Atlantic salmon was originally native to rivers on both sides of the North Atlantic Ocean.
Its legendary orange flesh and flavour made it so popular around the world that it became scarce as demand grew and urban life encroached. The six species of Pacific salmon come from the same family (salmonidae) as does Trout.
Other species have adopted the salmon moniker. Some like Australian salmon (a.k.a. as ‘kahawai’ in NZ) aren’t related. Today Atlantic salmon is here to stay as modern aquaculture ensures both satisfaction of the palate and the survival of the species.
Atlantic salmon (salmo salar) is the species after which all others of the genus salmo are named. It’s not too oily, has a firm texture, attractive flesh colour and a pleasant mild taste.
There are six species of Pacific salmon that are in the same family as Atlantic salmon but they are not as popular, as they are not particularly good eating.
Australian salmon (arripis trutta) isn’t even in the salmon family and was so named due to its superficial likeness. In contrast to Atlantic salmon, Australian salmon have a pungently flavoured, coarse and slightly oily flesh making them undesirable as a food fish.
Salmon was so revered in some cultures that they would hold a ceremony each year to honor its return.
Atlantic salmon raised in Tasmania are now often called Tasmanian salmon to distinguish it from Atlantic salmon raised elsewhere. Recognisable by their slightly smaller head and larger body, Tasmanian salmon are not just fresher and more readily available because they are local, they are more consistent in colour too.