Of the many varieties of cured salmon, here are ten of our favorites.
1. Norwegian smoked salmon glistens with fat and has a rich, piscine flavor that makes it a great all-purpose fish for tossing into pastas and layering on bagels.
2. Irish smoked salmon has an oystery earthiness and a not too oily texture.
3. Pastrami-style cured salmon is a relatively recent invention; it’s smoked with a sweet, peppery spice rub.
4. Rich belly lox, sometimes called salty lox, is made by a wet-curing process, in which the filets are submerged in brine and thus have a moist texture; cream cheese tempers its salinity.
5. Gravlax is dry-cured, so it has a firmer, more delicate texture.
6. Double-smoked Danish salmon has a pale color and a pleasantly charred flavor, a result of the additional smoking.
7. Scottish smoked salmon is dry-cured with salt and sugar and heavily smoked over oak or alder wood, so it has a smoky-sweet flavor.
8. Gaspe, often called eastern nova, was traditionally made with fish from the Gaspe Bay in Quebec, Canada; we love this wet-cured, smoked fish for its buttery texture and round, rich flavor.
9. Balik, often called tsar-style salmon, is the most expensive; it’s cut from the fat-striated loin of farmed fish and has a succulent texture.
10. Western nova is made by the same process as that used for gaspe, but with leaner, wild Pacific varieties.