Anna

23 of May 2019

UNIQUELY

AMERICAN COMBINATION

BAGEL AND LOX

Bagel and lox are a classic flavor combination, usually appearing on the plates during the Sunday breakfast or brunches. They are usually in open sandwiches, generously lubricated with cream cheese, lox, thinly sliced red onion and capers. Delicious!

   In fact, this combination can be considered unique. Some add to this a slice of tomato and fresh cucumber. However, in my opinion, these little touches "disturb" the taste of salmon, cover the taste of the onion and capers (!). I like the combination of salmon, onions, capers and some cucumber on brine, but on the side, not on the top of the sandwich. This is a fine culinary fad.

   And anyway ... I like bagels with poppy seeds and those with sesame seeds, raisins, cinnamon, onion or herbs.A hole in bread does not bother me, but sometimes I wonder who invented such a thing and why! 

   We have two stories that are both associated with Poland!

   First of all, the bagels were created in 1683, when a Jewish Viennese baker baked bread in the form of a stirrup (stirrup in German = bugel) for the Polish king Jan III Sobieski. It was to be a tribute to the king for saving Vienna from the Turkish invasion. This story/legend was denied by Mary Balinska's "The Bagel: The Surprising History of a Modest Bread". The situation could have taken place, but bagels were known before 1683, a fact, which was proven by the author of that book.

   And this is the second story:

   Rolls with a hole derive from Jewish traditional bakeries, and this is confirmed by archival documents from 1610, from the Jewish community of Kazimierz, near Krakow (today within the city). Then communities were  obliged to issue free bagels to every woman who gave birth to a child. Shape was meant to symbolize the cycle of human life, and the golden skin color was to bring the child luck.

   Also, Clarissa Hyman mentions the following in her book, "Kitchen Jewish. Recipes and stories from around the world":  Jewish "philosophers of taste" have long been considering the question of which came first, bajgel or keyhole. We are not talking yet about an ordinary piece of nodules with a hole, (...) but a symbol of the icon of the mystery of new life. It is not known exactly where bagels came from, but the word itself comes from the verb boygen - bend, and the associated noun bügel, which means the stirrup. It was considered a rarity because it was baked with an expensive white flour. Bagels were also to bring good luck and the image of the circle of life.

   American culinary historians argue that without any doubt the bagels came from Poland.

   In America, they appeared in the late XIX century from Eastern European immigrants. However, the residents of America did not respond until the 1970s, when there was a fashion for ethnic cuisines. Bagels returned to favor in America, especially in Manhattan. To this day, New Yorkers say they have the tastiest bagels.

   In 1927, Polish baker Harry Lender came to New Haven,  Connecticut, and established the first bagel factory in the United States outside of "New York Bagels". Rumor spread quickly, and connecting cultures and mastery of recipes meant that bakeries with bagels were no longer solely owned by Jews. Hot Bagels H & H is run by a Puerto Rico family. The largest manufacturer of flavored bagels, which are baked with 36 different types, it is located in Connecticut, and owners came from Germany.

Today, there are fewer small bakers. Corporations have taken over the world and our culinary experiences.

   Let us do our job, to the delight of family and friends, and feel free to cook at home!

Here’s a guide to smoked and salted salmon

LOX - salmon (usually the belly) that’s soaked in a salty brine and never cooked. Served in thin, silky slices and usually paired with cream cheese on a bagel.

(recipe

in this entry below).

 

GRAVLAX  - salmon that’s covered in salt and herbs for 3-5 days, then rinsed and sliced thinly. This is Scandinavian method of preparing lox.

 

NOVA LOX -  salmon soaked in a brine, like lox, and later cold-smoked at 80 degrees for a few days. It’s not cooked, so it retains a silky smooth texture and translucent pink color. Nova refers to the place it’s from–Nova Scotia–often times from the Gaspe region. There are several varieties of Nova Lox, including Western Nova (Wild Pacific Salmon), Norwegian smoked salmon (mildly smoky), and Scottish smoked salmon (strongest smoke flavor).

HOT-SMOKED SALMON - also known as kippered salmon, which is first brine and then smoked at 130-140 degrees for a few hours - it’s smoky and has the flaky, moist texture of cooked salmon.

HOMEMADE LOX

Recipe and pictures:  here

- First up, check your fish (500 gram) for any pin bones. Those are the tiny bones along the thick side of the fish. Your salmon may not have any- mine didn’t! But if you do simply remove with tweezers or your hands if you are dexterous like that.

3

- Next up, mix your salt and sugar (1/salt : 2/sugar). Then simply cover the salmon completely on both sides in the mixture.

- Then cover your fish tightly with saran wrap. Cut a slit in one end where the fish juices can escape.

4

- Now we have to refrigerate the lox for curing! I put mine in a cake pan. Then covered it with my toaster pan and weigh it down with a bottle of olive oil. Any heavy object will do!

- Now you want to tilt the salmon curing contraption so the fish juices drain to one side. I used a sauce pan top to prop up one side of the pan.

- After 24 hours check on your salmon. It should start looking like lox and some of the fish juices should be piling up. Check on your salmon- if all the salt/sugar mixture is gone, reapply and rewrap. If there is still salt on the fish, no need to reapply. Drain the fish juices and put the lox back for another 24 hours.

- After 48 total hours unwrap the lox and wash it off well. The skin should peel off easily at this point. If it doesn’t, you can always filet it off with a sharp knife.

- Now just cut off small pieces against the grain on an angle and you’ve got lox!

SEE ALSO:

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