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Salmon caviar. Does it scare you? I know it used to be on my “scary foods” list (right up there with offal), but not anymore! I have grown to love salmon caviar and am excited any time I get to have some. Hopefully this post will help you become more comfortable with this super-food and encourage you to give it a try. Plus, there’s an awesome giveaway at the bottom too, so keep reading!
Why Should I Eat Salmon Caviar (Roe)?
Salmon caviar, also called Ikura, is a food that most people don’t eat (or are afraid to eat), yet it is one of the most nutritionally-dense foods available. Roe (from a variety of seafood) has long been regarded as a sacred food in many traditional cultures, often saved for young women of child-bearing age, babies, and growing children. Dr. Weston A. Price made careful note how some cultures who didn’t live near the ocean, like those who lived in the Andes mountains, would go to great lengths to obtain this nutritionally supercharged food. The Eskimos regularly consumed fish roe from salmon and other fatty fish. During the warmer seasons, they would dry the roe in the sun to preserve it for use throughout the year. It was consumed by everyone, especially pregnant women. These (and many other) traditional cultures knew the importance of proper nutrition for their young women, who in turn would have healthier babies. This is an area that is not emphasized any more, and the overall health of each generation is now suffering from this lack of knowledge and lack of preparation of the body for conception and pregnancy.
I have long been an advocate of getting your vital nutrients from food whenever possible. When you eat your vitamins and minerals in food form, they are coming into your body as a complete package and are more assimilable by the body. That’s not to say that there are not times when we need to supplement with certain nutrients, but I always try to go with food first and supplements second. When looking for foods that offer the biggest bang for your nutritional buck, salmon roe is right up there at the top!
There is a lot of emphasis on Omega 3’s in today’s world. Everywhere we turn, we are seeing supplements and foods that are marketed as high in Omega 3s. When it comes to the importance of Omega 3’s, which is a trio of essential fatty acids called Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA), Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), many of you are probably already aware that they play a vital role in our health. EPA helps with our cardiovascular health and DHA is important for brain function and nervous system health. It is best to get your DHA and EPA from direct food sources, as plant foods that may be high in Omega 3’s (like flax seed), are only high in ALA and the body must convert the ALA into EPA and DHA (and our body is not very good at doing this). Per Wikipedia:
Omega-3s are considered essential fatty acids, meaning that they cannot be synthesized by the human body -except that mammals have a limited ability, when the diet includes the shorter-chained omega-3 fatty acid ALA, to form the more important long-chain omega−3 fatty acids, EPA and then from EPA, the most crucial, DHA with even much greater inefficiency. The ability to make the longer-chained omega-3 fatty acids from ALA may also be impaired in aging.
The best sources of EPA and DHA are going to be fatty fish, fish oils, and certain types of algae. Plant sources are going to be high in ALA, requiring the body to do the ineffective conversion. Salmon roe has some of the highest levels of Omega 3 fatty acids of any other food. One ounce of salmon roe contains an average of 1,800mg of Omega 3’s and is also a direct source of DHA. In addition to Omega 3 fatty acids, salmon roe is also a good source of the fat soluble vitamins, A, D, K2 (Dr. Price’s “Activator X”), and E, as well as zinc and iodine.
How Do I Eat Salmon Roe?
There are a lot of nutritionally-dense foods out there that we should all eat, but when it comes down to it, taste is going to determine what actually gets eaten! I used to be super squeamish and the thought of eating roe totally grossed me out. Then, I started becoming acquainted with sushi through some friends at an old job. That company had A LOT of sushi lovers, so after much hemming and hawing, I finally decided to give it a try. I started off with just a bite here and there, but then it wasn’t too long before I was completely hooked. I now love sushi and eat it whenever possible (which is not as often as I’d like). Eating sushi was where I first started eating salmon caviar.
So, what does salmon caviar taste like? It’s salty and fishy, but not overpoweringly fishy (at least not to me). I personally eat it by the spoonful now, but there are many ways that you can incorporate Ikura into your diet. My all-time favorite is to add a small spoonful on top of a crisp cracker topped with cream cheese, sour cream, or crème fraîche. You could also use celery sticks in place of the crackers and it’s equally as delicious. Many people enjoy topping their scrambled eggs or omelettes with some salmon caviar. I eat a lot of salads that are topped with canned salmon, so I will throw a spoonful or two of roe in the salad as well. Sneak it in anywhere you can. Some babies and children will eat it plain — it’s a fun food for kids with the unique texture and bright color.
Who is Wise Choice Market?
Wise Choice Market was founded in December 2010, by Simon Gorman. The mission of Wise Choice Market is to provide a wide selection of high-quality fermented foods, starter cultures, and other nutrient-dense foods prepared in traditional manners. Simon was inspired by Sally Fallon’s book, Nourishing Traditions, and also found that his diet rich in live fermented foods was improving his own health.
Simon contacted me recently and was kind enough to send me a couple jars of their salmon caviar to try out and let me tell you — I was SO excited. Not just because I love Ikura, but because even though I know it’s a super food, I just don’t eat it as often as I’d like. In addition, I was thrilled to see that they have some of the best prices around for salmon caviar, especially when you buy in bulk. The Ikura arrived frozen (in glass jars) in a very well-insulated package with dry ice. I let it thaw out in my fridge, which took about 24 hours, maybe a tad more. They sent me two of their 4 ounce jars, so I stuck the other one in the freezer.
I was very pleased with the product. The taste and texture was just what I expected and the quality is superb. The Ikura that Wise Choice provides is harvested and processed on-board the F/V Njord, by owner-operated Loki Fish Co. of Seattle, and cured in small batches with a light salt brine to enhance flavor and preserve quality. As mentioned above, this Ikura is a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids (with each 1 ounce serving containing about 1,800mg), as well as vitamins A, D, K2, and E, plus zinc and iodine. Each 4 ounce jar contains roughly the amount of Omega 3s that you would get in one pound of wild salmon. The ingredients are simple: Wild salmon roe and salt.
I mentioned that the prices were really good, especially if you purchase in bulk. This is true for most foods — the more you buy at one time, the better the price. Wise Choice sells their Ikura in 2-packs, 6-packs, 12-packs, and 24-packs. The 12 and 24 packs are going to give you the best prices per ounce.
In addition to salmon caviar, Wise Choice Market sells a wide variety of other real food / traditional food products, including:
- Organic Honest brand Potato Chips, which are fried in coconut oil (my hubby wants some of these!)
- Organic fermented foods
- Real Organic Bone Broth
- Starter Cultures for fermenting your own foods
- Organic Soaked Cereals and Soaked Nut Butters
- Organic Sprouted Breads
Who Wants to Win?
OK. Now for the super fun stuff! Simon, and the nice folks at Wise Choice Market, are offering one lucky winner a 6-pack of their salmon caviar, a $98.00 value! How awesome is that?? To enter, just use the Rafflecopter widget below. I strongly encourage everyone to sign up for their newsletter, as it is packed with great information about new product offerings and special offers. Also, you’ll receive information on a wide range of well-researched topics and never receive spam. I’m a subscriber and always find the newsletters interesting.
Terms and Conditions: No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. This contest open to US residents, 18 years and older, only. All entries will be validated and the winner will be chosen randomly via the Rafflecopter widget and will be notified via email, as well as announced on the Delicious Obsessions website. The winner will have 48 hours to contact me to claim their prize. If the winner does not contact me within that time frame, another winner will be selected at random. This giveaway will run from 12:01am, Monday, May 27th, through 12:01am, Tuesday, June 4th. This giveaway is sponsored by Wise Choice Marketing Inc, #58 18th Street, Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec J9X 2L5, Canada, and they will provide one winner a 6 pack of their Salmon Ikura, valued at $98.00. You will be required to provide your name and shipping address to me (Jessica Espinoza, Delicious Obsessions, LLC, PO Box 27414, Denver, CO, 80227), and I will give that info to Wise Choice Market so they can ship out your prize. They will ship the prize directly to the winner upon receipt of the winner’s shipping information from Delicious Obsessions, LLC.
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a sample of the Salmon Ikura at no charge. I was under no obligation to post a review or giveaway, nor did I receive any monetary compensation for this post. All views and opinions expressed are my own. Read our full terms and conditions here.
“Sacred Foods for Exceptionally Healthy Babies …and parents , too!” Weston A. Price Foundation. Accessed 5/20/13
“Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Fact Sheet“. WebMD. Accessed 5/20/13
“Omega-3 Fatty Acid“. Wikipedia. Accessed 5/20/13