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Finding good sources for sustainable salmon (and other seafood) products is hard. I love salmon and of all fish, it is my favorite. I eat it any way I can get my hands on it! I would say the bulk of my salmon comes in the form of canned salmon, since that is the most economical. I also love roe, and will eat it as often as I can (though it doesn’t always fit into the budget).
A few months ago, I ordered some products from Vital Choice, because I had never tried any of their products before, but I know many real foodies who love their stuff. I figured since I am the salmon lover that I am, I simply had to try them. I was also looking for a new affiliate partner to team up with, so that I had a source for sustainable, safe seafood to recommend to those who asked. So, I ordered a few items:
- Wild Red Traditional Canned Sockeye Salmon*
- Wild Red Pouched Sockeye Salmon*
- Salmon Caviar*
- Salmon Jerky*
- King Salmon Candy*
*The links above are affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase, I earn a small commission for referring you. This doesn’t affect your price at all, and the funds earned help support the free content and maintenance of this site. I purchased these products on my own and this review was not sponsored or endorsed by Vital Choice in any way. I just wanted to try their products and share my honest thoughts.
Vital Choice was founded by Randy Hartnell, who was himself a salmon fisherman. They are committed to offering a wide selection of sustainable harvested seafood. In today’s market, you can’t always trust that you are getting what you say you are. Much of the salmon being passed off as wild salmon today is actually farmed salmon. You’re better off skipping the salmon (and other seafood) altogether if you can only get farmed. You can learn more about Vital Choice and their mission here.
Wild Red Traditional Canned Sockeye Salmon
I eat a lot of canned salmon. At least 3-4 times per week. Typically, canned salmon always tastes the same to me, no matter the source. Not sure why, but that’s just my tastebuds. I did notice a substantial difference in the color and taste of this salmon. The canned salmon from Costco is rather pale in color, but this salmon is still a rich red color and the taste is much “fresher” if that makes sense. I use canned salmon to top salads, saute with vegetables, or to make my salmon croquettes. YUM!
Wild Red Pouched Sockeye Salmon
I’m not going to lie. I was not a fan of this product. The smokiness was overpowering and left a distinct and unpleasant aftertaste in my mouth. I should have known better than to bother trying it, because I am not a huge fan of smoky flavors. I thought maybe as I had grown older, that perhaps my taste buds had changed in that regard. No such luck. I did have my Dad try it, and he typically likes smoky flavored stuff, and he said the taste was off to him as well. I was really disappointed, because I loved the idea of these for quick meals and traveling. I did contact them about not liking the product and their customer service was great and they did refund my money.
Salmon Caviar (Ikura)
I’m pretty sure that no matter why brand of salmon caviar I try, I’m going to love it. Salmon caviar is one of the most nutrient-dense foods out there and if it were more affordable, I’d eat it every day. But, it is a luxury item and one that I do splurge on a few times a year, but I am sad that I can’t make it part of my daily diet. This roe was delicious — firm and flavorful, but not overly fishy. Vital Choice’s salmon caviar comes from wild Northwest Pacific Keta Salmon and is produced under the strict, watchful eye of Japanese Ikura experts. They use a custom 3% brine for their caviar, which yields a milder, less salty flavor, which I LOVED! If you want to learn why roe is so good for us, check out this post.
This was a fun purchase. I’d never had salmon jerky before, but I love the idea of having a protein-packed snack that is portable and I can eat on the go. I can toss a couple of these jerky strips in my purse (they’re individually wrapped) and ensure that I don’t get caught in a situation where my blood sugar drops. They are gluten-free and lower sodium than most brands. Individually wrapped with a shelf-life of one year. They contain no nitrites or anything artificial. Definitely a good snack option to keep on hand.
King Salmon Candy
I was really, really excited about trying the salmon candy. I had heard numerous testimonials about how delicious it was. This was a bit of a treat for me, since they do use sugar in their recipe, but I just had to try it. And then, I was so utterly disappointed when I discovered I didn’t like them. Totally bummed. I think again, it goes back to my aversion to smoky flavors. The smokiness is definitely milder than the pouched salmon I mention above, but it’s still a bit strong and the combination of smoke and sweet just didn’t sit well with me. Major bummer. 🙁
Other Sustainable Seafood Choices
Vital Choice sells a wide range of other seafood items, though I have never tried any of the following items, so I cannot speak to quality, taste, etc.:
- Frozen salmon fillets (Sockeye, King, and Silver salmon)
- Alaskan cod, albacore, sablefish and halibut
- Shellfish, including crab, clams, oysters, mussels, scallops, and calamari
- Bacon, sausage, and burgers,
- Soups and meal kits,
- and more
All in all, I was disappointed that there were a couple items that I didn’t like, but don’t let that be a deterrent. Taste is totally subjective, so what I didn’t like, you may like! Have you tried any of Vital Choice’s products? What is your favorite?