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We Tried It: Did Alaskan Jack's salmon dumplings pass our test?

The IntraFish editorial team puts the product through its paces before it even reaches the stores.

This week, editors Drew Cherry, John Fiorillo and Avani Nadkarni taste tested Alaskan Jack's brand Salmon Dumplings in the Salmon Florentine Flavor. The dumplings also come in Salmon with Lemon & Dill and Salmon & Chive flavors.


 AvaniDrewJohnJudges consensus

The product is not yet in stores, so we judged the packaging form images the company sent. As with its other packaging, the branding is strong and the front of the package is very attractive. It calls out the wild salmon and USA-made attributes of the product and provides an appetizing image of the dumplings.

The nutritional label is clear, as well, and the product is relatively low in calories, sodium and sugar and high in protein. Cooking instructions are visible and simple and the ingredient list is free-from artificial ingredients.

Preparation4.54.04.5This was so easy to prepare and following the directions to a T worked perfectly. Simply boil water and and add the desired amount of dumplings, and they are ready in five minutes. I think those weary or nervous about preparing seafood would enjoy, and these could be great for a party, as they could be cooked in small batches as needed.
Eating experience2.52.92.2

The aroma was good, meaning it did not make the kitchen or home smell "fishy." The taste of the dumplings was not too fishy either, which could appeal to hesitant seafood-eaters.

However, the spinach taste was very strong and a bit bitter and the consistency was a bit grainy. Honestly, if the package did not say it was salmon, it would be hard to tell what protein the dumpling contained.

Value4.03.53.1At $5.99 for 16 pieces,this is a decent value for feeding a large crowd some appetizers, or a few quick meals fro single-diners or small families. But the attractive price might not be enough to overcome the taste value.



14.814.313.9Final score: 14.3

*The product the judges received was in bulk packaging, but the "packaging" was judged on photos sent by the company.


Bottom Line ...

Avani: I enjoyed the fact that the dumplings were easy to prepare and did not stink up the entire house. It's quick and easy perhaps for an appetizer. However, I was not a huge fan of the taste of this particular flavor. Like my fellow judges, I agree that with a bit more work on the flavor concepts, this could be a very good idea, especially for the price.

Drew: It doesn't get any easier to prepare seafood than this, with just a few minutes in boiling water. Alaskan Jack's is on to something here -- but what, exactly, I'm not sure. It has promise as a potential finger food, but as-is is a bit too fishy for kids. Adults looking for something different for dinner will like the simplicity, but my guess is they'll expect something far more flavorful and interesting. It's a concept worth fine tuning, particularly with so many possibilities for using dumplings to showcase ethnic flavors.

John: I like the idea of a retail seafood dumpling that is easy and quick to prepare -- and this hits the mark in that regard. However, there is quite a bit more work needed, in my opinion, in enhancing the flavor profile. I would have never known there was salmon in the dumplings had it not said so on the package. I tasted spinach and not much else. Perhaps the other flavors offer better taste. The product does score high, though, for packaging and ease of preparation.


How does this taste test work?

Welcome to “We Tried It,” a feature brought to you by the editors of IntraFish. As the name implies, our editors taste test new and existing seafood products available. We try them, score them and comment on them.

We’re approaching our evaluation from the perspective of a typical consumer, meaning we will focus on ease of preparation, taste, packaging and value. We’ll utilize criteria developed to evaluate products for the annual Alaska Symphony of Seafood new products contest to measure a product’s packaging and presentation, eating experience and market potential.

Products will be scored on specific aspects in four categories — packaging, preparation, eating experience and value —  on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest score. The product will earn an overall total score based on the average of the judges' scores.

Products enter the “We Tried It” test kitchen one of two ways: They are provided by the company producing them or purchased at retail markets by our editors. If you would like us to consider your product, please email