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Canned Fish

( Originally Published 1926 )

8 Q. What are the different grades of "salmon and how do they compare?

A. There are five grades : (1) Chinook, or King; (2) Sockeye, or Red; (3) Cohoe, Medium Red, or Silver; (4) Pink; (5) Chum.

The Chinook salmon is generally considered the best eating salmon; fine texture, deep pink color, rich oil, excellent flavor. Meat breaks into layers upon slight pressure.

The Sockeye is the staple of the industry. Golden red flesh, firm in texture, yielding rich oil. Some consider it better eating salmon than the Chinook. The Alaska Red salmon,. caught in Alaskan waters, is not so rich in oil and flavor.

The Cohoe resembles the Sockeye in taste, but lacks in color and oil; its color is paler. Fair texture, good flavor.

The Pink salmon has a fine flavor, but practically no oil. Flesh somewhat soft. Light pink or brownish color. The low price at which the pink salmon is usually sold makes this salmon a splendid value.

The Chum salmon has a soft texture and is very pale in color—almost white. Very little, if any oil at all. Peculiar flavor; a taste must be acquired for it. Lowest priced salmon.

9 Q. How can one tell what kind of salmon is in a can?

A. The Government requires that the species of the salmon be stated on the label. The name of the species usually precedes the word "Salmon;" as, for instance: "Alaska Red Salmon," "Cohoe Salmon," "Pink Salmon," etc.

10 Q. Why is the quality of some brands of Chinook salmon so different from that of other brands?

A. The finest Chinook salmon canned is the Spring Pack Royal Chinook salmon caught in the Columbia River. Other grades of Chinook salmon are the Standard Chinook and the Fall Pack Chinook. The Standard Chinook is caught during the same period as the Spring Pack Chi-nook, but it runs irregular in color, in the quality of the meat, and in the color of the oil. The Fall Pack Chinook salmon is also not equal in quality to the Spring Pack either in meat or in oil. Then there are fish of the Chinook family caught in rivers other than the Columbia. None of these grades is equal to the fancy quality of the Spring Pack Columbia River Royal Chinook salmon. It is unfortunate that nearly all packs of Chinook salmon are usually labeled as "Chi-nook Salmon" without the grade being specified. Some of the packers of the highest grade Chinook, however, do label their salmon as "Fancy Columbia River Salmon," or "Spring Pack Columbia River Royal Chinook."

11 Q. Are the cheaper grades of salmon, such as Pink and Chum, less palatable and nutritious than the higher priced red salmon?

A. No. The light meated varieties of salmon are just as palatable and nutritious as the more highly colored species.

12 Q. What are the different sizes of cans in which salmon is packed?

A. The 1-lb. tall can, the 1-lb. flat can, and the 1/2-lb. flat can. A small quantity of strictly high-grade salmon is also put up in 1-lb. and 1/2-lb. flat oval cans.

13 Q. How many varieties of canned tuna are there?

A. Four varieties: (1) the Albacore tuna, also known as Long Fin tuna—all white meat; (2) Yellow Fin tuna—meat slightly pink; (3) Blue Fin tuna—meat practically same as that of the Yellow Fin but slightly darker; (4) Striped Tuna, or "skipjack "darkest of all tuna meat, quite brown in color.

14 Q. What is the difference between "White Meat Tuna Flakes" and "Light Meat Tuna Flakes"?

A. "White Meat Flakes" are pieces from Albacore, or Long Fin tuna, while "Light Meat Flakes" may be pieces from any or all three of the other varieties—Yellow Fin, Blue Fin, and Striped. These pieces accumulate in trimming the fish for canning. (Only the meat of the Alba-core, or Long Fin tuna, may be labeled "White"; the other three varieties may he labeled "Light Meat Tuna," or "California Tuna.")

15 Q. What kind of oil is used in the canning of tuna?

A. Practically all packers use cottonseed oil. It seems to blend better with the meat of the tuna than any other oil. The usual amount of oil used is 1 ounce to a No. 1/2 can (7 oz.) Some tuna is packed in olive oil, particularly for the Italian trade, the usual amount of oil being about 2 ounces to a No. 1/2 can.

16 Q. Is the tuna a smooth-skinned fish or does it have scales?

A. The tuna belongs to the mackerel family and has no scales.

17 Q. What kind of fish is the Bonita?

A. The Bonita resembles the mackerel in appearance and the tuna in flesh, although the color of its flesh is reddish. It is canned in the same way as the tuna.

18 Q. What kinds of fish are used in the canning of sardines?

A. According to a definition by the Bureau of Fisheries, U. S. Department of Commerce, any small fish of the herring family, properly pre-pared, are entitled to be called sardines. In Europe, the pilchard, sprat, and bristling are canned as sardines; in Maine, the young her-ring; and in California, the Pacific sardine, which is a species of pilchard.

19 Q. Why are some sardines labeled "Packed in Olive Oil" and others are labeled merely "in Olive Oil"?

A. Sardines labeled "Packed in Olive Oil" are sardines which previously to being packed in olive oil were boiled in peanut oil. Packers of such sardines claim that this process improves the quality of the fish and also the color.

20 Q. The labels of some canned sardines state that the sardines are packed in salad oil. What kind of oil is that?

A. Canned sardines packed in any pure,, wholesome, edible, vegetable oil may be labeled, under the Federal food and drugs act, as "Packed in Vegetable Salad Oil," or "Packed in Salad Oil," without specifying the exact oil employed. The "Salad Oil" generally used in the packing of sardines, however, is the cottonseed oil.

21 Q. What are truffled sardines?

A. Imported sardines, packed with a slice of truffle, which lends a very agreeable flavor to the fish. (See Question No. 207 for "Truffle.")

22 Q. Why is the color of some canned lobster white and of some grayish?

A. It all depends upon where the lobsters were caught. If they were caught in muddy bottoms near the shore, the meat has a grayish tinge, while if they were caught in clear water with a gravel bottom, the meat has a good white color.

23 Q. Is the meat of the domestic crab different from that of the Japanese crab?

A. The domestic crab meat is obtained from crabs caught in Virginia waters. This crab is the genuine soft shell crab. Its meat is flaky and of grayish white color, but not at all like the meat of the Japanese crab, which is white and quite similar to that of lobster.

From the standpoint of appearance, everything is in favor of the Japanese crab meat, but when it comes to flavor and tastiness, the meat of the domestic crab is decidedly superior.

24 Q. Why is there parchment paper lining on the' insides of cans containing lobster, crabs, shrimp, and fish flakes?

A. The iron and phosphorous which they contain act upon the tin and turn the meat black. The parchment paper is used to protect the meat.

25 Q. What is meant by "little neck" clams?

A. This is a hard shell variety of clams, known as Quahaug. The Quahaug clam differs from the usual soft shell or "white sand" clam in size, shape, color, and texture, and is superior to it in eating qualities. The Quahaug clams are the best clams canned.

26 Q. What is caviar?

A. The roe of various kinds of fish, more generally that of the sturgeon, prepared as a table delicacy. It is highly salted, containing about 10 per cent salt. Usually comes put up in 1-oz., 2-oz., 4-oz., 8-oz., and 16-oz. glass jars and in 11/2-oz., 3-oz., 6-oz., and 12-oz. tins. It is also sold in paste form and in dried, pressed form. The best caviar is made from the sturgeon caught in the Caspian Sea, Russia.

27 Q. What are " fish balls"?

A. These are usually made from fresh had-dock, potato flour, sweet milk, and spices, put up in fish bouillon. They are eaten fried or after being heated in the can. There are from 15 to 20 "balls" in a one-pound can. Used largely by the Scandinavian people.

28 Q. What is clam juice and for what is it used?

A. The juice of the clam, extracted by heat. The heat forces the clam to open its shell, and the juice runs out into pans from which it is taken and canned. It is used in the preparation of clam broth and clam bouillon, largely for invalids, and also for adding strength to clam chowder.

29 Q. What are the various fish and shellfish items that are put up in cans?


Anchovies, Paste Herring, Fresh
Anchovies, Whole Herring, Kippered
Caviar Herring, in Tomato Sauce
Clam Chowder Lobsters
Clam Juice Lobster Newburg
Clams,Little Neck Mackerel
Clams, Minced Oysters
Codfish Balls Pilchards
Codfish Cakes Roe, Fish
Codfish, Shredded Salmon
Crab Meat, Deviled Sardines, Oil
Crab Meat, Plain Sardines, Mustard
Crawfish Sardines, Tomato Sauce
Fish Balls Shad
Fish Flakes Shrimp Haddock (Finnan Haddie)

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