Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Christmas Smoked Salmon

Apparently sales of smoked salmon this Christmas are thriving with the East End's oldest smoked salmon business being flooded with orders. Forman and Field's is having its busiest Christmas in its 105 year history. Fish has been smoked in Britain since medieval times, but the style of smoked salmon that we're most familiar with - pink-fleshed and firm, with a melt-in-the-mouth tenderness - was introduced from abroad less than 120 years ago by Jewish immigrants who settled in London's East End, where they set up smoke houses. The mild 'London cure' remains one of the most popular styles of smoked salmon to this day.

The Scots had their own history of smoking haddock and herrings, but when they saw salmon being smoked in London they started doing it too, and two types of cure grew up. The Scottish cure is often more robust, sometimes peaty, often using whisky.

Whichever cure you prefer there is nothing more sublime than biting into smoked salmon on fresh buttery bread – as for a wine to savour it with why not try a chilled glass of Domaine de Ricaud Bordeaux Blanc (£5.37)? It's produced in the Entre deux Mers region not far away from Cadillac - south east of Bordeaux. It's an easy drinking white wine with a pale, golden colour and the aromas of ripe soft fruits and summer blossoms. It has well balanced acidity and would be perfect with smoked salmon.

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