A long, long time ago, during the Middle Ages to be precise, medieval fishermen cured salmon by burying their specimens in the sand above the high tide level, and then waited for the fish to ferment. An ancient tradition, salting fish preserves it by drying it out and removing the moisture microorganisms need to thrive. Originally this practice insured that the catch would be safe from spoiling when boats were out to sea far from market. Today, a mix of salt, sugar, herbs, and spices serve to cold cure salmon and make a traditional smorgasbord plate. Delicious prepared as a made in advance pre dinner appetizer, it is wonderful served spread on bagels, or alongside buttered toast soldiers. Dill, known as the "king of herbs" in Sweden, is a natural anti-bacterial and digestion assistant. The calcium rich fronds of this soft feathery herb provide relief from insomnia, aid in bone health, and are a natural aromatic disinfectant. This recipe allows for the chef to find the perfect ratio of salt to sugar curing to please his or her palate. Curing salmon lends itself to experimenting with smoked salts, white, brown, muscovado, demerara, or caster sugar, fennel fronds, and spices such as caraway or coriander seeds (just a few of the many possible variations). This preparation is the perfect jumping off point in learning to appreciate and love Nordic cuisine, while making a luxurious, yet simple and sophisticated plate.
This preparation is the perfect jumping off point in learning to appreciate and love Nordic cuisine, while making a luxurious, yet simple and sophisticated plate.