The question I get asked the most seems to be "how do you ensure great texture?"
Texture drives all in a salmon experience and the variables that determine great texture are mostly controllable. So that's what we focus in on. The big picture is water that has a strong tidal current so fish are swimming against resistance and building up strong muscles. Lower pen densities are important too so the fish has room to swim. At harvest is the most critical time - we must make sure the fish are neither stressed nor fatigued because that would introduce lactic acid into their muscles and would affect texture. We ensure we harvest in small "pockets" and time it so the fish are in the pocket no longer than one hour. Then we move our salmon to the processor so they are inspected, selected and packed before they go into rigor so no one is handling a stiff fish and possibly tearing their fillets. The final piece is that closed system where, once the fish is packed, no one opens the box till it arrives in the chef's kitchen. That way, the fish always maintains the right temperature and stays like it was when it came out of the ocean.
One important factor in all of this is ensuring that when they raise our fish, our Craftsman Farmers are feeding properly. Recently we were forced to change farms because our fish at one farm were growing so well that their densities were going to be reduced. The problem with this change is that our fish were feeding too well, had grown too quickly and we hadn't had a chance to adjust their feeding regimen to improve their texture. The result is some of our fish weren't as firm as we want them to be for our chefs. It was a good lesson to learn that we need our Craftsman Farmers to juggle many different issues and make sure they are making the right decision at all times with sometimes many varying outcomes. We learned that we need to be ready in case a change in farms needs to be made and ensure that our fish are always ready for harvest even if it wasn't part of the original plan. The goal is to always have those same high standards so our customers get great texture and if we aren't perfect we need to know what we can do better next time.
We have set our own high standards and we intend to keep them.