Smoked Salmon - Tasty Morsels from the Sea

While the waters of the Atlantic have been devastatingly over fished today for Salmon to be placed onto countless million dinner tables each year, the waters of Alaska are still very well populated with fish due to the fact of the guidelines fishermen have to follow in Alaska. In the nineteenth century almost all commercial Salmon were pulled from the Atlantic. Being canned in New England to be eagerly shipped off to California in the 1840s, and by the middle of the 1860's the tasty delights were actually being produced in California and then carried off to the east!

Today all Atlantic salmon come from Canada or Europe, while the waters of Alaska still teem with fish. This is due to modern methods of managing the seasonal fisheries in Alaska. Of the one billion pounds of salmon produced commercially worldwide, about 70% comes from farms, but not so in Alaska. All Alaskan salmon are wild, living free in the waters of the Pacific Ocean before returning to the rivers where they were born.

Long a staple for the bears and wolves of the Northwest and supporting more than 130 other species, salmon was highly prized by native Alaskan peoples. They recognized the value of the red-orange flesh early on and believed that if the fish were disrespected the gods of the sea would be angry and would drive the salmon away from Alaska.

Without the salmon not only the people and animals would suffer, but the land as well. When salmon return from the sea they bring back nitrogen so that the trees and plants thrive, benefitting the herbivores also. The best way to honor this salmon gift from the gods is to take only what is needed and use all that is taken. So it was vital to develop a way to store the salmon caught during their breeding runs back up their natal rivers. That is where Alaskan Smoked Salmon comes in.

There are many combinations of smoking to choose from when smoking Alaskan Salmon. Things which are considered in the smoking process are the temperatures, and the type of cure to be used. Cold smoking gives a lighter smoked taste, but offer more of the natural flavor of the Salmon, while hot smoking produces a much more smokier taste.

Spices, and cures also play vital roles in the smoking process of salmon. The veterans of smoking often have a priced recipe for their cures. Dry cures are a mix of herbs or fruit, sea salt, and sugar. This is used commonly to produce cursed, not smoked fish. Wet cure means the meat must be soaked in a solution of brine which can contain pepper, sugar, other spices, and salt.

Another important fact that must be taken into count while smoking fish is the actually species of salmon. There are actually give different species of salmon which exist in Alaskan waters, and each offers a different taste in the combination of cures and smoking.

Today, people can find salmon on their local grocery store shelves, but this variety is typically farm raised and cold smoked. For any connoisseur, however, Alaskan Smoked Salmon is the best bet. The taste of Alaskan Salmon is comparable to fine wine when its properly smoked and cured correctly.

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About The Author, Sherryshantel
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