For all you smoked salmon lovers
I have to share this discovery with other 'Hounds - Maine-ly Smoked Salmon, produced way up in the northeast corner of Maine. I was up there visiting a friend who recommended I check it out. They make some of the best-tasting hot- and cold-smoked salmon I've ever tasted.
It is farmed, not wild-caught, but it's farmed in Passamaquoddy Bay, right next to the Bay of Fundy, in clean, cold water.
They also do smoked haddock ("finnan haddie") and a Cajun version of the salmon. I didn't try those but would bet they're just as good.
You can get it on line at http://www.mainelysmokedsalmon.com/
The textural differences are as striking as the flavor differences. Their cold-smoked salmon is like some of the best lox (or actually, more similar to Scottish smoked salmon than lox) you've ever tasted - pale orange, with a pronounced smoky flavor and just enough salt. It begs to be sliced thinly and eaten on a bagel or rye bread with cream cheese or goat cheese. Good for breakfast or as an appetiizer at lunch or dinner.
The hot-smoked is unusually moist for this type of fish, and also has a more complex flavor profile than the cold-smoked. It's marinated before smoking with things like salt, garlic, lemon, bay leaves and molasses. It's more of a main course fish dish, especially when served with something like a mustard-mayonnaise sauce.
I've tried all their products and found them excellent. Back in 2008 I drove to interview the owner for an article I was researching on Smoke Houses in Maine. My car had a problem just as I arrived after a four hour drive and the owner of Mainely Smoked Salmon got a friend of his to work on it for me. Nice guy. Great salmon.
There are two other smoke houses doing great stuff in Maine. Grindstone Neck of Maine in Winter Harbor. Their smoked salmon and other things are great. They also do smoked crab claws. First lightly steamed, then lightly smoked, then packed in butter. Saveur magazine wrote them up around ten years ago. I don't know if the currently make them. But the owner custom smoked some uni for me that I had several chef friends try, and a former chowhound wrote an article about for Gourmet.com http://www.grindstoneneck.com/
Sullivan Harbor Farm is great too, located in Hancock.
Of the 7-8 smoke houses that do seafood in Maine, these three are the best,and each is different enough from the other.