Smoked salmon question
Here in Australia we eat smoked salmon on our bagels. In NY you have "lox" - are they one and the same? I have also heard of "nova" - is that another type of salmon?? I must clarify this dilemma before I arrive in NY in April! Thanks.
You want to ask for nova (lox). Downtown: Russ and Daughters. Ess-a-Bagel has good nova too. They don't slice it ahead.
Well...this is how I understand it- Smoked salmon is generally cured and then smoked. Lox is cured and then cold smoked- which means it is not cooked by the smoking and has the texture of raw fish- which is probably exactly what you have in Australia as well (unless it seems cooked and flaky). Lox is just the Yiddish word for this because in NY lox and also bagels are associated with Ashkenazi Jews. Nova lox is refering to the style of Nova Scotia and basically has a more mild brine and taste. We also have Gravlax, which is only brined and not smoked- I think this is Scandanavian- it often tastes like dill.
There is a big difference between nova and lox. Because of the way it's cured, lox (aka belly lox) is much saltier. Most places, like diners and coffee shops, only serve nova. But it's just one type of smoked salmon. Russ & Daughters, mentioned above, sells a wide variety + other smoked fish, like whitefish, sable & kippered salmon. Also, a variety of cream cheeses (for spreading on bagels and bialys), different kinds of olives + an array of other tempting goodies.
They make sandwiches, but it's a shop, not a restaurant, and there are no tables inside, so it's strictly takeout. However, there is one bench in front and a mall along Allen St. a couple of blocks away with outdoor benches. Since you are coming in April, you might hit a spot of warmer weather, so if you buy a sandwich at Russ, you might be able to eat it al fresco.
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Most smoked salmon is cured (can be in brine or dry-cured without liquid) and cold smoked. You can tell if it's been hot smoked if it looks cooked and flakes easily, just like any cooked salmon. Lox, traditionally, was cured in brine (salt and water) and NOT smoked. I believe this has changed and lox today is less salty and also can be smoked. This link describes some of the differences in cured salmon: