Tasteratr: Smoked Scottish Salmon
Salmon and smoked salmon were once a great luxury, but thanks to fish farming this king of the river and sea is now more ubiquitous than the cod (which due to overfishing is now almost achieving luxury status!). There is of course very good farmed fish, but usually you get what you pay for. Cheap salmon is bland and overly fatty and while passable as a fish cake the smoking process seems to highlight any flaws in the fish.
When smoked salmon is good it is clean and rich with the smoke adding another layer of complexity to the subtle flavours of the salmon. Much of the cheaper smoked salmon we tried was actively unpleasant with an almost soapy character. And also be careful what you drink! Champagne and many other white wines can taste metallic due to the oiliness of the fish and strong smoke. Chablis can work, but a fino sherry or an Islay malt whisky is a revelation. Here are the ones we rated:
*Tesco Finest Scottish Smoked Salmon (£40/kg Tesco)
***Inverawe Scottish Smoked Salmon (£47.50/kg Waitrose)
***Fortnum and Mason Handcarved Scottish Smoked Salmon (Brown and Forest) (£65/kg F&M)
****Fortnum and Mason Handcarved Wild Scottish Smoked Salmon (H.Forman) (£140/kg F&M)
*****Dunkeld Wild Scottish Smoked Salmon (£100/kg Dunkeld)