Friday, July 22, 2011

What is LOX?

Is there anything tastier than a bagel with cream cheese and lox?  Perhaps the only thing better is a bagel with cream cheese, lox, Larrupin sauce, Slug Slime and Tabasco. We are truly blessed here on the Redwood Coast to live in close proximity to salmon habitat.  Off the coast of Humboldt County it has been a banner year for salmon fishing.  This is very encouraging not only for everyone who likes to eat salmon, but for all the people who work at restoring their habitat and ensuring their survival for future generations.  Here is a picture of three Chinook Salmon caught this week about four miles south of Trinidad, the two on the right weighted about 17 pounds each.
At Los Bagels, our salmon come from Alaska. Our fish are wild, as opposed to farmed, and our most popular variety is"lox."   One of the eternal questions of bagel culture is "What is lox?"
Lox is a salmon fillet that has been cured.   In its most popular form, it is thinly sliced—less than 5 millimetres (0.20 in) in thickness—and, typically, served on a bagel, often with cream cheese, onion, tomato or capers.  Noted for its importance in Ashkenazic Jewish cuisine, the food and its name were introduced to the United States through Scandinavian immigrants, though it was popularized by Jewish immigrants. The term lox derives from Lachs in German and לאַקס (laks) in Yiddish, meaning "salmon".

Lox is traditionally made by brining the salmon in a solution of water, salt, sugars and spices (the brine).

Then the brined fish is cold smoked.  This means it is placed in a smoker which stays at about 70 degrees °F.   In this temperature range, foods take on a smoked flavor, but remain relatively moist. Cold smoking does not cook foods. This leaves the salmon with a beautiful red/pink color and a great texture.  Of course, this process has many variations depending on cultures and types of salmon.

There you have it, a brief description of how lox is made.  And now for a picture of a fishing GOD.  Thank you Salmon.

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