There are many different types of trout, and many types of char are also considered trout. Each has its own distinct taste, with some being more alike than others.
Let’s look at what a trout tastes like.
What Does Trout Taste Like?
The taste for trout varies for each species. Many trout share a similar taste, with some being remarkably similar.
Trout has a mild-flavored taste that can readily take on the flavor of any seasoning or oils you cook it with. For example, if you were to pan fry trout with butter, the trout would have a mild buttery flavor.
Trout also has a delicate texture and easily flakes apart when cooked. The smaller and younger the trout, the more flakey the meat is, and the more delicate and mild the flavor is.
When the trout gets older and larger, the meat becomes less flakey, which I would describe as soft or mushy. Similarly, bigger trout also have a stronger flavor, which some may describe as a more gamey taste.
As you look across the different types of trout, you will find some variances, but we also should keep in mind some fish with trout in the name are not exactly trout.
For example, a lake trout is not actually a trout but belongs to the char family. Lake trout have a stronger flavor and less flakey meat than rainbow trout.
However, brook trout are also belonging to the char family and are more comparable with rainbow trout.
Many people consider the spotted trout the best tasting trout, which belongs to the trout family but has a similar flavor and texture to most river-dwelling trout.
What Affects Trout Taste?
Many factors can affect the taste of trout. Two trout of the same species can taste very different if they were caught in a different area, are different sizes, or even dispatched differently.
Area – The area in which you catch a fish plays a huge part in the final taste and texture of a fish. A trout from a slow meandering stream will taste different than a trout from the local pond, as would a trout from a fast-moving stream.
A good rule of thumb is to look for trout in their most natural environments: fast, cool, clear freshwater. Trout from this type of scenario provides the flakiest and freshest tasting meat.
Size – Anglers love to boast about the biggest fish they catch, yet they all seem to be released. The reason for this is because big fish rarely make good table fare. Smaller trout tend to have a milder flavor and a flakier texture.
Preparation – Nothing can run a fish faster than improper preparation. This means from the moment you land that fish to the time it’s on your fork, it needs to be handled with care.
Quickly dispatching the fish once it’s landed helps the texture and taste of the fish; this is because a stressed fish has a lower pH which leads to quicker muscle breakdown.
It is also a good idea to bleed the fish as soon as you kill it.
Lifestyle – The lifestyle of a fish also contributes to the taste and texture of a fish. Farmed fish do not have the same flakey texture as wild trout, and they also tend to be fattier.
Wild trout meat has a deeper color and firmer texture than stocked trout. Similarly, trout in fresh mountain rivers will have a better texture and flavor than trout in lakes or ponds.
Is Trout Fishy?
Some people will complain about trout, saying it has a fishy flavor, this is not true.
Only trout that have not been properly handled or prepared have a fishy flavor.
In my experience, the trout that has not been bled, or got bruised, has freezer burn, or mishandled in any other way may come with a fishy flavor.
But a fresh trout from clear and cold water does not have a fishy flavor.
Does Trout Taste Good?
I eat my fair share of fish, and trout is up there with the best of them.
A fresh trout that is properly prepared tastes as good as any other fish. The mild flakey texture is a meal you could get used to.
Does Trout Taste Like Salmon?
Trout is not extremely similar to salmon. The biggest resemblance trout bears to salmon is in the texture. Both fish have a flakey texture.
Does Trout Taste Like Chicken?
No, trout tastes nothing like chicken.
Is Trout Better Than Salmon?
On a nutritional level, salmon is better than trout. However, on a taste level, it would come down to personal preference. Trout is a milder tasting fish compared to salmon.
What is the Tastiest Trout?
Most people consider sea trout to be the tastiest fish, although others consider brook trout to be the tastiest.
Can you Eat Trout Raw?
Yes, trout can be eaten raw with proper care and preparation.