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Dec 20, 2008 08:21 AM

Best Smoked Salmon

Thought I'd start this thread since I didn't seem to see any current ones dedicated to just smoked salmon. And at least in my house, seems to be one of the staples we have around holidays.

I had mentioned that one of my faves is the smoked salmon from Chapman's (newly re-located at 1875 Leslie Street, Unit #3--York Mills & Leslie). It's not cheap as I said I recently bought 10 smallish slices for about $15, but to me it has a rich, layered smoky flavour. And I find the actual smoked salmon is very delicate and melts in your mouth. I also love that they slice it thinly. It's the best one in the city I've found so far that's to my liking.

I used to purchase Pusateri's house-made brand of smoked salmon--crusted with fresh herbs and lemon zest, but I found the quality went down tremendously over the years. And I also am not a fan of the way they cut it--too thick for my liking.

Would love to hear others' faves now so we can give them a try....

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  1. You definitely can't go wrong with the smoked salmon from Kristapson's. Lucious and full of flavour, and they've got a couple of locations.

    1095 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M, CA

    Kristapsons On Yonge St
    3248 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4N, CA

    2 Replies
    1. re: yoyodyne

      Love Kristapsons. They also sell delicious whole smoked trout for $5/each. They don't smoke the trout, but get them from native or Metis fishermen in the Georgian Bay area, I believe.

    2. Kristapsons, all the way. I have been able to enjoy any other kind of smoked salmon since having Kristapsons'. Their fish literally melts in your mouth...

      1. Yes, Kristapsons is lovely.

        Chapman's was the last place I know of in Toronto to employ a professional lox slicer who sliced to order, but he has (sadly) retired or died.

        Really, though, the PC "Bay of Fundy" smoked salmon from Loblaws and many of the cold smoked products from Central Epicure are very good.

        1 Reply
        1. re: embee

          I like the PC one too. Costco and Sams carry a well priced smoked salmon, I think it's norwegian and supposidly won an award..

          I find it a bit oily though. Still yummy.

        2. Whilst I agree Kristapsons' version is fairly tasty, however I find them to be a touch too dry and less oily for my liking. Personally, I find the smoked salmon at either Domenic's, Seafront or Mikes inside St Lawrence market has better texture and more oily. Taste wise they are very comparable to Kristapson's. I guess I would like to compare the 'best' of the 'St. Lawrence three' to the likes of Zabars or Russ and Daughter of New York

          7 Replies
          1. re: Charles Yu

            Oh, Russ and Daughters is the BEST.

            I'm generally a Kristapsons girl, though it really makes a difference if you buy it directly from them (uptown Yonge or Queen East) as opposed to one of the many gourmet shop outposts. If you're feeding a crowd, you can buy a side from them and it's great. When you get it fresh, it has an oilier melt in your mouth consistency. BUT if you get it when it's not quite right (and even directly from them, I've had this experience), I agree with Charles that it can be too dry.

            I like some of the ones they sell at Mike's (though I still wouldn't confer Russ and Daughter status on them). I've also had good, but inconsistent, experiences with the Stadtlander smoked salmon that you get at Pusateri's, All the Best, etc.

            1. re: Charles Yu

              There used to be a gourmet store on Balmoral near Mt. Pleasant (7 or 8 years ago) that had some interesting in-house flavours. One used a curry dry rub. It was really delicious. I generally consider Kristapsons to be the be-all-end-all, but Chapmans' is also very good. The PC products would be fine, but they often seem to suffer from too much temperature variation in the freezers and in the trucks, because I've had many that are crusty around the edges of each slice, or have waterlogged spots.

              1. re: Charles Yu

                How does Kristapsons compare to Milbree-Viking? We tried the M-V smoked salmon and didn't find it had much smoky flavour. I seem to recall enjoying more smoky salmon while dining on the BC coast.

                1. re: mobirose

                  Does Viking even have cold smoked salmon? The smoked salmon I've had from there has always been hot smoked.

                  1. re: embee

                    They have about 2 or 3 different flavors of hot-smoked salmon, but they definitely have cold-smoked salmon!
                    It's usually on the top shelf in the refrigerated glass section right by the cash. They have them already sliced in about 200g packs. If you request, they'll go and cut you un-sliced sections or slice you bigger servings.
                    I find Milbree's salmon, the fattiest smoked salmon out of all the ones I've had.

                    1. re: sumashi

                      Yup, I've bought the cold smoked several times from Milbree and love it. Haven't had Kristapsons, though, so can't compare.

                2. re: Charles Yu

                  The Kristapson's salmon is West Coast, and thus inherently dryer. I wouldn't confer Russ & Daughter's status on anyplace in Toronto.

                3. I love Kristapson's, and especially love the "bits and pieces" they sell. Half the price, and it's the scraps off the bones, way more flavourful and rich IMO. Obviously not good presentation-wise for company, but when it's just the family, can't be beat.