FEBRUARY 2016 ;e Costco Connection 97
or prevention of, certain kinds of cancer as
well as afflictions such as psoriasis, arthritis,
asthma, depression and lupus.”
Quality is a fresh process
Adam explains that all Kirkland Signature™
frozen fish must be processed from fresh raw
material and be of the highest grade. In order
to ensure optimal freshness, the fish is maintained at a temperature of less than 40 F prior
to freezing. After being cleaned, each fillet is
hand-selected and hand-trimmed. With the
exception of Kirkland Signature Wild Sockeye,
deep skinning is required to remove excess fat
and dark meat. Each variety is cut into similar-sized, boneless portions, and the finished portions are blast-frozen and individually packed
in vacuum-sealed storage bags.
Costco buyers work with almost a dozen
suppliers in Alaska to source the finest seafood possible for Kirkland Signature as well as
the other seafood brands sold in the warehouses. “As a result of very strong Alaska
sockeye runs over the last two years, we have
been able to significantly reduce the price that
our members pay,” Adam says. “The quality
and value we offer our members is something
I’m very proud of.”
Many states look to Alaska as a leader in
seafood sustainability, thanks to state laws and
management that help to ensure all of the
state’s fisheries are healthy and sustainable (it
is the only state in the union to have seafood
sustainability written into its constitution). For
example, Alaska’s sockeye salmon runs are
BELIEVE IT OR not, you can have an
extremely healthy, protein-filled meal
right from the freezer, in the same
amount of time (or less) that it takes
to make boxed macaroni and cheese.
Here’s one idea from Adam Matkin,
Costco frozen foods buyer.
Frozen Kirkland Signature
Take the fish straight from the
freezer and place it on parchment paper;
sprinkle the fish with salt, pepper and
lemon; and wrap it up like a pouch.
Bake it at 375 F for 18 to 20 minutes,
until the internal temperature reaches
145 F. Serve with roasted vegetables,
such as butternut squash, and rice.
Quick and simple side dish ideas:
• Green salad and garlic bread.
• Baked sweet potato fries.
• Green pea couscous.
(Add a 16-ounce package of frozen
peas to 1 cup boiling water, then add
1 tablespoon butter. When the water
returns to boiling, add ¾ cup couscous.
Stir in the couscous, cover the pan
and turn off the heat. Let sit for 5
minutes and enjoy.)
All of these sides should be ready
when your fish is.
For more tips and techniques on
preparing fish dishes, visit this site:
carefully managed for long-term sustainability
by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
“Surveys are conducted at several points
throughout each river system to ensure an
adequate number of fish migrate to spawning
grounds to reproduce each year,” Adam says.
“When fishery managers see enough salmon
during their surveys, specific fishing grounds
are opened for commercial harvest for a
determined amount of time.”
According to the Alaska Seafood
Marketing Institute, the state conservation
agencies are structured so that decisions are
made by teams of scientists, without input or
interference from harvesters or other stake-
holders. International cooperation and con-
servation come into play as well—for
example, each year Canadian and U.S. scien-
tists from the International Pacific Halibut
Commission set the total allowable catch for
the coming fishing season. Once the alloca-
tion process begins, public scrutiny and par-
ticipation by harvesters, processors and
other stakeholders are welcomed.
“Alaska understands what it means to pro-
tect the natural resource of fish,” Andrews
says, explaining that the industry is what keeps
the state flourishing. “Fisheries are the largest
employer. The seafood industry creates about
80,000 jobs just within the state. Many jobs
outside the state of Alaska are supported as
well. Alaska seafood might be 20 to 30 percent
of a grocer’s seafood case.”
So, it’s a wrap—a salmon wrap, that is.
Not only can I feel good healthwise when it
comes to eating more fish, but the source of
my food is sustainable as well. For the past
month my family has been eating fish at least
twice a week, and it has been a hit. With all of
the variety, not to mention convenience, of
the frozen seafood choices I can find at
Costco, we will be swimming in meal options
for quite some time. C
Alaska’s fishing crews,
and state, federal and
all work together to keep
the promise of fishing
sustainability written into
the state’s constitution.
Alaska cod loin