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Smoked salmon is such a special treat

PRIZED for its salty, fireside flavour, smoked salmon is often considered a delicacy, owing to its relatively-high cost. It’s commonly mistaken for lox, another salmon product that is cured, but not smoked.

However, like lox, smoked salmon is usually enjoyed on a bagel or crackers, with other toppings like cream cheese, cucumber or tomato.

Smoked salmon is relatively low in calories, while boasting high quality protein, essential fats, and several vitamins and minerals.

Due to how it’s processed, smoked salmon is high in sodium, containing 600-1,200mg, per 100g serving. In comparison, the same serving of fresh salmon provides 75mg of sodium.

The smoking process

Smoking is a processing method for flavouring, cooking or preserving food, by exposing it to smoke. It’s commonly used with meat, poultry and fish.

To smoke salmon, thawed, boneless fillets are covered in salt, and occasionally sugar, and allowed to sit for 12-24 hours to draw out the moisture, through a process called curing.

The longer the curing process, the more salt the salmon contains.

By drawing out moisture, the salt enhances the flavour, and acts as a preservative to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, that could cause food poisoning.

Next, the fillets are rinsed with water to remove excess salt, before being transferred to a smoking kiln to dry. The drying process helps the fillets develop a pellicle, which is a coating of protein, that allows smoke to better adhere to the surface of the fish.

Attached to the kiln is a smoker that burns wood chips or sawdust, typically from oak, maple, or hickory trees, to produce smoke.

Salmon can be either hot or cold-smoked. The major difference is the temperature of the smoking chamber. Most smoked salmon on the market is cold-smoked. You can distinguish hot-smoked varieties because their packaging generally states that they’ve been fully cooked.

Cold-smoked salmon tends to be smoother and mild, while hot-smoked salmon is flaky, and smokier in taste.

Selection and storage

Whereas some varieties of smoked salmon require refrigeration, others don’t, until the package is opened. Check the product label for recommendations for storage. Once opened, smoked salmon can be refrigerated for up to two weeks, or frozen for three months.

You should avoid smoked salmon that has lots of dark bits. These bits tend to have an unpleasant taste, and should have been trimmed off, though they’re sometimes left on the final product, to increase package weight and cost.

Benefits of smoked salmon

The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which fatty fish like salmon provide, have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and age-related mental decline.

These fats may work by lowering triglycerides, reducing inflammation, and maintaining brain structure and function.

Smoked salmon also boasts a number of vitamins and minerals that are vital to your health. A 100g serving contains a whopping 136% of your daily Vitamin B12 needs, as well as 86% of the DV for Vitamin D.

What’s more, the same serving size provides over half of your daily needs for selenium, which acts as an antioxidant, and may protect against several illnesses.

Here are a few tasty ways to enjoy smoked salmon:

*on a bagel with cream cheese

*atop your favorite salad

*on toast with scrambled eggs

*baked into gratin

*in potato-leek soup

*mixed into a pasta dish

*stirred into a dip for crackers

*on a platter with vegetables.

 

Short URL: http://www.canarianweekly.com/?p=52011

Posted by on Feb 7 2020. Filed under Food. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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