Smoked salmon is a true delicacy. It’s flaky, smoky and a flexible main ingredient for a variety of dishes. Often, it is thinly sliced and served on bagels with cream cheese or on Melba toast with sliced red onion, lemon and capers. You might even find smoked salmon in patés, quiches, pasta sauces and even scrambled eggs.
According to resources, in the Atlantic basin all smoked salmon comes from the Atlantic salmon, much of it farmed in Norway, the East coast of Canada and Chile. In the Pacific, all of Alaska’s salmon come from wild Pacific species. These Pacific species are commonly known as Chinook, sockeye, coho, chum and pink salmon.
Most smoked salmon is cured by a process called “cold smoking,” typically around 99 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold smoking does not cook the fish, resulting in a delicate texture. This process can often impart an ‘oaky’ style with the fish’s prolonged exposure to the smoke from oak chips.
Smoked salmon may also be prepared with a “hot smoking” technique. This process cooks the salmon and results in a less moist, firmer result with a less delicate taste. Salmon prepared in this manner is ideal for salads and mixing into pasta dishes.