Saturday, August 17, 2019

Salade Mesclun – Salad Mesclun in French Cuisine

Behind the French Menu
Bryan G. Newman

It is a sad day in France when a salade vert, a green salad, is just two types of wilted lettuces, with a few overgrown roquet (rocket/arugula) leaves thrown on a plate and served.  Nevertheless, a  marked down, worn-out green salad does happen in France, even if it is on rare occasions. But a Salade Mesclun served badly without the correct types of ingredients providing the tastes and textures intended is a day of pain for all lovers of French cuisine.

From the north to the South of France, and from talking both to many educated diners and chefs, there is a clear format for preparing a Salade Mesclun.  Every good chef that I asked stated categorically that a salade mesclun must include at least five different salad greens with six being even better. The ingredients are carefully chosen to bring together taste, texture, color, and arrangement.

At its simplest, a Salade Mesclun includes two types of lettuce often Romaine (Cos lettuce) with its herb tinged flavor, with the leaves taken from the heart and iceberg lettuce (bright and crunchy).  Then comes Mache, lamb's lettuce (sweet and nutty), escarole (crispy and sharp), Roquet, rocket/arugula (spicy); and lightly cooked Haricot Vert, baby green beans (sweet). All served with a well-made vinaigrette sauce. Their combined colors, tastes, and textures are a Salade Mesclun and shows a concerned chef in the kitchen.

Salad Mesclun with added tomatoes and figs.

Describing a Salade Mesclun as a mixed salad in the usual North American or UK construct is an insult. A salade mesclun correctly prepared it is a gem from the book of French cuisine, balanced and carefully constructed, not thrown together,

The ingredients will change with the seasons, and so  Salade Mesclun may include Pissenlit, dandelion leaves (spicy); Treviso Radicchio, radicchio (bitter and a flash of color); Endive, the Belgian Endive (crunch);  Chicorée Frisée, the curly endive; and Red or Green Feuille de Chêne, oak leaf lettuce. These and other leaves added from France’s endless choice of baby vegetable shoots and herbs.

Don’t be surprised in a few tasty grapes, bean sprouts, roasted seeds, slices of red onion or similar are added. Your Salade Mesclun, remember, is all about taste and texture and some chefs may get carried away, but they can make great additions.

Mesclun just means mixed in the Provencal language of southern France but a Salade Mesclun is much more than any North American or British mixed salad.  A small Salade Mesclun may be an entree, but it more usually accompanies the main dish, often as part of a light lunch.

Salade Mesclun on your menu at a light lunch:

Assiette de Jambon San Daniele et Salade de Mesclun – A plate of San Daniele cured ham and a Salad Mesclun. Jambon de San Daniele is, despite being an Italian cured ham very much appreciated in France.  This ham uses sea salt for the salting process and is cured for a minimum of 13 months. The unique taste of this ham is claimed, by the producers, to be the result of the microclimate where the ham is aged. The small town of San Daniele de Friuli is 80 km (50 miles) from Venice.
Croque-Monsieur XXL, Mesclun – An extra, extra-large Croque Monsieur accompanied by a Salad Mesclun. Croque Monsieur is a simple but tasty French fast food.  It is a toasted sandwich made with Pain de Mie,, French sandwich bread, cooked ham, and Gruyere cheese. The sandwich is soaked in beaten egg and then fried gently or toasted until the outside is golden brown and the cheese inside melts. This XXL size will probably be a triple-decker.

Assiette de Saumon Fumé et Salade Mesclun Câpres – A plate of smoked salmon and a Salad Mesclun with capers.

Tartare de Bœuf, Servi Avec Toasts, Mesclun Salade – A Steak Tatar accompanied by toast and served with a Salade Mesclun.
Terrine de Lapin au Muscat sur Son Lit de Salade Mesclun – A rabbit pate flavored with a Muscat wine served on a bed of Salad Mesclun.
Smoked salmon and strawberries with Salade Mesclun

Salade de Chêvre Chaud Sur Mesclun – Warm goat’s cheese served on a Salad Mesclun.

Salade de Mesclun, Tomates, Saumon Fumé, Crabe, Crevettes – Salad Mesclun served with tomatoes, smoked salmon, crab meat and shrimp.
The ingredients of a Salade Mesclun

Roquet  - Arugula or Rocket

Roquet - Arugula or Rocket.

Roquet has dark green leaves and a peppery flavor along with an aroma that varies from nutty to oily that depends on the particular strain. The leaves vary in shape with the long and spiked leaves being the sharpest. If you prefer just a slight peppery taste, choose the smaller leaves when buying for your home.  Wild arugula/rocket plants are the most pungent of all the strains and so chefs who work with ramasseurs, gatherers, who bring them wild herbs and mushrooms only buy the youngest shoots.
Roquet – arugula/rocket in the languages of France’s neighbors:
 (Dutch - taket, taketkruid, tucolakers, tucola), (German - salatrauke, rauke, rucola), (Italian - rucola, ruchetta ), (Spanish - rúcula, oruga, jaramago, arrúgula, roqueta)

Endive, Endive Blanc - Belgian Endive, Witlof or Whiteleaf.  
Called chicons in Belgium).

Endive – Belgian Endive
Endive, the Belgian endive is shaped like a torpedo and is harvested when it is about 15cm (6") in length. It has tender, crunchy white leaves that grow with yellow edges. Endive leaves are mostly white with yellow to slightly light-green tips and are firm and crunchy; they are nutty and slightly bitter. On their own, the leaves are often used to display other dishes such as a seafood cocktail or a pâté. Endives may also be cooked and used as a garnish for the main dish, or the menu may offer a soupe à l'endive, an endive soup.

A Belgian endive with dark green leaves at its end is indicating that it has been on the shelf too long.  That's an indication that its flavor will have begun to change and that enjoyable crunchiness may also have begun to fade.

 If you are into endives, then you may meet your friends and colleagues every year in the pretty town on Bethune. Join them at the Fête de l'Endive, the town's Endive Fete; it is held on the last Sunday of February every year. Bethune is a lovely small town in the center of an important agricultural area and just 35 km (22 miles) from the city of Lille. It is in the department of Pas-de-Calais in the region of Hauts-de-France. On 1-1-2016 France changed many of its administrative regions and the new super region of Hauts-de-France was made up of the old regions of Picardie and Nord-Pas de Calais with Lille as the regional capital.

The Endive –- Belgian Endive in the language of France’s neighbors

(Catalan - xicoira), ( Dutch - wlde cichorei, wegenwachter ),(German -   endive, salatzichorie), (Italian - cicoria witloof), (Spanish - endibia, endibia witloof), (Latin - cichorium intybus var.foliosum).

Mâche or Mâche Nantaise - Lamb’s lettuce or Corn Salad

Valeriana locusta var. olitoria, lamb’s lettuce.
Early 20th-century drawing.
Mâche is France's tastiest contribution to a mixed salad. Mâche leaves are nutty, juicy, with just a tinge of spice, and a texture that goes well with other salad greens. The great taste and texture that mâche leaves bring to a green salad always make me wonder why it is so rarely available in the UK or North American menu listings.

The name lamb's lettuce comes from the spoon-shape of the leaves said to resemble a lamb's tongue. The name corn salad is associated with the plant because it grows like a weed in wheat fields. Lamb's lettuce grows wild all over Europe as well as North Africa, and North America. While it has been cultivated in Europe since the 16th century, it was mostly looked down upon as food for the peasantry until the 19th century.

 A Mache salad in France is also known as Salade de Prêtre, a priest's salad, and Salade de Chanoine, a canon's salad. Both belong to the Christian tradition of Lent when traditionally meat was not eaten, and so a salad with this salad green would star. Many other local names are seen in farmer's markets.
 Mâche in the languages of France's neighbors:

(Catalan - canonges), (Dutch -  veldsla), (German – feldsalat, Rapunzel), (Italian -  dolcetta), (Spanish -   canónigo),  (Switzerland -  nüsslisalat or nüssler), (Latin -  valerianella locusta var. olitoria).

Haricot Vert – The Fresh Green Bean or Snap Bean;

Haricot Vert - Green beans.
The Fresh Haricot Vert, the French Green Bean is the most popular of all France's green beans. These particular beans are sweeter and have a more delicate texture than most other green beans. This bean is usually the only part of a salade mesclun that will be cooked before being incorporated in the salad. Despite that caveat, French chefs do make changes, and another cooked vegetable may sometimes be included.

The Haricot Jaune or Haricot Beurre – The fresh, yellow bean is a strain of the green bean and it tastes the same to me.  This is the only fresh bean that comes close in popularity to France's haricot vert and it may be included in the Salade Mesclun.  The shortest and youngest green and yellow beans are considered the tenderest and tastiest and as you will see in the market the most expensive.

The Haricot Verte – the Fresh Green Bean in the languages of France’s neighbors:

(Catalan - fesol or mongeta), (Dutch - gewone boon  ), (German – gartenbohne, grüne bohne, schnittbohne), (Italian - fagiolo), (Spanish – judia verde). (Latin - phaseolus vulgaris var. vulgaris). Latin - Haricot commun, variété grimpante).

Chicorée Rouge -  Radicchio, Red-Leaved Chicory

Chicorée Rouge - The red-leaved chicory

Radicchio is a family of leafy vegetables with most hybrids developed in Italy, and they quickly became popular in France. Despite the variety of radicchios available in Italy, the most well-known and the most popular is the Chicorée Rouge the Radicchio or the Red-Leaved Chicory.  This radicchio family member is nearly round with leaves the color of Burgundy, but with white ribs. Apart from the white ribs, red chicory looks somewhere between a round red lettuce or a red cabbage though the taste and texture are very different.

The taste is lightly but pleasantly bitter, and like the other members of the radicchio family, (outside of a Salade Mesclun), the red-leaved chicory may also be served grilled or prepared as part of the main dish.

Chicorée Rouge - The red leaved chicory in the languages of France’s neighbors:
(Catalan - radicchio),(Dutch - roodlof, radicchio rosso),(German - radicchio rosso di Chioggia), (Italian - radicchio di Chioggia), (Spanish   - achicoria de Chioggia), (Latin - cichorrium intybus var. foliosum).
Scarole, Chicorée Scarole, Scarole or Batavia -  Escarole or  Batavia Endive.

Scarole - Escarole

Chicorée Scarole or Escarole is related to Chicorée Frisée Frisée.  It is mildly bitter and leafy green with large and curly, crisp lettuce-like leaves that have a more noticeable flavor than most types of lettuce.  The Inner leaves are paler and have a lighter taste than outer leaves.  N.B. This is not the chicory plant used for making a caffeine-free coffee substitute, in French that is called Chicorée à Café Real and for the coffee substitute it is the roots that are used.

Scarole – Escarole in the languages of France’s neighbors:

Ccatalan - endívia), (Dutch - Andijvie, Escarol), (German -  Endivie-Eskariol, Eskariol Endivie, Eskariol, Endivi), (Italian - indivia scarola, Scarola), (Spanish - escarola), (Latin - :cichorium endivia var. latifolium).

Chicorée Frisée or Endive Frisée  – The Curly Endive sometimes called Frisée, Curly Endive, Chicory, Chicory Endive, Curly Chicory. (In the UK, curly endive is often simply called  endive which can lead to some confusion with other endives).
Chicorée Frisée - The Curly Endive

Chicorée Frisée or Endive Frisée is a member of the endive family and looks like lettuce with outer green eaves that curl in a lacy texture. In a salad, it adds a slightly crunchy texture with a slightly bitter taste. The lighter colored inner leaves are milder and are considered among the best for salads. have a crunchy stem, and add a lot of texture.   Curly endives may also be cooked, and maybe on menu listings as a garnish.  Their pale green, white, and yellow coloring is a result of the producer shielding them from light during the growing process in a similar manner to the Belgian Endive.

The Chicorée Frisée or Endive Frisée  – The curly endive in the languages of France’s neighbors:

(Catalan - escarola. ), German - krausblättrige endivie ), (Italian - Indivia riccia), (Spanish – escarola.) (Latin - cichorium endivia var. crispum).

Sucrine - Bibb, Boston, or Little Gem

Sucrine - Bibb  Lettuce.

The Boston Bibb type lettuces are known for their light nutty and buttery taste, velvety texture, and slight crunch. They have loose, wavy, cupped light green leaves. Inside the leaves are more tightly bound, with a yellow tint. 

                                        Romaine lettuce
Romaine Lettuce


Romaine or cos lettuce  The romaine is sold as whole heads and the thick ribs, especially on the older outer leaves, have a milky fluid that gives the romaine its typically bitter herb taste.

(Catalan -  llarg, romà), (Dutch - bindsla), (German – römersalat, römischer, romana-salat), (Italian - lattuga romana), (Spanish - lechuga romana. lechuga romanita, cos), (lactuca sativa var. longifolia).

Pissenlit – Dandelion

Pissenlit – Dandelion

Dandelion greens are the green leaves from those flowers that pop up, uninvited, in the middle of a green lawn year after year with puffs that kids love to blow as they turn into numerous small florets.   The leaves are earthy, nutty, and, bitter with a sharp flavor much like radicchio, but more so.

The variety of dandelion green cultivated for sale at markets and grocery stores is milder than the intensely bitter and mineral-tasting garden weed. However, those garden weeds are perfectly edible but spicy,

The old French name for Dandelions is Dent de Lion, the lion’s tooth. The dandelion leaf is considered to resemble a lion’s tooth, and thanks to William the Conqueror the old French name Dent de Lion became the English name dandelion. William the conqueror and the cooks of his Norman Barons are responsible for half the names in the English kitchen.

The name Pissenlit used on most modern French menus have another translation; pissenlit translates as piss in your bed! (Don't ask me why the French prefer the name piss in the bed over lions' teeth)? That French name refers to the folk story that warned against eating dandelions and that story probably also came to England with the Normans. We, as children in England, were warned that if we ate dandelion leaves, we would wet the bed! That is not true/  However, the roots of the dandelion, which are not usually used in cooking, as they are a diuretic. The roots are part of French homeopathic medicine where they are used as a diuretic and that is the probable source of this old-wives tale that relates to the leaves.

Pissenlit – Dandelion leaves  in the  languages of France’s neighbors:

(Catalan - xicoia ), (Dutch - paardenbloem ),(German – löwenzahn, bettnässer, hundeblume) (Italian - dente di leone),( Spanish -  diente de león),( (Latin – taraxacum officinale).
Feuilles de Chêne, - Oak Leaf Lettuce.
Feuilles de Chêne, - Oak Leaf Lettuce.
Photograph courtesy of  Forest and Kim Starr
The shape of this lettuce's leaves are similar to that of the oak tree, hence, its name.
This is a tender lettuce with more taste than most other lettuces. To be enjoyed it really needs to be very fresh and if you are buying it for home make sure it has a strong color as well as being crisp and firm. When you see wilted oak leaf leaves in your Salad Mesclun then you know it has been prepared to long in advance, send it back.

As with Batavia lettuce, there are several varieties of oak leaf lettuce—green, red, bronze—but they are all loose-leaf lettuces, meaning the leaves stay loose and do not have compact heads like iceberg lettuce

Oak Leaf lettuce in the languages of France’s neighbors:
(German - eichblatt ), (Italian - lattuga aalanova ), (Spanish - hoja de roble ), (Latin Lactuca sativa var. crispa 'F).

Laitue Iceberg - Iceberg Lettuce

Iceberg Lettuce
Photograph courtesy of Pin Interest

Originally called Crisphead this lettuce became known as Iceberg lettuce when it was brought in from California covered in crushed ice. Iceberg lettuce is in your Salade Mesclun for the crunch; its flavor is too mild to notice.

Iceberg Lettuce in the languages of France’s neighbors:

(German – krachsalat ), (Italian - latuca iceberg), (Spanish – lechuga de repollo ). (Latin - lactuca sativa var. capitata)

Bryan G Newman

Behind the French Menu
Copyright 2010, 2019

For information on the unpublished book behind this blog, contact Bryan Newman.

Searching for the meaning of words, names or phrases
French menus?

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Sunday, July 28, 2019

Saumon – Salmon. Salmon in French Cuisine.

Behind the French Menu
Bryan G. Newman
The Atlantic Salmon

Saumon – Salmon. Saumon Atlantique – Atlantic Salmon

The only salmon that calls Europe its real home is the Atlantic Salmon, and it is France's best-selling fish, just ahead of cod.  It will be on the menu marinated, fried, poached, grilled, and smoked. Salmon is also number two in the fish restaurant popularity stakes just after fresh cod.
The Atlantic Salmon's French names include Saumon; Saumon Atlantique; Tacon  Atlantique; Saumon Baltic; Saumon Écossais; Saumon Norvégien or Saumon Sauvage. The English names for the Atlantic Salmon include Salmon, Atlantic Salmon, Black Salmon, Baltic Salmon Sea  Salmon, Silver salmon, Irish Salmon, Scotch Salmon, Norwegian Salmon, and Wild Salmon. 

All these names and more indicate the only type of salmon found anywhere in Europe.

Atlantic Salmon on French menus:
Carpaccio de Saumon, (Huile d'Olive, Toasts) – Salmon Carpaccio flavored with olive oil and served with toast on the side.

Carpaccio de Saumon
Dos de Saumon en Croute d'Herbes, Sauce Paloise - A thick cut from the back of the salmon, baked in a crust of herbs, and served with a Sauce Paloise, a granddaughter, or perhaps a grandson of one of France’s mother sauces, Sauce Hollandaise.      (Sauce Paloise is a minty version on Sauce Bearnaise, itself developed from Sauce Hollandaise).
Grilled salmon with teriyaki sauce.
Hure de Saumon – Translated without any good reason as salmon head cheese, or the nearly as bad, salmon pate since this dish is neither.  Hure de saumon is a fillet of salmon and parsley; steamed or braised and then prepared for display with a gelatin coating, nothing to do with a salmon’s head, any type of cheese or pate.  A hure de saumon will be served cold with fresh mayonnaise and is often part of a buffet offering.

Millefeuille de Saumon Fumé, Sorbet Citron Vert  – Layers of smoked salmon interleaved with a vegetable, and served with lime sorbet.  With salmon, in season, the vegetable that most often makes the millefeuille in this dish will be thin slices of avocado.  (N.B. Smoking, both hot and cold, is an important tool in French cuisines).

Pavé de Saumon Norvégien à la Provençale – A thick cut of Norwegian farm-raised Atlantic salmon prepared with a traditional Provençale recipe. The dish will include lots of tomatoes, and the Provençale flavor will be coming from the herb group called the Herbes de Provence, along with shallots and a small amount of garlic, local black olives and parsley. Additions such as cream or crème fraiche and white wine are at the chef’s discretion; however, they were not part of the traditional recipe. (This menu listing highlights Norwegian Salmon, but Norwegian Salmon is the same Atlantic Salmon farmed elsewhere in Europe). 
Dos de Saumon Sauce à l'Aneth
A thick cut of salmon with a dill sauce.
Saumoneau de Fontaine Sauce Suprème aux Cèpes - Young salmon (smolt) from the river served with a sauce supreme and cepes, the French porcini mushrooms. Sauce Supreme is a white sauce made with veal or chicken stock, butter and crème fraiche; here the stock may be a fumet, a fish stock.

Saumon Ecossaise Label Rouge
Farmed Scottish salmon hold the French Label Rouge, red label, for consistent quality and concerned animal husbandry.

Label Rouge – The red label of quality

RSPCA label of Freedom food
Scottish farmed salmon was the first non-French product to be awarded the French Label Rouge, red label. The Scottish Label Rouge salmon also comes with the British RSPCA label of Freedom food.  The RSPCA, Freedom Food Rating is the highest standard for farmed-fish in the world. The RSPCA inspects cleanliness, type of food, prevents overcrowding and ensures the absolute minimum of discomfort when the fish are brought in.       

This Scottish salmon is so flavorful and is farmed under such uniquely clean and controlled conditions that only five Scottish salmon farms have so far been awarded the French red label of excellence.

Filet de Saumon Écossais Label Rouge à l'Unilatérale, Pommes Sautées au Persil – A filet of Scottish label rouge salmon lightly fried through from the skin side of the filet, and served with boiled potatoes flavored with parsley. Cooking fish à l'unilatérale is considered the best way to fry a filet of fish; by cooking only on the skin side of the filet, the flavor of the fish is not affected by the cooking oil as it would be if cooked on both sides.
Blanquette de Saumon Écossais Label Rouge aux Girolles, Marrons et Graines de Moutarde -  A stew of red label Scottish salmon served with girolle chanterelle mushroomschestnuts and flavored with mustard grains.  The recipes for blanquette stews almost always include mushrooms and a cream sauce; many recipes include white wine. France has many chestnut forests, and the recipes that include chestnuts are endless. 
Salade de jambon cru et saumon Francaise fumé
A salad of cured ham and French smoked salmon
Two different tastes and textures that go so well together

Saumon Fumé – Smoked Salmon.
Many French chefs smoke their own salmon.  When you see, on a French menu, Fumé Maison, home-smoked, then the chef is in charge of the smoking;  that will be smoked salmon made with love; it will not have come from a commercial smoker.

Salade d’Asperges Vertes, Saumon Fumé et Son Œuf Poché – A salad of green asparagus served with smoked salmon and a poached egg.
Saumon Fumé Maison et Ses Toasts – Home smoked salmon served with warm toast.

Saumon Cru or Saumon Mariné
Marinated salmon or cured salmon.

Cured salmon is sometimes mistranslated as raw; sashimi is raw, saumon cru is not, it will have been marinated. I have had fabulous meals that included marinated salmon; twice, once in Paris, and once in Lyon, I enjoyed the nearest thing to the “absolute” saumon mariné.

Saumon Mariné à l'Aneth – Salmon marinated in dill.  Dill is the most popular herb, in France, for marinating salmon, and it is applied with a light touch. The result maybe some of the best-marinated salmon you will ever encounter. When saumon mariné à l'aneth is on the menu, do not pass it by.
Marinated salmon
Saumon Mariné au Citron Vert et Aneth -  Salmon marinated in lime juice and dill. When thinly sliced I think that French marinated salmon is the only salmon that comes close to the texture of the very best and thinly sliced smoked salmon.
Saumon Gravlax, Gravadlax or Gravad Lax
Gravlax is a dish of Scandinavian origin; it is the Scandinavian take on marinated salmon, and it preceded the French recipe. Gravlax has a different texture and taste; it is made with whole filets of salmon, cured in a nearly, but not quite, freezing, mixture of salt, sugar, pepper, and dill; it is served thinly sliced though not as thin as the French marinated salmon.
During a visit to Sweden, I was told that the name gravlax comes from the Swedish be-grava meaning “to bury” and the word lax, means “salmon.”  The name indicates that the recipe preceded refrigerators when it would have been wild, not farmed salmon that was buried and marinated under the snow for two or three days during the long winter.  With snow expected nine months a year in many parts of Sweden that was probably close to the home, almost certainly close to the kitchen door.

Saumon Sauvage de l'Adour Mariné Façon Gravlax, Tomates Confites, Câpres et Fleur d'Ail -  Wild salmon from the Adour River, prepared as Gravlax and served with a thick jam, a confit, of tomatoes and flavored with capers and garlic flowers.  The Adour is one of France’s shorter rivers; it rises in the Pyrenees and flows in an arc for nearly 330 km before reaching the sea below the city of Bayonne. Despite the Ardour's short length, it is famous for its wild salmon; here, you will be enjoying wild salmon, and since fish are undeniably very much what they eat; the difference in texture and taste to farmed salmon will be evident.

Tartare de Saumon – Salmon Tartar.

Tartare –  The Tatars are the tribes who, under Genghis Khan overran much of Asia and parts of Europe. In the French kitchen, the Tartars are now best remembered for the beef dish created by a French chef in their memory: Steak Tartare, Steak Tartar. Following on that success, another French chef begat Tartare de Saumon, salmon Tartar; that was followed by another chef who begat Tartare de Tomates, tomato Tartar.  From then on, like the real Tartars, there was no stopping them; one after other chefs begat and begot numerous new creations all named after the Tartars.

Tartare de Saumon -  Salmon tartar. Diced, marinated, fresh uncooked salmon prepared together with diced onions, chives, eggs, capersparsley, olive oil, pepper, and lemon juice. The spiciness the French chef will have added will come from Tobacco or horseradish or Worcester Sauce. Tartare de Saumon will be served as an entrée, the French first course.
Tartare de Saumon Pamplemousse
Salmon and grapefruit Tatar.
Tartare de Saumon Baltic Fumé à l'Aneth et au Citron Vert –  Baltic salmon, smoked with dill and flavored with lime.   The usage of the name Baltic salmon is just menuise (the language of menus) as the Baltic salmon is the same fish as the Atlantic Salmon. The fish offered here came from a Baltic Sea salmon-farm, and so they will not be too different to Norwegian farmed salmon as they will be fed the same food. Despite my caveat, there are the wild salmon that inhabit the Baltic sea, rivers, and fiords of the countries around the sea. The brackish water of the Baltic provides different foods supplies for the wild salmon who live there, and that certainly provides a different taste. The Baltic sea does connect to the North Sea and so from there into the Atlantic.  Look at the Baltic Sea is virtually surrounded by Sweden, Finland, the Danish Islands, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, and Russia.
Over 98% of salmon on sale in French fish-markets and on restaurant menus will be the Atlantic salmon; it will have been farm-raised in Norway, Ireland, Scotland and a few other European countries. The other 2% of Atlantic Salmon will be saumon sauvage, wild Atlantic salmon, from the Atlantic or the North Sea, Scottish rivers or France’s own rivers. A small amount of wild salmon, mostly saumon rouge, sockeye salmon, also called red salmon, is imported, frozen, from North America.  I have heard that some wild saumon rose, humpback salmon may come from Russia or the North of Sweden to which it has migrated.  If the humpback salmon migrate any further south, we may see this member of the salmon family claiming a European Union passport   
The Atlantic Salmon in the languages of France’s neighbors:

(Dutch – zalm), (German – Atlantischer lachs, lachs), (Italian –salmone atlantico), (Spanish – salmón), (Latin - salmo salar).

Below are the French names for other salmon species; many countries have excellent French restaurants and excellent French chefs,  and they may be serving a salmon other than Atlantic salmon.

The other salmon
Rarely,  if ever on a European menu.

Saumon Argenté or Saumon Coho - Coho salmon.
(Latin - oncorhynchus kisutch).

Saumon Chinook or Saumon Royale – Chinook or King salmon.
(Latin - oncorhynchus tshawytscha).

Saumon Keta or  Saumon du Pacifique - Chum Salmon or Keta salmon.
(Latin - oncorhynchus keta)

Saumon Rose or Saumon Rose à Bosse – Pink salmon or Humpback salmon.
(Latin - oncorhynchus gorbuscha).

Saumon Rouge - Sockeye salmon or Red salmon.
(Latin - oncorhynchus nerka).

Saumon de Fontaine – This is not a salmon; rather this is the brook trout, a tasty member of the trout/salmon family. They area freshwater fish and an excellent menu choice; however, they are not salmon.
Brook Trout
Bryan G Newman

Behind the French Menu
Copyright 2010, 2013, 2019

For information on the unpublished book behind this blog, contact Bryan Newman.

Searching for the meaning of words, names or phrases
French menus?

Just add the word, words, or phrase that you are searching for to the words "Behind the French Menu" (best when including the inverted commas), and search with Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGO.   Behind the French Menu’s links, include hundreds of words, names, and phrases that are seen on French menus. There are over 450 articles that include over 4,000 French dishes with English translations and explanations.

Connected Posts: