What is Char (Salvelinus alpinus)?

Char Char

Common names for Char

Arctic char, alpine trout, alpine char, sea trout

Other languages for Char

  • French name: Omble chevalier
  • Italian name: Salmerino alpino
  • German name: Saibling

Introduction to Char

Arctic char is a member of the trout and salmon families, and it resembles salmon in appearance. Its silvery skin is mottled with pink along the lateral line, and the fish’s back and upper sides are colored green and blue. Arctic char, like salmon, is anadromous, moving from freshwater to saltwater to breed. However, unlike its salmon relative, the char may live for 25 years. For hundreds of years, the Inuit of Canada have loved char; they freeze the fish and consume them like Popsicles. Char collected in the wild originates in the distant, cold seas of Europe, Asia, and North America. Northern Canada is the primary source, followed by Iceland. These two companies are also significant providers of farmed char. The fish is often sold in market sizes ranging from 2 to 8 pounds. Certain farms produce pan-sized fish weighing between eight and ten ounces. In Canada, wild Arctic char is harvested using gillnets, weirs, and trap nets.

Product profile for Char

Arctic char has a unique flavor that is halfway between salmon and trout, but more trout-like. The flesh is relatively solid, although the flake is finer than that of salmon or trout. It stays wet because of the high fat content. The hue of flesh varies from deep red to light pink. Regardless matter the color of the meat, the flavor is the same. Parasites in Arctic char, like other anadromous fish, can be killed by appropriate freezing or cooking.

Cooking tips for Char

The flavor of Arctic char appeals to those who love trout but find salmon to be too strong-flavored. Cook char the same way you would trout. Whole fish can be baked or poached, while fillets and steaks can be broiled or cooked on the grill. After cooking, the skin gets thick and leathery, so it’s preferable to remove it before eating. Char is also an excellent choice for smoking due to its high oil content; utilize either the hot or cold technique.

Nutrition facts for Char

Calories: 154 Fat Calories: 73 Total Fat: 8.1 g Saturated Fat: N/A Cholesterol: N/A Sodium: N/A Protein: 20.2 g Omega 3: 1.6 g

Primary product forms for Char

Fresh: Whole, Dressed, Fillets (boneless) Frozen (most common): Whole, Dressed, Fillets (boneless) Value-added: Smoked

Global supply for Char

Canada, Iceland, Norway, Greenland, Iran