Maple syrup? That, too. But when it comes to cooking, Canada is most famous internationally for its bright red, wild salmon. Nowhere is home to more salmon species than the world’s second largest country. The Pacific waters off British Columbia’s coast are teeming with large chinook and small pink salmon, also known respectively as king salmon and humpback salmon. The chum and coho varieties abound in the Squamish River north of Vancouver Island. And all five of the country’s species congregate in the mighty Fraser River that rises in the Rocky Mountains. These include the sockeye, which chefs consider the finest wild salmon of all. Bluish-gray scales adorn its back while its belly has a silvery sheen. Some 90 centimeters in length, the fish owes its red flesh to a diet rich with shrimps and krill. Their natural pigment astaxanthin, which they ingest through plankton and algae, accumulates in the salmon’s flesh. The annual salmon migrations – in which the fish leap up rapids as they return to their breedinggrounds upstream – are a truly spectacular sight. They attract anglers from all over the world – not to mention legions of hungry grizzlies.

Locations in Canada:
Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver

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