Alaskan Smoked Salmon - Tasty Morsels from the Sea

By: Sherry Shantel

The Waters of Alaska are a safe haven for salmon in recent years due to fishing laws put into place to prevent such devastations as the ones in the Atlantic ocean. In the nineteenth century a majority of Salmon were pulled from the Atlantic and canned in New England to be Eagerly sent to California in the 1840s. By the mid 1860s however the roles were switched around and California canned and shipped its salmon produce 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.

Alaska is also the home of wolves, bears and another 130 other species. This made Salmon a very common meal for these animals, and for the Native people of Alaska as well due to the ease of preservation and its flavor when smoked. The fish oils are retained while smoking and alter the taste while being smoked, thus making it a glamorous meal for the people.

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.

Different woods give different flavors. The best smokers will blend different species to give just the right result. Alder wood gives one taste, apple another, and cedar a third. The length of time the fish is smoked affects the flavor, as does the cure before smoking. Wet cure means the meat is soaked in a brine solution that contains salt, pepper, sugar and spices. Veteran smokers often keep their precise recipe a secret. Dry cure, a combination of sea salt, sugar and aromatic herbs or fruit, is more commonly used to produce cured but not smoked fish.

The actual smoking process varies as well. Hot-smoking produces a stronger smoke flavor and a drier fish. Cold-smoking will result in a gentler smoke flavor and a softer or oilier texture. The species of salmon will also affect the flavor. There are five different species of salmon in Alaskan waters, each with a different taste.

Today shoppers can easily find smoked salmon in their local supermarket. This is usually cold-smoked farm-raised fish. But the true connoisseur will look to Alaskan Smoked Salmon. The combination of brine recipes, the woods used in the smoking process, the different temperatures in the smokehouse, the species and the wild origin of the salmon produces an array of magnificent flavors that rival the vintages of fine wine.

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Many times, to get the the freshest smoked salmon just order online from a respected online vendor. When you simply must have the best, visit Alaskan Smoked Salmon and get a 16oz Natural Alaskan Smoked Salmon.

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