i have been down to kilgus to see where our goats come from, have been to nichols to visit the vegetables, and i’ve even been to walla walla, washington to make wine and see where the grapes grow. so when i put skuna bay salmon on the menu after hearing their story from my fish guy michael, my first question was, “do they like visitors?”… indeed they do. so off i went.
this is round two of my little blog about the skuna salmon trip. first round i was writing out every detail i saw from how the salmon are raised to their arrival at the restaurant. way too much rambling. long story short, it is great salmon. and though the words ‘farm raised’ and ‘salmon’ in one sentence together used to make me say “no way,” this company is different. the fish are not in overpopulated bodies of water. they are right in the ocean, in large netted-off areas that go 400 feet deep with under 2% of the water taken up by fish. the waters are not pumped full of chemicals to clean the salmon poop… there are sea worms that compost the sea floor. they are hand-bled when fished, then hand-cleaned and sorted. and the part that ensures an amazing product arriving at the goat is that there are five people certified to inspect each and every fish (will never be more than six people) that has already been set aside as a premium fish to check for any slight imperfection. they even have a specially made scraping spoon with water pumping through it to remove the visceral fat to check further for bruising as well as keep the fish as fresh as possible while it is overnighted to the restaurant. bottom line, it is darn tasty.
aside from getting to see where our salmon is coming from, we got a day to explore a bit of vancouver island, around nootka sound. luckily for us, we were there for two sunny days in a row, which i do not think is the norm. we flew in a sea plane (i got to take the wheel!), hiked on rocky beaches and learned a bit about the history of the first nation’s tribe. i also saw wild mussels hanging out on rocks, waiting for high tide, enjoying the sun (they made me hungry). all the things we don’t really do back here in chicago, so though it was a very short trip, it was well worth the travel.
thank you to everyone we met along the way, from the fishermen to the pilots. my rep mike from fortune fish looked at me when we got on the plane home and said, “is everyone in canada that nice?” well our new little goat designers from toronto, the ones who sent us a singing elvis telegram to get our attention, are pretty darn nice too! must be something in the water up there.
on the beach
lee and me in the kitchen
dinner at the bay
watching the skuna bay selection
watching the fish be prepared for market