Cured Wonders

Of the many varieties of cured salmon, here are ten of our favorites.

By Dana Bowen

Published on May 7, 2008

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.

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