What is the number one selling fresh seafood product at Central Market across the state? Verlasso Salmon, the delicious farm-raised salmon from Chile. It outsells every other fresh seafood by a large margin and, if you’ve tasted it, you know why. Verlasso is mild in flavor, rich and buttery and has a perfect texture that makes grilling, baking, pan frying and even smoking very easy. You can even eat Verlasso as sashimi; it’s that good.
So what makes Verlasso so good? It’s farmed in the fjords of Patagonia, southern Chile, where the Humboldt Current keeps the waters cool and clean. The area is pristine, far from environmental pollution, with cold, moving water rich in nutrients. Verlasso is a brand, not a breed, owned by AquaChile, which is selective in choosing its farming partners and invests in sustainable processes to cultivate the salmon.
Verlasso has been around for around a decade, which is pretty much when I first discovered it. My notoriously picky daughter, 13 years-old at the time, wouldn’t eat much of anything so I picked up some Verlasso and roasted it with fresh thyme, lemon zest and olive oil. Since then, I’ve prepared it for her about once a week and it was the second thing she requested to eat, after Whataburger, when she came home on college breaks.
The only retail outlet in Texas that sells Verlasso is Central Market, which is a perfect partner for a high quality product. I often write and post about my affection for Central Market, (remember this) because I think they sell the very best in each category they carry, and I appreciate the leadership and philanthropy of the owners, the Butts family.
If you’re not much of a cook but want to enjoy Verlasso, you can also find it on the menus of restaurants Parigi and Salum and many others.
Parigi Chef/Owner Janice Provost told me that “I chose to use Verlasso after seeing Abraham Salum using it. We share lots of ideas together,” she said. (Probably the reason they are two of my favorite restaurants.)
“We were getting Faroe Island [North Atlantic] salmon before March 17,” she continued. “Then, since COVID-19 shut things down, the product wasn’t as good. They had to freeze their supply to save it, and when we received it, it wasn’t up to our standards, so we switched to Verlasso.”
As an award-winning restaurant with a sophisticated clientele, clean food is important to Provost. She added, “Like Faroe Island, Verlasso is also ocean farmed, not tank farmed, so it’s clean, no hormones, sustainable and we feel good about serving it. People love salmon so it is a regular on the menu.”
Want another reason to become a fan of Verlasso Salmon? When COVID-19 forced restaurant closures and many hospitality workers were laid off, Verlasso donated 2,500 pounds to Staff Meal Dallas, a program created by hospitality veterans including Alison Matis, who raved about the company:
“Verlasso Salmon has been a consistent and proven friend of the hospitality industry. By donating a literal ton of salmon to feed COVID-19-affected restaurant and hospitality workers, they ensured that hundreds of people in our community, and their families, would be nourished and sustained for months while out of work. Their ethical business practices carry through from their product to their practices in the community.”
Victoria Parr, Verlasso’s marketing director, estimated that their contribution provided 13,000 meals to those in need and were happy to support the hard-working foodservice workers who have represented the brand for years.
For more information on Verlasso Salmon including recipes and a fun story by Andrew Zimmern from Follow that Food, visit their website at www.verlasso.com.