatives prevent the growth of microorganisms in the salmon eggs. Sometimes manufacturers do not add anything but salt to the salmon roe. But its shelf life does not exceed 4 months. The preservatives keep salmon roe’s original useful and taste qualities for 12 months. It is necessary because tender caviar cannot be sterilized — it will turn into a mushy mixture.

What is the best salmon roe? The best salmon roe is where the eggs are of the same size and color and can be easily separated from each other. Good salmon roe does not have a pungent smell but smells like fresh fish. Salmon roe should be either of golden orange, amber or bright red color. 

The highest quality salmon roe is the one that is salted directly on fishing boats or in factories on the river bank. Cheaper caviar, which was frozen before salting, will also remain real, but it loses taste and quality compared to freshly processed caviar. Do not try to save money on buying average-quality salmon roe. It is better to spend a little more money and enjoy fresh, high-quality, tasty and healthy salmon roe.

Another distinguishing feature of real and high-quality salmon roe is the so-called “eye” on the eggs. This speck in the center is darker in color than the egg itself. Artificial caviar does not have it.

It is impossible to assess the quality of salmon roe in tin cans visually. But there are other signs to look out for. The tin can should not be bloated, rusty, wrinkled, and all inscriptions should be legible. The contents of the jar should not gurgle when shaken.

Salmon Roe Health Benefits

Is it safe to eat salmon roe? Fresh salmon roe from trusted manufacturers is completely safe to eat. Salmon roe is a unique product that is useful for absolutely everyone — women, men, children (over 3 years old) and the elderly. Salmon roe facilitates weight loss and is indispensable for sports and fitness. Salmon roe is a great option for breakfast and dinner. 

Salmon roe is extremely healthy as it is a real storehouse of vitamins and minerals. It contains vitamins of group B (B1, B2, B5, B9 folic acid), A and E, vitamin D, as well as calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and iodine (in 100 g of salmon roe, there are 2 daily norms of iodine for an adult).

Also, salmon roe is a source of high-value protein that is easy to digest. 100 g of red caviar contains 30-32 g of protein, which is 50% of the adult’s daily requirement. For comparison, 100 g of beef contains 19.5 g, and 100 g of cottage cheese only up to 18 g of protein.

Salmon roe contains 12-13% of easily digestible fat. In general, the energy value of 100 g of caviar is higher than that of dietary meat, fish and dairy products. Salmon roe also contains valuable polyunsaturated fatty acids Omega-3, which are not produced by the human body. 100 g of caviar contains more than 5 daily norms of Omega-3 for an adult.

A striking example of regular consumption of red caviar is the Japanese, who are known for their health and are long-livers. By the way, Japan buys 50% of the total world volume of salmon roe. In Japan, red caviar, like other seafood, is an integral part of the traditional national cuisine. Considering the enormous benefits of salmon roe for the body, it is time to introduce this tasty and healthy product into our daily diet.

By the way, the standard daily intake of red caviar is 15-20 grams for an adult, which is only 1-2 teaspoons of salmon roe.

Why Is Salmon Roe So Expensive?

Why is salmon roe so expensive? The quotas for catching salmon are decreasing every year, and it makes salmon roe very expensive. Salmon roe goes a long way before getting to our table. It needs to be extracted, washed, salted, put in the containers, shipped and stored. All this makes salmon roe an expensive delicacy that not many people can afford. 

Of course, only real and high-quality caviar of wild salmon fish is useful. Experts advise approaching the choice of red caviar seriously because there are many counterfeit products on the market. When buying salmon roe, choose products from only well-known brands that have been on the market for a long time, have a good reputation and value consumer confidence.

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