Fish Collars: Fishermen’s Best Kept Secret

When thinking about cuts of fish to enjoy, we imagine a map along the fish’s body. You have your back meat, abdomen meat, and the tail meat towards the back, all which vary in size and fat content. The head is often used in cooking stocks, and the tail can even be fried and eaten. Caviar, or roe, is also harvested from the uterus of pregnant fish. There are so many parts of the fish to enjoy, but what’s all the hubbub about fish collars

Fish collars are said to be the best part of the fish by those who are in the know. They began as a delicacy in Asia and are only now becoming a requested dish here in America due to their less-sightly nature compared to the cuts of fish we are used to. It does seem a bit bizarre to eat meat off the clavicle of a fish, but once you do, you will immediately taste the difference. Collar meat is a tricky one to cut in a way that preserves the area fully, but when done right, you have a slab of buttery collar meat to cook and eat right off the bone. You often get a bit of fatty belly meat attached to it as well if you’re lucky! This area of flesh behind the fish’s gills is incomparably tender, and while rarer to find in the States, collar meat is usually quite affordable due to its lack of use here. What could be better than a reasonably priced piece of impressively tender fish?

Fish heads are disposed of in high quantities in America, and the delectable collar meat is often attached. What a shame! Fish collars are much easier to come across in Asia and Europe, where fish heads are a normal part of their cuisine, but they are starting to be rightfully appreciated here now as the stigma fades. And we are elated to hear it, because everybody should have access to this precious cut of meat. When it is cooked on the bone, the aromatic flavor of the collar meat increases in intensity, becoming an unstoppable force of tenderness and tastefulness. It is also an area particularly plentiful in omega-3 fatty acids, the super-nutrient that makes fish so healthy. We can’t say enough about this cut of fish meat – the cat’s out of the bag!

Try it for yourself by ordering from our website. We have raving reviews about our smoked king salmon collars, our customers can’t get enough of these moist, tender, and flavorful treats! We also sell halibut collars, ready to be cooked to perfection. You’ll never look back once you’ve tried the esteemed fish collar.

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Brines, Batters, and Bites – Oh My!

Looking to spice up your culinary life? Look no further than Tanner’s! We know seafood, and we know just how take your dishes to the next level with our gourmet batters, spices, and brines. 

Not only do our spice combinations work to add that kick of flavor to your dish, but our batter packs take on all the heavy lifting by giving generously to the texture of the meal as well. A good batter seals in the moisture of the meat on the inside while forming a crispy, succulent coating on the outside. This is a texture combination made in heaven! We sell multiple different batters to choose from: original, spicy, herb, and coconut. Alaskan Gourmet Products only produces the best batters to pair with the finest Alaskan seafood, take our word for it!

The original batter is formulated to compliment halibut, keeping the fish meat inside juicy while crisping perfectly on the outside. But don’t just try it on halibut – its excellent on any kind of seafood or even fries! Anything that needs a savory layer of crispiness, we recommend it for. This versatility is consistent for the other batters as well. 

For an added kick of spice, try the spicy batter! Cajun spices add another layer of complexity to a dish, and another element of heat of course. Like all the batters, you can mix and match them – for example, if you want only a dash of heat, you can mix the spicy batter with original in whatever ratio you prefer. We recommend this for milder fish, as to not overpower the natural flavor of the meat. 

You can mix and match any of the batters, like the herb one as well. We love the complexity of this earthy batter, and it is phenomenal on vegetables. Tender veggies like mushrooms in a crunchy, herbaceous shell are sure to satisfy! It is also a great complimentary taste to umami, the savory, meaty flavor we have receptors for in our tastebuds. Pork, poultry, beef, fish, you name it, this batter dances with it!

For coconut shrimp lovers, try the coconut batter! Specially formulated to bring you the joy of making your own coconut shrimp, this sweet, crunchy batter will rock your world. We don’t just recommend using this mixture on shrimp – go beyond the norm and try it on other kinds of seafood, or even fruits and veggies.

Looking for a simple spice blend to add to your meals without the crispy coating? We’ve got you covered with our signature Tanner’s spice blend. We love this mix of spices so much; we use it on our very own smoked salmon and halibut. Use it on any type of food to give it that smoked meat essence, unique to the Tanner’s team.

Speaking of smoked meats, lest we forget to mention the Alaska Gourmet fish smoking brine we sell. Smoke your own fish to make it the consistency you desire with this brine, bringing you the classic sugary, savory, and spicy flavors that make up a solid brine. Read more about this product here.

Stop by the “Seafood Batters and Spices” section of our online store to view all of these items. We have a variety of combinations and quantities of the batters described above, so you don’t have to pick just one flavor in an order. Have a blast cooking with these handy meal-makers!

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We’re Suckers for Cephalopods!

Here at Tanner’s Alaskan Seafood, you can shop a vast assortment of sea-dwelling delicacies. Included in this selection are unique members of the cephalopod family: squid and octopuses. These clever sea creatures make for a royalty-worthy meal and tantalize the tongue with exotic tastes and textures. There are so many flavor combinations you can use when preparing these cephalopods, the possibilities are endless!

Squid may be a treat you are more familiar with, as calamari is a popular dish all around the world. Calamari is a term sometimes used to refer to squid that has been battered and fried, but it is also used generally to refer to squid in any manner of preparation, as the word “calamari” itself is simply “squid” in Italian. If you have had fried calamari, you can probably attest to its popularity due to its rich, crispy, savory flavor experience. Squid lends its unique taste in other dishes as well, the white meat being described as slightly nutty and sweet, while the texture is playful and characteristically chewy. On our website we sell calamari steaks, which are large cuts of squid meat taken from the body. These cuts lay flat like a steak and can be enjoyed as such. Squid meat is a low-fat protein source, rich in phosphorus and containing calcium, thiamine, and riboflavin as well. It tends to curl in heat, which is why it is recommended to score your steak with a knife before cooking. You can cook it in a pan just like a steak, adding whatever spices and sauces you like. You will reel from the intensity of this dish!

Octopus meat, on the other hand, is perhaps more of an oddity to the American palate. Similar to squid, octopus has a chewy texture while debatably being “chewier” than squid in its raw state. It also contains more vitamins and minerals than squid! Octopus soaks up whatever flavors it is cooked in, giving you the power to control its taste. The meat softens up as it is cooked, and grilled octopus is a fan favorite method due to its smokiness! Octopus is often served raw, however, common in sushi preparation and even served as slices of meat that you may dip in an assortment of sauces. Even in this “raw” state, however, the meat is usually boiled in hot water briefly to tenderize it. We sell both tentacles as well as whole octopuses on our website in the “Calamari and Octopus” section.

Use these meats in soups, salads, or on their own! Whether its grilled, fried, or even raw, squid and octopuses are sure to delight and excite. Prepare them all kinds of different ways and find out how you prefer it, we can’t choose!

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New to Reindeer Meat? Here’s the 411

New to Reindeer Meat? Here’s the 411:

It’s safe to say that reindeer meat is an exotic one to say the least, which is why it is resides in the “Exotic Meats” section of our online store. You may be familiar with comparable game such as venison and bison, but perhaps have not yet had the luxury of tasting the meat of a reindeer. To get you in the spirit of giving this delectable protein a try, we’re here to tell you what you need to know.

Reindeer, also known as caribou, are native to Canada, Greenland, northern Europe, northern Asia, and of course Alaska, where they reside in in mountainous, forested, and continental-to-arctic habitats. Commonplace in Scandinavian cuisine as well as a traditional Alaskan delicacy, reindeer meat dances on the tongue with bold flavors and nutritional value to boot. These beautiful creatures – like other wild game mammals like deer, elk, and moose – are built with incredibly lean muscle, giving their meat the rich red meat flavor without all the saturated fat. For this reason, our reindeer sausage is mixed with beef and pork to keep the product sufficiently moist overall due to the lean nature of reindeer meat. This lack of fat in relation to muscle tissue is one of the qualities that lends to its distinctive flavor, which is often described as less “gamey” and tough than expected, especially compared to venison. People describe the taste as unique, yet not off-putting the way other gamey meats can be. You can experience this desirable flavor directly in our Alaskan reindeer medallions, which are tender cuts of reindeer wrapped in bacon.

Finally, a delicious meat that is exceptionally healthy to incorporate into your diet! Being low in saturated fats isn’t the only thing that puts reindeer meat on the map health-wise. It is commonly claimed to be “as healthy as fish” because of its abundance of essential fatty acids similar to that contained by seafood. Reindeer meat is also especially rich in vitamin B12, selenium, zinc, niacin and iron – all staple nutrients found in fish. This primal, culturally significant dish is waiting to make itself a part of your diet!

Give our reindeer products a try by ordering here. We hope the flavor experience is as exhilarating for you as it is for us and many of our customers!

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Health benefits of crustaceans

Crustaceans: Delicious and Nutritious

You are probably no stranger to salmon’s heroic health qualities by now, but what about the superpowers of shellfish? Besides the 7 million Americans who are allergic, shellfish (specifically crustaceans in this case) pack a nutrient-powered punch and provide so many health benefits when added to your diet. The nutritional secrets these ocean delicacies hold within their shells are definitely worth cracking into, so grab your crab crackers and let’s dig in!

Crustaceans like shrimp, lobster, and crab contain meat that is low-fat and low-calorie while being high in protein, vitamins, and minerals. The high mineral content of shellfish is perhaps their most notable quality, crustaceans, in particular, being high in zinc. Zinc is an essential mineral important to the immune system, DNA synthesis, gene expression, protein synthesis, enzyme reactions, and overall growth. It is important to remember that it cannot be stored in or produced by the body, therefore zinc is a nutrient that must be inconsistent supply from your diet due to its vital role in the body’s functioning. This is why zinc-rich foods are pivotal to consume, and crustaceans truly fit the bill.

Other minerals like iron, niacin, and selenium make their home in the meat of shrimp, lobster, and crab, and if you’re looking for a great source of vitamins such as variations of B, A, E, and K, you’ll also find it in these shelled-ocean dwellers. Seafood in general is a nutrient-dense food group, especially rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and crustaceans are no exception. Additionally, they are low in cholesterol, and contrary to popular belief, they are even relatively low in mercury.

Health benefits you can really feel from the nutrients in crustaceans include decreased inflammation, noticeable improvements to your hair, skin, and nails, an expedited immune response, and a lowered risk of heart disease to name just a few. What more can we say about these delicious and nutritious critters – being so rich, decadent, and healthy, how could you resist! Do your body a great service and treat yourself to a crustacean feast tonight.

To get your hands on this superfood, order online from us today! We take pride in our seafood here at Tanner’s, and you surely won’t be disappointed with our high-quality selection of lobster, crab, and shrimp.

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Wild Caught Vs. Farmed Salmon

When Tanner’s Alaskan Seafood began, Jason and Rory Ann Tanner knew what a difference a fresh caught, 100% wild Alaskan salmon made in taste and quality compared to farmed salmon. It is with that dedication to quality and fresh fish that they still run the business to this day. However, there isn’t solely a difference in taste when it comes to wild caught vs. farmed salmon. Here are the biggest differences:

Visual and Dietary Differences:

Visually, farmed salmon looks very different from wild caught salmon. The most notable difference is the color. Fresh, wild caught salmon is a very vibrant pinkish-red  in color, while farmed fish is a more mild and subdued pinky-orange. This color variation stems from diet.

Wild salmon feeds on algae, small fish, and other organisms that give it the trademark color as well as high vitamin and mineral content. Farmed salmon is fed a diet of “chum” that consists of grain, corns, and astaxanthin (which is a compound responsible for giving the salmon it’s color)1.

This difference in diet also leads to a difference in minerals, nutrients, and chemicals found in the fish. The wild caught, fresh salmon that we sell at Tanner’s has no chemicals or preservatives added, ever. Farm raised fish can be exposed to antibiotics, contaminated by chemical pollutants, and many other harmful substances.

The striations are also different: farmed fish has more fat which is visible in the thicker white striations, which brings us to….

Fat Content

            Both farmed and wild caught salmon are rich in heart and brain-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, but the composition is slightly different. Because wild caught salmon is more lean than farmed, it has less overall fat, including Omega-3’s. However, this also means that wild salmon has lower amounts of Omega-6 fatty acids, which are inflammation causing.

Environment

            There is no question, farmed fish have poorer quality of life. Salmon are unique in the fact that they travel (some hundreds of miles) over their lifetime. Farmed fish are not afforded that natural ability, and crowded conditions can expose salmon to parasites and disease exposure.

The Tanner’s Way

            We have grown our business on the principle of providing quality over quantity. That is how we are able to provide only the freshest, high quality, wild caught salmon Alaska has to offer. We get our salmon directly from the beaches: we buy from fisherman, and process off shore in our own plant. We flash freeze at the height of freshness, locking in flavor and nutrients.

            We believe in the quality of our seafood, and know that so many of our customers order from us as a health conscious decision for their family. We know that we are an integral part of our community as well. We choose local, fresh fish to provide for our customers, because that is what we know is best. 100% wild caught, fresh salmon is best in taste, best in presentation, and best in health. And it’s only the best, every time, from Tanner’s Alaskan Seafood.

Photo Credit:

https://mindovermunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Wild-Vs-Farmed.png

References:

Buckingham, Cheyenne. “The Difference Between Farm-Raised and Wild Salmon”. Eat This, Not That!, 2 October, 2020, https://www.eatthis.com/farm-raised-wild-caught-salmon-difference/

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The Tanner’s Alaskan Seafood Difference

From the ordering process all the way to the actual seafood on your plate, there is just something different about the Tanner’s Alaskan Seafood way. Looking back at our humble beginnings in sport processing, all the way to the leap to commercial fish processing and all nighters making sure everything was done right, one thing hasn’t changed over the years. Tanner’s Alaskan Seafood is a family run business grounded in our values of bringing only the freshest, best tasting wild caught seafood to our customers.

            Quality Over Quantity

            When we moved to commercial fish processing, we knew we still wanted to emphasize quality over quantity. We chose to stay a smaller operation to be able to always bring fresh seafood, which is unparalleled in quality and taste, to our customers.

            Every piece of seafood that passes through our processing system has at least 10 sets of eyes that go over it, to make sure it is the best possible quality. From when it is weighed in all the way until flash frozen, our team carefully inspects all our seafood to make sure premium portions get delivered to each person.

            The Tanner’s team also hand processes each fish that passes through. We choose to do it the “old fashioned way” so we don’t lose sight of our values. Everything is hand fileted, hand rubbed, and hand trimmed. This ensures that every shipment that ends up on a customer’s doorstep is prepared and packaged in the best possible way.

            Flash Freezing For Peak Freshness

            We choose to flash freeze our fish because it is the best way to maintain the integrity of the meat. With our (non-nitrogen based) method of flash freezing each molecule of water is isolated and frozen at once so that coveted freshness of the wild caught fish is better preserved.

With traditional freezing methods, the meat slowly freezes in portions instead of all at once, similar to what meat does when you dethaw and refreeze something. This compromises the taste, texture, and “fresh feeling” of the seafood.

Our seafood comes right out of the ocean, right into the processor, and right into the freezer. We don’t add dye or color to the fish, or preservatives. All our seafood is exactly what we list: all natural, 100% wild caught.

A Taste of Alaska

We love our community, and choose to honor it and do things The Alaskan Way. That translates to great customer service, and our pattrons really getting to experience a family owned and operated business. We know just how incredible Alaska is, and love to share that with our customers.

 Over and over, we hear how our seafood transports our customers back to a trip of a lifetime, or some of their best memories. Part of the magic of Alaska is the food: caught in the ocean and brought inside to eat fresh. Being able to bring that same freshness and quality to our customers, and hearing their stories of being transplanted back to Alaska keeps us going day after day.

The difference between our family run business and the competitors is simple: quality over quantity is our mission. Every single time.

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Tanners Seafood Beginnings

Tanners Alaskan Seafood is a family run business out of Ninilchik, Alaska. Today, we ship fresh, wild caught Alaskan Seafood across the globe, but many don’t realize our humble beginnings. Jason and Rory Tanner began Tanner’s Alaskan Seafood as a sport fish processing outfit in 2011 before moving into commercial fish processing.

Humble Beginnings

            Rory Tanner speaks about our beginnings with a smile in her voice: “We started with nothing, just Jason, a friend and I working until 2 in the morning processing and making sure everything was done right.” It was this work ethic and drive to provide the most fresh, best possible product to customers that set the Tanners apart.

            Tanner’s Alaskan Seafood is a shore-based processor, so we don’t own boats or do the fishing, we are run completely on land. This narrowed down focus of processing and shipping allows us to do everything with excellence, and ensure that we can pick only the highest quality products for our customers.

            We pick up our fresh caught fish from beach sides: sometimes in Homer, Alaska, or we drive to Prince Williams Sound in Whittier to pick up shrimp, through the 2.5 mile Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel (the longest highway tunnel in North America!).

The Road to Commercialization

            Tanner’s decided to commercialize and get into retail because we knew how fresh we were able to keep the fish, and what a humongous difference our processing made in quality, taste, and customer enjoyment.  With our system of processing and flash freezing, we could provide our customers with seafood that literally tasted as if they had just caught it themselves.

            While we jumped into commercialization, we knew that we wanted to stay a smaller, family run business and operation so we never lost our values, especially only providing the best quality product to our customers. Jason and Rory knew they could stay small enough to emphasize their top priorities, but also share their amazing products with others, which was the catalyst to bring us where we are today.

Bringing Alaska To Customers

            We hear so many stories of people who ventured to Alaska, calling it a “trip of a lifetime”. So many people have come to us reminiscing about their time in Alaska, calling it a “bucket list” trip, and we are so happy to provide a small glimpse of the memory of that special time in Alaska through our products. Sharing Alaska through our seafood is what drives us to keep going. We know that part of what makes Alaska special is the freshness of the food and unparalleled taste, and to be able to deliver that to our customer’s doorsteps and bring that to homes across the world is so amazing to us.

            Our customers are our drive, and why we built our family run business around quality over quantity. Hearing stories of cancer patients wanting to experience Alaska again through our seafood, or families reminiscing on the trip of a lifetime make all the work worth it. Especially this year, as many people are stuck at home unable to travel, we love to bring people back to Alaska through our fish.

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Tanner’s Alaskan Seafood Smoked Salmon Secrets

Every year in Ninilchik, people gather from all over for Salmonfest to celebrate Alaska’s salmon culture. In 2019, Jason Tanner won the coveted first place prize for best smoke salmon. While Jason may have some hard won (over years of practice) secrets to his award winning smoked salmon, we will let you in on some of the biggest keys to great smoked salmon here.

It’s All In the Fish

            First of all the key to amazing smoked salmon is, you may have guessed, amazing salmon. Jason uses only the freshest wild caught salmon, and at Tanner’s, that is all we sell. We get our salmon straight off the beach, directly from the fishing boats. Our customers enjoy only the finest wild caught salmon, which is processed and flash frozen at the peak of freshness by our team.

            The secret is all in the salmon belly when it comes to good smoked salmon. That healthy fat and fish oil concentrated in the belly means a delicious, melt in your mouth finished product after a good smoke. Using this part of the fish creates a smoked salmon that is moist and succulent, not dried out and dreary.

Brine and Brown Sugar

            The last secrets to Jason’s award winning smoked salmon? Watch your brine time, and for heavens sake don’t be afraid of the brown sugar. Too long or too short of a brine time can take a perfect salmon belly from delicious to less than desirable. And when it comes to brown sugar, more is, well, more. Combining that sugary coating with the fatty richness of the salmon belly will leave people drooling every time.

            The biggest, worst kept secret of all is the fact that you can buy our delicious smoked salmon right here, and have it delivered overnight to your doorstep! One of the best and healthiest snacks in the world, our shelf-stable smoked salmon can be a treat you can take with you anywhere that doesn’t have to be refrigerated until opened.

            We use fresh caught sockeye salmon, and smoke them to the point of perfection. Our three flavors are sure to satisfy any appetite:

“Premium Regular”: is our classically smoked salmon that pairs well with anything, from appetizer plates, charcuterie boards, or portable snacks.

“Black Pepper”: these filets have a little punch of black pepper as well as other unique seasonings that make it a stand out treat.

“Honey”: our smoked honey flavor adds some sweetness to the succulence. We have customers use it on salads, dips, or as appetizers. It is versatile and delicious!

            You can get Tanner’s sockeye smoked salmon in a variety pack with all three flavors, in a 3, 6, or 9 pack. We also sell smoked salmon jerky, another incredibly delicious and healthy snack idea for the whole family. In our jerky pack we include original, teriyaki, and black pepper flavors. 

            Get in on the secrets behind Jason Tanner’s award winning smoked salmon: order our salmon flash frozen at the peak of freshness and try it yourself, or reap the benefits of Jason Tanner’s years of experience and buy our smoked salmon today. Either way, the taste of Alaska is only a click away.

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Reindeer sausage

Reindeer sausage is one of our favorite treats year round. The unique flavor is a perfect addition to a charcuterie board, or as a stand-alone treat. Just another way we help our customers bring the taste of Alaska to their own home, our reindeer sausage is a one-of a kind product that, once you try it, may just become a staple in your home.

            Tanner’s Alaskan Seafood Reindeer Sausage is fresh from Alaska, just like all of our products. The 100% wild and natural reindeer sausage is unparalleled in flavor, and a fun addition to recipes or appetizers.

            Our reindeer sausages are polish style sausage links made with a combination of reindeer meat, pork, and beef to get a perfectly delectable texture and consistency. Fresh, wild Alaskan reindeer is lean, and needs the fat that pork and beef binders provide for that classic polish sausage texture. The sausage is made up of equal parts Reindeer, Beef, and Pork (30% each), with the last 10% being our custom mix of proprietary spices.

Besides the amazing reindeer, our spice blend and preparation is responsible for the incredible taste of our reindeer sausage. We use white pepper, coriander, and other spices to pack in the flavor and highlight the high quality wild meat we use. Another not-so-secret way our reindeer sausage is set apart? It is alder smoked, which accentuates all of the flavors perfectly.

Our sausages are fully cooked, so they can be served with cheese and crackers, or thrown on the grill to serve hot. We also offer Hot and Spicy Summer sausage, which is made with the same blend of high quality meat, with an extra spicy kick.

Customers order these all year round: served at BBQ’s, around the family breakfast table, and at holiday parties. Here’s what some of our customers had to say about our reindeer sausage:

“Amazing! Browns up nicely, with little fat, and tastes SO SO good! This will be another staple in my freezer.” -Joan

“I’ve been buying fish through Tanner’s for a while now. I finally broke down and had to try some. They are awesome. Even off the grill! Very pleased! Thank you!” –Jennifer

“The sausage was excellent. Arrived quickly and still frozen, couldn’t have asked for better service.” –John

Don’t miss out on a one-of-a-kind treat this winter. Stoke the fire, put on some music, and sit back and enjoy the best Reindeer Sausage in the world: delivered right to your door from Alaska. Each 12-ounce package contains 4 links of perfectly smoked, 100% wild and natural sausage that normally can only be tasted by the lucky few that venture up to Alaska. Order today: we offer free overnight shipping on most orders with a minimum quantity purchase.

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