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PITTSBURGH -- Giant Eagle has begun baiting customers two-weeks in advance of the pending arrival of its Copper River salmon selling season, set to begin here on May 20.
Available for only a three-to-four week period from mid-May to mid-June, chefs and salmon lovers anxiously await the arrival of this caught-in-the-wild salmon, which is renowned for its rich tasting flavor and abundant Omega-3 oils.
To kick-off the Copper River special sales event, Giant Eagle v.p. of meat and seafood Ed Steinmetz and Rich Castle, seafood director, will be joined by several regional specialists, store managers, and meat/seafood managers to host an outdoor grilling and educational event at a community park here on May 11.
"This seafood delicacy is available only during a limited season that begins every year around May 15, when regulatory authorities give the go-ahead for commercial fishermen in Alaska's Prince William Sound to begin catching the fish as they return to their native river to spawn," said Ed Steinmetz. "We are excited to provide our customers with the unique opportunity to experience this delicious fish at the peak of freshness, jet-flown to Pittsburgh from the glacier-fed waters of Alaska's Copper River."
Giant Eagle, which will carry the King and Sockeye Copper River salmon varieties, is supporting the special event with recipe suggestions and nutritional information on its Web site. The chain also features wild Alaskan Coho salmon, and farm-raised boneless Atlantic salmon from Chile year-round.
Alaskan wild salmon represents 95 percent of the U.S. wild salmon harvest. The long, broad, shallow Copper River in Southeast-Central Alaska has the first and most celebrated King salmon run of the season. Biologists explain that the longer the river salmon must travel to spawn, the more bulk the fish add for the trip, making fish from long rivers especially flavorful and firm.
Giant Eagle, one of the nation's largest retailers and distributors, has more than $5.2 billion in annual sales and operates 138 corporate and 81 independently owned and operated stores throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, north central West Virginia, and Maryland.