Every fish lover has found it difficult to distinguish between salmon and trout. Since both of those are very similar and of the same kind, it is very common to mix them up. On top of that, salmon being one of the most consumed fish in the USA makes it more important to know how to distinguish them so that you can proceed with different recipes and tastes.
If we consider the similarities between the two, both are very healthy sources of food, both have almost the same appearance with dark spots and silver color on the body, and both come from the same species.
Because of these reasons, trout can replace salmon in some cases as substitutes. However, there are still significant differences ranging from taste to texture. Therefore, not all recipes will work for both. It is important to know the raw version, deboning, and cooking techniques to get the best out of both kinds of fish.
Comparing Salmon and Trout
Salmons have small sharp angled heads with spend and long bodies. They also have little to no dark spots on their body and an adipose fin that sets them apart. Salmon is also known as a fatty fish that makes it oily and rich when cooked. When cooked salmon has a distinctive orange and pinkish hue.
On the other hand, trouts have a comparatively rounder-shaped head that is not as angled as salmons. But the tails of both types of fish are similarly shaped, which will confuse you. The tails are convex looking.
Trouts also have more spots on its body than salmons. It can weigh up to 66kg in its lifetime. It has a reddish shade in its meat that sets it apart from salmon. It is also not as fatty as salmons which is why you can cook it as a nonoily less fatty recipe.
Where to Find
For salmons, you can find them in fresh and saltwater depending on the season. Unlike trout, they can be found in both fresh and saltwater. They are born in freshwater, live there for a few months, and then move to the oceans. So you can find adult salmons in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
Interestingly there are different types of salmons you can find in different regions too. Since salmons are one of the most consumed fish in the US, you need to level up your effort to catch them.
A rule of thumb would be to travel to northern parts of the country that are closely connected to oceans like New York, Maine, Alaska, etc to catch them. Although different kinds of trout are found in other areas, you can find them mostly in fresh water. Steelhead and rainbow trout are found in saltwater in their early life before they migrate to saltwater.
That includes lakes, rivers, mountain streams, and any clear and shallow water body. Trouts also like to live in cold water so northern waterbodies are where you should find them. Northern states in the US like Montana, new york Michigan are known for trouts.
However, southern and western parts like California, colorado and north Carolina have them too. In fact, south American spots and African spots sometimes have trouts too. They give birth in well-oxygenated water and eat insects, seafood, fish eggs, etc.
Does Trout Taste Like Salmon
Just like their birthplace, eating habits, habitats, salmons, and trout taste different. A lot of things play a role here in deciding how they taste. Salmons are generally known for their strong flavor.
It is also an oily fish that contains much more fat. On the other hand, trouts are milder, less fishy but gamey flavored fish. If you want to avoid the fishy smell and taste then definitely go for trout. Let’s also see how different types of trout and salmon taste different:
This type of trout has a very different lifestyle than salmons. But for a long time, they were considered salmons for their similarity in taste with Atlantic salmons.
The difference was known by analyzing their life cycle. They travel back and forth to the ocean throughout their lifetime. They are also much smaller in size than salmons and 5 times smaller than Atlantic salmons. They taste mild, are less fishy, and have a deep pink color with an orange hue.
This type of trout has flaky meat but a mild taste like other trout. They don’t have a rich taste like salmons. But it is known for the slight nutty flair that it brings to the dishes. Although the difference isn’t all that distinctive it is there.
This trout will make you feel the difference in taste between salmons and trout. It has a fishy flavor with a smell that makes it stand out among others.
There are specific recipes made for this type of trout to tone down the fishy flavor. However, if you are a fan of that taste, this is the fish for you.
Atlantic salmons are generally compared with steelhead trout because of the similarities between taste and looks. This is pure salmon but the type that has a very mild flavor that makes it comparable to trout. It is also much bigger than trout.
This type of salmon has one thing in common with trout. It has a fishy flavor but a salmon texture. The color is also very red which makes it distinctive. It is lean, rich, and oily and all the other good things about salmon are in it. You can get a pouch of sockeye salmon here!
If you can’t tell by the name already, this salmon is known to be the most expensive and rich in taste salmon out there. Every pound of this fish costs about 30 pounds. The meat is very delicate and oily. It also has intramuscular fat in meat that makes the texture very different.
Both types of fish provide almost the same type of vitamins and nutrients. If you are looking for healthy options you can consider both. But if you specifically count vitamins, salmon has less than trout.
Also, salmon is much more oily than trout, therefore it contains more fat in it which makes the texture rich.
Trout is a great source of different types of vitamins. It has thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. It also contains vitamins A, E C, and D. It also has high protein, calcium, and other minerals.
For example, if we take a trout fillet of 80g we will get about 22 mg calcium, 300 mg potassium, 115 calories, 20g protein, and 1.5 g fat. All combined it can be a rich source of vitamins and calories. On top of it, it is less oily and contains less fat than salmons, so if you are trying to lose weight this is a good option.
Just like trout, salmon also provides tons of good vitamins, minerals, and other healthy nutrients. If we take a 100g fillet of salmon we will get approximately 200 calories, saturated fat about 3g, and 20g of protein.
In terms of vitamins, it also has vitamins E, D, C, and A. But the only drawback is that it doesn’t provide as various types of vitamin B as salmons.
Whether or not you will like salmon or trout depends on your tastebuds. But the taste of the fish and the cooking techniques depend on its lifestyle, eating habits, nature, etc. In fact, different types of salmons and trouts will give you slightly different tastes and outcomes when cooked.
Therefore, make sure to ask the seller about the background of the fish, the fishing process, etc. It is always helpful to do a bit of research on the background and habitat of the fish to get the best result.
To help you with that, we are adding this video so that you can visually compare both kinds and take a better decision: