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Demystifying salmon

Are all lox created equal?

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© ISTOCKPHOTO/THECRIMSONMONKEY
  • © istockphoto/TheCrimsonMonkey

You’ve got capers, sliced red onions, cream cheese and fresh homemade local bagels, but you’re missing one crucial ingredient—lox!

When it comes to salmon, there seems to be some confusion as to what is what. Knowing the the difference between cold-smoked, belly lox, and hot-smoked salmon before it hits that homemade bagel you just bought for breakfast is crucial.

Cold-smoked: A slow and exacting process in which the fish is infused with mild wood essences in a special oven where the temperature never rises above 83 degrees. This traditional process creates the silkiness of smoked salmon.

Belly lox: Novices beware: this is not smoked salmon. This is the fatty mid-section of a juicy salmon cured in salt brine just like Jewish immigrants served from pushcarts 100 years ago.

Hot-smoked: Also called “baked (or kippered) salmon.” Hot smoking cooks the fish and imparts a flaky but moist texture and rich smoky flavor.

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