In Season: Salmon

Salivate over salmon.
Cindy Hatcher

A little trivia: Salmon are anadromous, which means that they move from their normal saltwater environments to fresh water during spawning season. This has led some species―which are considered less flavorful than saltwater varieties―to become landlocked in freshwater lakes.

What they look like: Though there are many varieties of salmon, almost all vary in color from off-white to bright red.

Selection tips: The most popular―and some consider it the tastiest―variety of Pacific salmon is Chinook or king salmon. If you're looking for a less fatty variety, choose pink or humpback salmon, which is among the smallest and lightest-flavored types.

Storage tips: Like most fish, salmon is best served as fresh as possible, but once it's cooked, it seems to work well as leftovers.

How to eat them: It depends on the variety you choose, but salmon is most often sold whole or in steaks or fillets. Also popular are the canned and smoked varieties. Many salmon are harvested for their bright red roe, which is served as caviar.

Peak season: Early summer through fall is the best time for the Pacific varieties of fresh salmon. Atlantic salmon is in season from summer through early winter.

Health benefits: Salmon is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A and B.

Nutritional info (3 ounces cooked pink salmon): 127 calories, 0 grams of fiber, 21.7 grams of protein, 3.8 grams of fat (.6 saturated), 73 milligrams of sodium, and 57 cholesterol.