Are you planning to host friends and family in an outdoor or barbecue party
? Do you want to give them an unforgettable experience, but are not sure which meal would be a winner for such an event? Look no further because we have the answer. A fish meal offers lots of nutrients and dietary benefits. It can also be cooked in a savory, sweet way that leaves the eater satisfied and wanting more. Not all fish have what it takes to come out looking like it came from a five-star restaurant’s kitchen.
Salmon is highly valued for its taste and nutritional benefits and is therefore deemed a delicacy. As a dish, it evokes a feeling of celebration and merriment in those who are fond of it. It can be served as a complete fish meal, in soups, stews, sauces and soups. It can be prepared in different ways, but smoking it is one of the best ways to go. Smoked salmon is salmon that has been caught fresh, salted and smoked at a high temperature to preserve its taste and freshness to keep it for long periods thereby preventing it from going bad.
Smoked salmons come in two different forms based on their source:
Wild smoked salmon:
The salmons are caught with fishing lines and hooks
from their natural habitats, put through the curing process, flavored and smoked. This type of salmon is lean and tasty, since the fish have not been exposed to any home-made or processed feed, but were obtained directly from source. The wild smoked salmon is more expensive than the other type. This variety may be hard to get, as pollution, environmental laws and constant fishing have begun to make them scarce.
Farmed smoked salmon:
A lot of work is being put into the cultivation and home growing of salmon away from their natural habitat - the sea. Today, salmon is more commonly cultivated by entrepreneurs and business owners. These individuals have devised means to ‘grow’ salmon in artificial lakes and have them smoked on their sites and then sell them to larger smokehouses. This variety has become so improved that it tastes arguably as good as the wild type. It, however, is of a higher fat content that the latter breed. Most of the smoked salmon sold in large shops and stores are typically farmed salmon.
Smoked salmon can be flavored with a variety of spices. Herbs, juniper and chili are also used to produce better tasting salmon. If you are into vintage tastes, some are imparted with a certain taste, having been mingled with wood chips from old wine or whisky barrels
. Their flavor is unmistakable and sweet. Salmon that is also cooked over wood coal gets imparted with a certain smoky flavor that most consumers find delicious. Sugar may also be infused into smoked salmon to balance any salt previously added.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, as we have more details regarding what you need to be aware of before buying your smoked salmon. Trust us: it’s going to be an exhilarating ride that will grant you abundant insight before you make your final choice. Stay with us as we continue to delve into the world of smoked salmons.
The price of smoked salmon varies as there are different factors that affect this. Typically, you don’t expect wild smoked salmon to cost the same as farmed smoked salmon. The variation in the methods of preparation and the rigors of processing would undoubtedly have an effect on the pricing. Other factors like the country of origin of the salmon would also come into play. This is due to the cost and effort that it would take to package, preserve and transport the fish from these places to the factories or direct consumers.
The price range of smoked salmon can vary a lot depending on where it’s farmed and the quality, amongst other things. The general price range for good smoked salmon is between around $20 and $55. At the time of this research, we found some cheap smoked salmon whose prices were not as high as the ones offered, but we chose not to consider them. Our reasoning is that they would not give you the quality of taste, nutrients or satisfaction you desire. We are also particular about you getting value for your hard-earned money which is why we have presented to you only smoked salmon from reputable brands.
There are many types and brands of smoked salmon available; it could be a bit confusing for a consumer to know which one to choose and for what reasons. Sometimes the appearance of the smoked salmon may not necessarily be equated to its taste and nutritional impact. See below some the primary factors you should consider:
- Country of origin
- Curing process
- Preparation method
- Preservation and storage
Now let’s take a look at these in detail…
Construction and Design
Prior to making a decision about the smoked salmon to buy for your needs, the first thing you should consider is the origin of the fish. Some studies have shown that there is a certain rave about smoked salmon from Scotland, so much that some brands have this country as the place of origin, even though the fish are caught in another country and smoked in Scotland. The Alaskan and Irish smoked salmon belong to this category and are all from the North American West Coast.
Norway is another country known for tasty smoked salmon. This is the Atlantic type that has a peach color and firm texture and may be a little saltier than the Scottish. Nova Scotia has the next largest supply of this type of salmon after Norway. The Native Americans, the Greeks and the Romans hold salmon in esteem and have it as part of their regular diet and serve it at their festivals. The lox is a well-known type of salmon that started from the Pacific and has had its fame extend to North Atlantic regions. Smoked salmon is today a vital part of the American diet, clearly visible in breakfast and lunch menus. You should make proper enquiries to know which region or country’s smoked salmon most appeals to you.
Most big machine-based factories have a time lag they have to observe before the salmon defrosts and is cut up for processing. Their equipment is not able to chop up the fish immediately and would have to keep for some days. They also invest in their storage facilities and may not see the urgency to process the fish at once, but may store it for a while. On the other hand, hand-operating smokeries and small-scale factories have no qualms with cutting up fish with strong, large knives as soon as it arrives. They are usually not into long-term storage and work the salmon as soon as possible. This accounts for such producers being your best bet if you are big on fresh smoked salmon.
Wet-cured smoked salmon has the fish soaked with brine or a mixture of spices, water salt and sugar and left to stand for many days. Wet-salted fish have their flesh swollen so that the moisture is not completely depleted. The heavy salting method is suitable if you are a home user and want your smoked salmon lean and easy to transport.
Performance and Ease of Use
Smoked salmon is either cold-smoked or hot-smoked; it depends on which type appeals to you. The cold-smoked kind is the most common type. Here, the fish is not cooked as such; it is merely exposing the fish to intense smoke using wood chippings. Ideally the fish is placed on a rack above the smoke kiln and left overnight. This style is great if you want to still refrigerate or pressure-cook the fish afterwards.
The hot-smoked salmon is properly cooked, removing more water from it and giving it a more intense and a less sensitive taste. This kind requires the fish to be seeped in brine and the skin dried to form a kind of sheath before it is taken to the fire. When properly cooked, hot-smoked salmon keeps for a long time and is ideal for mixing with salads and pasta.
If you want your smoked salmon to stay for long periods, like months, canned salmon would work for you just fine. Canned smoked salmon is prepared in a safe vacuum-packed environment. There are no microorganisms present in the fish and it still tastes fresh when consumed. Canned smoked salmon is convenient since it is easily transportable; it also can be sold in small tins or containers.
For the retort pouch type, the fish is enclosed in a flexible pack made of aluminum foil, polyester and polypropylene. This smoked salmon retains the flavor, as there is minimal damage to the salmon nutrients. The fish can be eaten without much warming. The pack is easy to unwrap and the smoked salmon is firmer and crisp. The major drawback is that the fish will not keep as long as the canned one. Also, it is not microwave safe and its color may deteriorate after a while.
Finally, some smoked salmon has preservatives added. Some are kept fresh by the flavors they have been mixed with, whilst others are safe due to the heat process they have been subjected to. Some smoked salmon types are to be kept on the shelf unrefrigerated till ready to be consumed. In this case it is advised to refrigerate as soon as the can or pack is opened.
Ultimately, it is up to you whether you want salmon that’s quick, easy and keeps for a long time (canned) or you want to go for fresh and hand-prepared smoked salmon that is bound to impress at any dinner party or event. Whichever you choose, we hope to have an option for you.
Making a good decision on the best smoked salmon for you may require that you consider some factors prior to purchase. In our buying guide, we explore these features in detail. Now that you are armed with the correct information, follow us closely as we go on to individual reviews of brands/products.
Chicken of the Sea was founded, and has remained standing, on the three important values of nutrition, health, and convenience as far back as an impressive 103 years ago. It has been committed to preserving seafood sustainability as it believes that giving its customers the highest quality doesn’t count for anything if it doesn’t act as a good steward to the waters it comes from. Its products on offer include albacore tuna, low-sodium tuna, light tuna, mackerel, salmon, sardines, clams, crab, shrimp, and oysters.
Chicken of the Sea’s Pacific Smoked Salmon (MSRP $32.04) comes in a 12-pack on Amazon where it was selling for less than this during the last time we checked. It’s a 3 oz. per serving, ready to eat, and ready to serve pack of skinless, boneless smoked salmon. One serving of this supplies you with 0.5 grams of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids. This smoked salmon is gluten free and with fewer than 100 calories in each serving, it’s an inexpensive and convenient way to get your omega-3, protein, calcium, and a whole lot more.
We hope we have provided you with useful information on buying smoked salmon. If so, all you have to do is place that order and claim your smoked salmon.