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Looking to buy good quality smoked salmon ( not cured salmon) in the greater boston area?

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Any thoughts on a good brand of or even better locally made smoked salmon? Just to be clear, I am looking for SMOKED salmon, NOT cured salmon (Gravlax or lox). I love them both, but the gravlax is a topic for another thread...

Anywhere in Eastern Mass is fine if it's good enough!

Thanks for any thoughts you care to share

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  1. not exactly what you asked, but you can get great smoked salmon from barney greengrass in nyc; this can be ordered online. http://www.barneygreengrass.com/restM...

    if anyone thinks that they can do better; i am eager to try it.

    15 Replies
    1. re: cambridgedoctpr

      Thanks! A great back up plan if nothing local pans out.

      1. re: aregularjoe

        I've bought a very good smoked Scottish smoked salmon at Bina, made under Daniel Boulud's name..also mail order from Browne's in Portland.

        Ducktrap from Maine sells smoke Scottish salmon at lots of place..WF, Shaw's, smaller gourmet shops.

        I've bought Acme at Shaw's. They are a large wholesaler and processor in brooklyn that supplies many NY Jewish delis (probably Barney Greengrass)

        These are all generally sold in 1/4-1/2 lb precut packages. BG will cut to order at the store..don't know about their mail order..Unless yo have some knife skills, you probably want to buy presliced.

        I don't mean to be a wise guy, but a better question would be, "where couldn't I find smoked salmon?"..:)

        There's no need to have it shipped to you.

        Where have you looked?

        1. re: 9lives

          My favorite is http://www.mainelysmokedsalmon.com

          1. re: Ora Moose

            This looks interesting. Botha hot and cold smoked version. I have hot smoked salmon myself many times.

            You do have to call them though as their shopping cart does not give you the shipping charge.

            1. re: aregularjoe

              Joe give them a call, John will work with you to fill an order so as to minimize the shipping cost per pound. I recommend the cajun salmon sticks - great tailgate or finger food. Beware that this is probably the smokiest smoked salmon you will find around here, and you will taste it ( and smell like it ) for hours after. The cold smoked is somewhat milder and excellent.

          2. re: 9lives

            The Somerville Market Basket had at least two brands of smoked salmon, one of which was Acme. It was about $29/lb, sold in 4oz packages I think.

            It looks like Wegman's slices smoked salmon at the deli and has their own brand of smoked salmon, also for about $28/lb. I've seen it at Costco too, maybe for less than $20/lb. Not sure of the brand/quality though.

            1. re: emannths

              HMMM...

              I am trekking out to Wegman's next week and will give their house brand a try. Thanks for the tip!

              1. re: aregularjoe

                It looks like they have two varieties--they say one has milder smoke flavor than the other.

                It also looks like Formaggio Kitchen makes their own (or buys it from a non-factory sort of place), for $40/lb: http://www.formaggiokitchen.com/shop/...

                1. re: emannths

                  I couldn't get your link to work but try this one...

                  http://www.formaggiokitchen.com/shop/...

                  This happens to be the same Daniel Boulud salmon that I mentioned and is made in Portland by Brownes Trading.

                  http://www.brownetrading.com/smokehou...

                  Formaggio sells it for a fe $ less than Brownes..and no shipping.

                  1. re: 9lives

                    That's the one I found too. Thnx.

            2. re: 9lives

              9lives, perhaps should re-read my post.?

              The question I asked was where i could find "good" smoked salmon, or a locally made product. I was hoping folks would chime in with a product that transcended the ordinary.

              I have tried countless products available in super markets and find them lacking. and overpriced for the quality.

              Acme was good product years ago, particularly when it was 2 for 1 at stop and shop ( can't beat that value), but has gone seriously down hill ( ragged chopped bits and just does not taste as good). I suspect that ACME sells the good stuff to the delis and the scraps to the supermarkets.

              1. re: aregularjoe

                I read it and we'll have to agree to disagree. I stand by my post. Browne's Boulud line is excellent. Have you tried it?

                I haven't had the Acme from a supermarket in a few years; but it wasn't the product you described...have had it direct from them at a party recently.

                After the Browne's, I put in order of what I think is quality; availability.

                Is it as good as Russ & Daughters (my personal favorite), Zabar's, or BG? Boulud, yes..Ducktrap, no.

                I think the main source of difference here is I generally buy a 1/4 for 2 people. If I were feeding a larger group, I'd probably go wit R & D mail order..love their Gaspe. The min quantity they ship is much more than I normally buy.

                eta..not local but I was just in BWX on Devonshire. They had a Scottish smoked salmon, smoked locally if you lived in Scotland..:) They are a fairly new wine store that is starting a small gourmet section.

                You might also want to call Concord Prime. I haven't had their smoked salmon; but everything they carry is hi quality.

          3. re: cambridgedoctpr

            I have done Barney Greengrass before for my dad on his birthday. They have great food to send.

            1. re: cherrytomato

              We just had breakfast there a couple of weeks ago. It's our "must" breakfast place in NYC! Best smoked fish!!

            2. re: cambridgedoctpr

              This is what is looks Blue Hill Bay smoked salmon looks like (my other posts about it seem to be way lower on the page--not quite sure how Chowhound nests posts....)

               
            3. Formaggio Kitchen sometimes sells a smoked salmon from Nantucket. (No, that is not the start of a dirty limerick). But I get mine for the hols shipped up from Russ and Daughters in NYC.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Splendid Spatula

                I think you are referring to Nantucket Wild Gourmet and Smokehouse. If so, it is very good. They have a store in Chatham MA. I sometimes see it at Foodies in the South End. They often have a guy selling it (and giving tastes) at the SOWA market on Harrison ave in the South End on Sundays.

              2. Not sure if you want cold smoked or hot smoked (cooked type). The cold smoked is what most places sell and is widely available. It is cured first, then cold smoked. Gravlax is *just* cured, and I think that would be considerably more difficult to find. At least it isn't on my radar. Barry's Deli in Waban carries some very nice smoked salmon, both Nova and Belly, which they cut to order. Not on the artisanal level of Zabar's in terms of the cutting, but still very good. Of course, you can get the packaged stuff at most stores. I sometimes get the TJs wild smoked salmon, which is ok in a pinch, but I find that their's is frequently frozen first, which messes up the texture considerably. For the hot smoked (cooked), I have tried some very nice, very expensive, ones at Marty's in Newton.

                10 Replies
                1. re: Science Chick

                  As I mentioned above, I hot smoke my own.

                  I also make my own gravlox. Its easy to do, as long as you use sashimi quality salmon.

                  Cold smoking is a pain, hence my post.

                  I agree that most of the of the packaged stuff in the markets is awful. Again, hence my post.

                  It is amazing what the average american consumer will accept!

                  1. re: aregularjoe

                    BTW, While i prefer Barney G., Russ and Daughters is also excellent. I doubt that you will find anything that good in Boston.

                    That said, if you want good quality salmon, i recommend going to New Deal seafood. If you want to be extra careful, Sakayana freezes its seafood to kill parasites.

                    1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                      Thanks, I've been buying almost exclusively from Carl for years... And its a 30+ minute drive for me on a good day.

                    2. re: aregularjoe

                      I agree that most of the prepackaged supermarket stuff is dreck. But the Spence & Co. Scottish-style salmon is quite respectable - not their regular "classic" smoked salmon mind you, the Scottish-style, which is smokier and much tastier. Whole Foods is the only vendor in the area where I can reliably find it.

                      1. re: BobB

                        Spence & Co Classic Style was the stuff I saw ar BWX. . that I said was smoked in Scotland. I didn't buy it but when Ms 9 called this PM from WF, I asked her to pick up some of the "Scottish Style," which is now resting in my refrigerator.

                        Looking forward to trying it.

                        1. re: 9lives

                          Thumbs up!

                          Last night, I made little cones and filled them with salmon roe..adding some less sinewy, and better sliced toro made for a great dinner.

                          This AM, on a buttered bagel. I'll use cream cheese if I'm forced to eat an inferior salmon, with a slice of onion and capers; but prefer good Brittany butter with better salmon.shows off the flavor better IMO.

                          Real nice flavor and texture.

                          Thx for the tip.

                        2. re: BobB

                          I agree that Spence & Co Scottish-Style is the best packaged product I have found. The Lobster Place in NYC Chelsea Market(they will ship anywhere) has very good Scottish and Irish cold smoked salmon but it is not consistent. Sometimes the Scottish is the best and other times the Irish, I have had both be exceptional but at worst they are still good. I often order some of each.

                      2. re: Science Chick

                        Totally forgot about Wegman's. I stop there frequently on the way home from work in Worcester. I will try the Wegman's salmon this weekend and report back. They do have some very impressive looking ones in the case...........

                        1. re: Science Chick

                          I'll be trying Wegman's next week as well...

                          1. re: aregularjoe

                            joe, i haven't had it but a CH on the Wegman's thread said they really liked their Norwegian .

                      3. Whole Foods River Street cambridge and at Dedham have an in house smoker and make several flavors of their own smoked salmon. I find the wild smoked salmon consistently tasty. Also they occasionally make the most amazing smoked scallops at the Dedham location...NEVER had anything like them!

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: myladyfae

                          I don't know what brand is featured at Rosenfeld Bagels in Newton but it tastes awfully good to me.

                          1. re: suepar

                            In the Wegman's thread which I started awhile ago I reported on the hand-sliced Norwegian style smoked salmon which is excellent, comparable to Zabar's through not as well-sliced. Priced at under $30 per pound it is a good buy. It is the best I have found in Massachusetts, though I have not been to some of the delis mentioned above.

                            Whole Wallet's salmon is hot smoked not cold smoked. It is good, but not what the OP is seeking.

                            1. re: VivreManger

                              Under $30/lb is a good value for quality...and from the posts (never been),I'd bet Wegmans puts out a good product.

                              Good or bad slicing makes a big difference..just think of raw fish..sashimi/sushi.

                              I had some otoro tonight from a fish I caught..beautiful flesh and marbled..could have been better sliced; just wasn't on my game. I'm a B+/A- butcher on whole fish but a weak B-/C+ on slcicing for immediate consumption..like tonight's sashimi.

                              I remember as a kid watching them slice at Russ & Daughters..fascinated..could watch for hours..surgeons on fish...my first sushi chefs..:)

                              Hope the OP finds Wegman's to his standards.

                            2. re: suepar

                              The cooler @ Rosenfeld's, just inside the door to the left has a very impressive selection of salmon, easily 10 varieties from multiple origins.

                              -----
                              Rosenfeld Bagel Co
                              1280 Centre St, Newton, MA

                            3. re: myladyfae

                              wow, that's the first time i've heard anything about that! i know many locations have their own production kitchens for some things, and others don't and get 'everything' from the WF commissary,but i had no idea any of them smoked their own seafood....

                              1. re: myladyfae

                                Thanks so much for posting about this, myladyfae.

                                I was in the Wellesley WF yesterday and they, too, sell a house smoked salmon for $17.99/lb. (It's at the seafood counter: you order whatever quantity you want and they wrap it on a customer-by-customer basis). I got the maple smoked and the tequila-lime smoked. Both really good - I preferred the maple, my fiance preferred the tequila lime. I could definitely see craving the maple. It's very smoky and not hard/candied at all. I think it might be hot smoked rather than the cold that the OP was looking for, though. Btw, they also had house-smoked Chilean sea bass.

                              2. Are you talking about hot-smoked (Northwest style)? If so, some Whole Foods markets carry a large selection of smoked salmon and other smoked fish.

                                1. Costco sells Blue Hill Bay smoked salmon, and I think it's really good--not too salty, not too oily. I just went to the Blue Hill Bay website and saw that it is also sold as Acme, but it certainly doesn't seem to be their odds and ends and scraps!

                                  I grew up eating what we called "Nova Scotia" or just "Nova" (well, we called it that, but Calvin Trillin says that in Nova Scotia what they sell is the hot smoked kind) from really good Jewish delis, so I have some idea of the difference between good and not so good. Of course, I can't know for sure that my taste buds are as refined as yours!

                                  1. More re Acme vs Blue Hill--I think they are different product lines from the same larger company:

                                    "ABOUT BLUE HILL BAY

                                    Blue Hill Bay Smoked Seafood, a division of Acme Smoked Fish Corp., produces all-natural, preservative-free smoked fish.

                                    Launched in July 2000 by David Caslow, a fourth generation seafood smoker, Blue Hill Bay Smoked Seafood is prepared from the finest quality raw materials, using European curing techniques. Specially selected Salmon, Alaskan Black Cod, Yellowfin Tuna, Brook Trout, Whitefish and Mackerel are flown in to our New York Smokehouse. Here, the fish are hand rubbed with a dry-cure recipe, and then cold or hot smoked with an Adirondack Mountain blend of fruit and hard woods. The finished products have a delicate smoky flavor, superior taste and texture.

                                    Blue Hill Bay's signature product line includes cold smoked plain and flavored Salmons, Baked Salmon and smoked Alaskan Black Cod, Brook Trout Fillets, Peppered Mackerel Fillets, Cold Smoked Yellowfin Tuna and Whitefish Fillets. Also available from the Blue Hill Bay label are Baked Salmon Spread and Chunky Whitefish Spread (note: spreads contain preservatives) and our newest product, Pickled Herring in Cream or Wine Sauce."

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: calisson

                                      i can't offer any expertise on this. I grew up on belly lox, which we preferred to what was called nova, as nova seemed bland and tasteless to us. i now prefer scottish smoked salmon when i can get it, and i usually find this at the Butcherie. I don't really understand the difference between hot and cold smoked, but I like the drier lighter flavor now of Scottish and the closest to it in packages seems to me to be duck trap.

                                      1. re: teezeetoo

                                        Speaking of belly lox - you can still get that at The Butcherie - they make their own. They call it "salty lox" and it's quite good but seems to vary batch to batch - sometimes I'll get some that's only lightly salty, other times I've had some that was so salty I had to scatter little pieces of it across the bagel, a full slice was too intense to eat.

                                        I feel the same way about nova - it's a waste of good fish.

                                        1. re: teezeetoo

                                          We've moved a discussion of making your own smoked salmon to the Home Cooking board, at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8216...

                                      2. Wow,

                                        I am really amazed at the level of response to this post. Thanks for all of the input! I have some tasting to do and will report back on my experience...

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: aregularjoe

                                          obviously, you know a whole lot about smoked salmon. (You might try the recipe for Gravilox from the Asian Flavors of Jean-Georges.)

                                          I am eager to hear you conclusion about where to buy smoked salmon here in NE.

                                        2. reporting back from Wegman's. Picked up some of the Norweigan smoked last night. They carry the Acme Salmon from Brooklyn. Poor woman behind the counter had little idea of how to properly slice. First she took a small tail piece out and I asked her please to cut mine off the large filet, to which she replied "it's *all* fresh". She then proceeded to hack the poor thing apart. I wanted 1/3 lb, but it was taking so ridiculously long that I finally asked her to stop at 1/4lb. It was pretty tasty, but I can get same/better at Barry's Deli right here in Waban.

                                          1. A couple of years ago we were able to order some Sasquatch Smokehouse salmon - made in Gloucester MA, through Valley View Farm in Topsfield, where we pick up our CSA. I found this older article about the place: http://countingsheep.typepad.com/amus... and a Facebook page with only contact information. I've had a half smoked salmon from Sasquatch, and it was ethereal! Yelp has the contact information, too. Like I said, I've only ordered it with my CSA pickup, haven't contacted the Smokehouse directly.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: cocoabrioche

                                              I found it and will report in full asap...

                                              1. re: aregularjoe

                                                i went to the river street whole foods and had the salmon smoked in store which was good but not great. It did not compare - at least to my taste - to the JG prepared gravalax which I got from New Deal. I am looking forward to hearing about areguloarjoe's experiences though he is clearly not a regular joe

                                            2. I did a quick scan of the many responses here (don't have time to read them all), but no one has mentioned the place I read about here a while back. Unfortunately, I saved the name on my Mac that froze on me (which I turned off to save my [insert stupid & other expletives] NOT backed up data).

                                              Did a search & came up w/nothing. It's a place in Springfield (yeah, a bit out of your "Boston area/Eastern MA" request), but it was so interesting I was determined to try their products at some point. It's a family business (I believe they've been in business for a long while, but the brain doesn't work as well these days..) Not sure if they smoke in the manner you describe - I do believe they do mail order though, in case they do & you don't want to drive all the way out to Springfield!

                                              I'm going to continue to search to try to find the name.

                                              Edit: I found it w/a Google search!! Here it is (I'm in a rush & this laptop is slower than a couple of tin cups & a string, so I can't check it out myself):

                                              http://www.springfieldsmokedfish.com/

                                              Happy salmon hunting!

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: threedogs

                                                This looks interesting. I will try to trek out personally, if not will mail order and report back....

                                                1. re: aregularjoe

                                                  Please do report back if you try it - I can't justify the expense right now, but would love to hear about it!

                                                2. re: threedogs

                                                  I e-mailed this Springfield Co an they responded that some of their products are sold at Resenfields and The Butcherie.

                                                  1. re: catsmeow

                                                    Thanks, catsmeow. Good to know!

                                                3. Apparently the Whole Foods in Dedham has their own smoking outfit - we've bought nice smoked salmon there that was unavailable in other WF stores -

                                                  1. Report Number 1: Sasquatch Smoked fish, Gloucester, ma.

                                                    cocoabrioche mentioned Sasquatch Smoked Fish of gloucester as local source so I looked into it. No website, various little mentions on the web. Hmmm... could this be my favorite kind of vendor, a lone man toiling in obscurity making a quality product with passion and love. JACKPOT!

                                                    I found the phone number and made arraignments to trek up to Gloucester to check this out. Just talking to Paul on the phone made me feel like I was on to something. His casually confidence, and the tone of his voice boding well.

                                                    He got a small one man operation smoking Salmon, trout and mussels on a regular basis. He also does specialties on occasion promising shrimp, scallops and some pates for the holidays.

                                                    Paul was generous with tasting samples;

                                                    Salmon:

                                                    Salmon was hot smoked. My quest was for cold smoked, but I am glad i did not let my dogma get in the way because his hot smoked salmon is wonderful. Moist and retaining a freshness that was sublime. Light to medium smoky. Just delicious. Would love to make a nicoise with it.

                                                    Trout:

                                                    This was cold smoked for a very long time, with a bit of hot smoking at the end. Paul explained that
                                                    he finished the fish with hot smoke to render the fat layer between the filet and the skin. The filets peel right off of the skin. Amazing. Lovely smoky flavor balanced with he delicious fish.

                                                    Mussels:

                                                    These were so damn delicious that they can only be described s the food of kings. He pasteurizes the mussels, then cold smokes them for a long time, them marinates them in an herbed dressing. This is the kind of thing that would round out an antipasto, or a charcuterie plate with class and grace. Lovely texture and flavor. These would disappear in seconds at a party.

                                                    I bought a bunch of all three for holiday munching. The fished were vacuum sealed and the mussels in a plastic container.

                                                    His stuff is available at Dave's Fresh Pasta in Somerville. It's a no brainer; locally made & just simply great!

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: aregularjoe

                                                      well, Chapeaux! to cocoabrioche, and to you for the detailed report. was at dave's just yestday for our Cubano fix, but we'll get some next week, now that we know. thnx much.

                                                      1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                        thanks, OC! and, for those of us on the northshore, Valley View Farm in Topsfield (info@valleyviewcheese.com) is doing an order from Sasquatch. I will definitely get the mussels this year! VaalleyView's email:

                                                        Pre-Order
                                                        Sasquatch Smokehouse
                                                        Gloucester
                                                        Smoked Seafood & Meats

                                                        Salmon, Trout, Scallops & Mussels 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 1 # - $ 22-25/#

                                                        Smoked Salmon Pate ~1/3# $10 per pound

                                                        Smoked Kielbasa or Chorizo
                                                        $12 per pound
                                                        (Please specify whether picking up Seafood on December 15 or December 20th)

                                                        1. re: cocoabrioche

                                                          ...and this is why I love this board so much! What a great find!! Thanks to cocoabrioche & to aregularjoe... love the story about the man behind the fish & can't wait to taste!!

                                                          1. re: threedogs

                                                            http://www.grindstoneneck.com/,
                                                            Best I've had from a NE smokehouse............

                                                    2. Found this thread as I'm searching for a local place to buy great smoked salmon in Greater Boston or Boston proper for Xmas Day breakfast. Can any chowhounders weigh-in on any recent findings from this Thread. I am intrigued by what could be offered at local WFs. I am also really interested in smoked mussels. Just clicked on the Grind Stone Neck of Main website from the previous post - looks really promising! Hope to find a local place to scope out samples first though (I'll be in Boston this weekend).

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: spectra21

                                                        capt marden's and the Fish Monger might also be good places to look; might have non-WF choices.

                                                      2. Hi Joe. This is an old post but I wanted to pass along that Spence & Co Smoked Seafood is actually based locally in Brockton MA, not Scotland as previously posted. We smoke our salmon locally at our facility in Brockton and source raw material globally. We are distributed at Whole Foods nationwide as well as local retailers in the Boston area.

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: SpenceCoLTD

                                                          Thanks. Do you have a retail sore at the factory?

                                                          1. re: aregularjoe

                                                            While we do not have a retail store we do have the occasional customer come in to purchase a few packs should they be in the area during business hours (9-4 M-F). Our products are readily available in the Boston area at retailers such as Whole Foods, Roche Brothers, Select Stop & Shop's, select Shaws, as well as Seafood Companies like Captain Mardens and Cherry Street Fish Market.

                                                            1. re: SpenceCoLTD

                                                              Thanks!

                                                          2. re: SpenceCoLTD

                                                            Yep, and Spence is the only smoked salmon that Whole Foods carries that isn't previously frozen...Just sayin'' Their Nova is the best; the least salt and the most salmony taste...

                                                          3. And since we're resurrecting the thread, I'll make a recommendation of Matt's Amazing Smokehouse, which is in fact amazing and also locally made. I have been so happy since Matt started coming to Dewey Square this summer. For me it's a toss up between the Rajin' Cajun smoked salmon and the smoked bluefish dip.

                                                            http://theamazingsmokehouse.com/where...

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: chevrelove

                                                              I've seen him at Lexington's Farmer's market as well, and also on the shelves at Wilson Farm.

                                                            2. Any local recommendations of good salmon that is sourced wild or from the one farm in Chile that Monterey Bay lists as sustainable? Looking for delicious & sustainable, and understand this costs more. There's one brand at the Market Basket that sources wild, but it's only hot smoked, would love ideas for cold smoked or cured.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: dulce de leche

                                                                I got some excellent cold-smoked salmon (and hot-smoked as well) from Mainely Smoked Salmon, way up near Eastport, Maine last year. It's farmed, but in Passamaquoddy Bay in the cold north Atlantic, right next to the Bay of Fundy,, and it's HACCP certified.

                                                                You can buy it on line at http://www.mainelysmokedsalmon.com/

                                                                1. re: BobB

                                                                  Thanks, Bob, I believe HACCP regulates food safety and handling, which is a minimum for sure, but doesn't address environmental or fish stock damage that are hallmarks of farmed salmon.

                                                                  I don't see any claims of sustainability from Mainely Smoked Salmon on their site, and nothing about them via google search, so I think I will need to keep looking, thanks.