What Is the Difference between Lox and Smoked Salmon?

What Is the Difference between Lox and Smoked Salmon?

lox smoked salmon bagelWhen people think about the ideal toppings for bagels, they often think about lox and cream cheese. Lox is a type of salmon and is often confused with smoked salmon. However, they are not the same thing, and each can lend a different taste to your bagel.

Traditionally, lox was made from the belly of salmon, but today, other parts are also used. Salmon that is used to make lox is salt-cured or brined, but it is never cooked or smoked. Lox has a rich and silky texture and a translucent appearance. It is often thinly sliced and served on bagels with cream cheese.

Some types of lox are prepared using different methods. Nova Lox comes from Nova Scotia. It is cold-smoked after it is cured or brined. Gravlax is a Scandinavian version prepared using dill, spices, juniper berries, pepper, and sometimes liquor such as aquavit or brandy during the curing process.

Smoked salmon is a generic term. It can be made using any part of the fish. Like lox, smoked salmon starts with a salt curing or brining process. The difference is in the next step. After the salmon is cured, it can be covered in spices or a dry rub and then smoked in either of two ways.

Cold-smoked salmon is slowly exposed to smoke for a few days in an environment where the temperature is about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The salmon is not cooked, so it stays moist and a translucent pink color. The texture of cold-smoked salmon is similar to lox, but it has a smoky flavor. It is thinly sliced and served on bagels with cream cheese.

Hot-smoked salmon is smoked with heat the same way meat is smoked. It gets cooked completely and has a firm, flaky, and drier texture with a smoky flavor. It looks similar to cooked or grilled salmon.

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