Rejoice, people of the US, for today is the official start of the Copper River Salmon season. But what exactly makes this sort of salmon so much better than others caught in Alaska?
I’ve found this piece written for The Atlantic, which gives some insight into the whole thing:
From a culinary point of view, the geography of the Copper River watershed has given its salmon an evolutionary advantage over others. The river is nearly 300 miles long and flows powerfully from glaciers high in the Chugach and St. Elias Wrangell Mountains. The upstream swim to the salmon’s natal pools requires enormous exertion, and because salmon stop eating once they re-enter fresh water, they have to rely on huge reserves of built-up fat to fuel their efforts. High-fat content means moist and flavorful flesh.