Authentic France Travel Tip #48: Don’t Eat Salmon in France, and Please Sign This Petition

To the French people, salmon is a real delicacy. Often in France I will go to someone’s house and they will announce they have made salmon for lunch or dinner. This is supposed to be a special treat.

My reaction (though I’m not so gauche to say it out loud) is invariably “eh, meeeeeeeeeerde…”

The fact of the matter is that if you are served salmon in France, you can pretty much guarantee that it is farmed salmon. The wild salmon stocks have been all but wiped out, in the very same way that all of the virgin forests have been wiped out.

Let me think how to put this….hmmmm….okay…..FARMED SALMON IS DISGUSTING.

That about sums up my feelings on the matter. It is a question of taste (as is so often the case with me). Farmed salmon is a pale, fatty, insipid imitation of its lovely, firm wild equivalent.

On the few occasions when I was obliged to eat some farmed salmon in France so as not to offend my host or hostess, I invariably got a terrible gallbladder / indigestion attack. This is my body telling me that there is something very WRONG about farmed salmon, and that my body doesn’t appreciate being given it one bit.

Salmon is, in my mind, one of the few exceptions to the amazing culinary greatness of my adopted country.

I was very lucky in that until I went to France I don’t believe so much as a flake of farmed fish had ever passed my lips. I was the daughter of an avid sports fisherman, so salmon for me was freshly caught wild salmon.

Of course I didn’t appreciate this at the time. I whinged and moaned about having to eat salmon – baked, poached, or barbecued up to three times a week.

Oh the torture. Tantamount to child abuse, I tell you.

I actually kicked up such a ruckus about eating salmon that one day my parents made good on their threat that if I didn’t eat it for dinner, I would be eating it for breakfast.

That’s right – one morning when I was around eleven I balefully sat down at the breakfast table and had to choke down a chunk of cold salmon from the night before. I vaguely remember doing my best to make my parents feel as though they were subjecting me to medieval torture.

Mon Dieu. Come to think of it, it’s a testament to my parents fortitude that in light of all my pissing and moaning they didn’t make me eat an entire fish – scales, eyes and all.

Luckily I grew up (in spite of the medieval torture practiced at home), travelled to new places, and realized that the salmon back home was pretty darn good.

And since we have moved back here to Victoria my Dad has made sure that we are never without several huge rosy fillets of wild freshly caught salmon in our freezer. Thank goodness my daughters are not as obtuse as their mother. They LOVE salmon.

Frighteningly, however, BC’s wonderful and precious wild salmon stocks have been put into grave danger by poorly regulated Farmed Salmon Practices all up and down the coast.

The wonderful Alexandra Morton is fighting to save BC Wild Salmon by demanding a reform of Fish Farming Practices.

I was privileged to hear Alexandra Morton speak (along with that colourful old sea dog Bill Proctor) just before I moved to France, and I think that now her battle is more relevant than ever.

So in the name of good food, the environment, and the desire to have our children know what a wild salmon tastes like, sign Alexandra Morton’s Petition by clicking here.