Before refrigeration, salmon was smoked and dried to preserve it. Canada’s First Nations peoples perfected the method to preserve their wild salmon catch for a long winter.
Today there are as many kinds of smoked salmon as there are chefs – and lots of questions too. One we often get asked here at SeaChange is whether our Canadian wild salmon is hot or cold smoked, and what the difference is?
Hot Smoked Salmon
In general, hot smoked salmon is cooked in a hot, smoky environment. It is kept refrigerated until eaten and has a short shelf life. Often hot smoked salmon is brined in sugar and salt in advance of cooking. It can be eaten cold on its own (or with a side of relish or caper cream cheese), or it’s a great addition to salads and pasta. Take a look at these tasty recipes from Jamie Oliver and Bon Appetit magazine.
Cold Smoked Salmon
Cold smoked salmon is set in a room or container into which smoke is pumped. The smoke is not hot enough to cook the salmon, but it does flavour it. (Think how easily your clothes pick up the smell of a campfire!). The kind of wood used to make the smoke can be varied as well as the length of time the salmon is exposed to the smoke. (Too much smoke can leave a bitter aftertaste, though). Flavour can be varied by brining beforehand with salt or sugar or both. Cold smoked salmon is served raw, thinly sliced. It’s delicious on a cream cheese bagel, stirred into scrambled eggs, or served as elegant party canapés.
SeaChange Smoked Salmon
SeaChange salmon is prepared by brining (sprinkled with salt which is washed off after a period of time) and then cold smoking. After that, it is placed in a gold foil pouch, which is double sealed. The gold pouch is placed in a retort (or pressure cooker) where it is cooked at a high temperature under pressure. This destroys any bacteria which may have been present in the pouch, and gives the salmon a long shelf life. The gold foil pouch is essentially like a high tech can and doesn’t need to be refrigerated until opened.
Treat friends or family to a genuine and delicious Canadian gift – SeaChange smoked salmon can be packed in a suitcase or sent in the mail anywhere in the world. It has even been sent to the International Space Station for the enjoyment of astronauts. We recommend serving it simply, on slices of fresh baguette spread with a thin layer of cream cheese. Or why not try these other easy-to-make smoked salmon Recipes.