Their color can vary depending on it’s environment. Like the salmon the male char changes in appearance during spawning. They develop a hooked jaw . Also at this time the arctic char turns a deep red color. Generally they range from brown to greenish-brown with a lighter colored belly. They have faint pink to red spots on their back and sides.
They have many similarities with their cousins the salmon and the trout. Like the salmon they are born in freshwater and then they migrate to the sea. They return to freshwater at maturity to breed and unlike the salmon, after breeding they return to the sea. Landlocked arctic char spend their entire life in fresh water.
The market size for arctic char is usually between two and four pounds but they can reach as much as 30 pounds. Commercial and sports fisherman seek the arctic char. Fish farms throughout Canada and Iceland supply the vast majority of artic char sold in the United States. Farming Char is pretty much restricted to northern areas because of their need for a cool water environment. Farmed arctic char is considered environmentally friendly and sustainable because of the closed tank method of farming. This method limits any chance of interfering with the wild char population.
Its meat has a firm texture that is slightly smoother than salmon. The meat ranges from pink to dark red and is mild in flavor and somewhat high in fat. The color of the meat does not determine the quality. It has a taste similar to trout and salmon however many think it is not quite as rich as salmon. The best way to cook arctic char is to bake, broil, grill, sauté or poach. Check out these methods to cook artic char.
How to broil char
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