I follow Langdon Cook's blog, Fat of the Land. (His new book is Fat of the Land: Adventures of a 21st Century Forager.)
Recently he reviewed a book on sustainable seafood recipes, Good Fish: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the Pacific Coast by Becky Selengut. In his review, he had this to say about one of the many tips from her book, and I thought I'd pass it on for anyone purchasing salmon.
"I like to think I know a few things about Pacific fish, but I'm always learning from Becky, even on familiar subjects. For instance, in her salmon chapter, she gives some buying tips that includes this useful nugget: 'Look carefully at the pin bones. If you see a divot around the pin bones, it's a sign that the fillet is old.' "
When I lived in a city, I could just ask at the fish counter to smell any fish up close so I detect if it smelled fresh. Now the markets here all wrap their fish in plastic wrap on a tray, and there's no way to smell it for freshness. The last salmon I bought smelled fishy right out of the package but I was already 35 miles away from the store, at home. Now at last I have a visual clue, thanks to Langdon Cook and Becky Selengut!
I don't buy much fish anymore except local wild stream trout, but I have her book and Langdon's both on my Wish List. Foraging ideas from Langdon Cook's book may become much more important as the cost of our food keeps going up, and Becky Selengut's book covers sustainable fish, which all fish are NOT. If I'm going to eat fish, I prefer not to eat fish that are being overfished and rapidly disappearing.