Other Names: Freshwater species include rainbow, lake, brook or speckled, golden, cutthroat, brown, and steelhead or salmon trout. Saltwater species include gray, silver, and spotted or white trout.
Range & Habitat: In general, trout are found in fresh and saltwaters of the world. Aquacultured worldwide. Golden trout have very limited range, as they are only found in high alpine lakes and streams found in the Rocky Mountains and the Cascades.
Identification & Biology: Trout are long, thin speckled fish ranging in color from silvery-gray (eg. rainbow trout) to brown (e.g. brown trout). They range in size from 6 to 20 inches and in weight from 8 ounces to 50 lbs. The golden trout has brilliant gold sides with a red horizontal band and 10 dark oval marks called "parr marks" their fins have white edges. A typical adult will be up to 14 inches in length and averages 1 pound in streams and up to 11 pounds in lakes.
Market Description: Trout meat is usually pale orange-pink, sometimes a deeper red-pink (though young trout are often white-fleshed). It is rich and full-flavored, with a firm yet creamy texture and moderate to high fat content.
Note: Wild trout are usually much more flavorful than the farm- raised variety.
Sold as: Whole (fresh or frozen), fillets
Buying tips: Look for bright, shiny skin and flesh that shimmers reflectively. You'll be hard pressed to find wild trout in supermarkets or even specialty fish stores; store-bought trout is nearly always farm-raised and, unfortunately, of inferior quality.
Substitutes: Salmon (in some cases)
Recommended Preparation: Whole trout is often stuffed and baked. Fillets can be pan-fried, poached, steamed, broiled, or grilled (use a grilling basket).