He was right. I hadn't known that salmon came in any color other than pink, orange, or, in the case of wild sockeye salmon, bright, blushing red; and later, when I was readying the filets for cooking, I realized that the way I think about the fish has always been dictated as much by its color as by its taste. As I sprinkled the pale gray, meaty filets with salt and pepper and quickly seared them in the pan, I might have been cooking perch or sea bass. After just a few moments, a sweet smell emanated from the pan and the cooked flesh turned an alabaster white; I transferred the fish to a low oven and in 20 minutes feasted on some of the most fantastic fish I'd ever tasted. Rich and slicked with aromatic fat, it lacked the distinctive fishiness that characterizes even the freshest wild salmon. This fish was both decadent and demure.