Salmon have been abundant in Alaskan waters for thousands of years and remain so today, while American Atlantic waters have been sorely impacted by overfishing. Salmon was so frequently on the menu in early New England that indentured servants insisted on a clause in their contracts limiting salmon to one meal a week. Then in the nineteenth century most commercial salmon came from the Atlantic. It was canned in New England and shipped to California beginning in 1840. By 1864 the process was reversed, with canned salmon produced in California and sent east.
Over 70% of Salmon fished today are not even fished, they are farmed. Although Alaska is an exception to this. Alaskan Salmon are not pinned what so ever, they are all free living in the Pacific Ocean up until the time of their return to their birth place in the rivers of Alaska.
Alaskans highly praise the value of the Salmons orange-red flesh and thought that any form of disrespect shown to these fish would cause Sea Gods to take the salmon away. Alaska is also the home of wolves, bears and another 130 other species. This made Salmon a very common meal for these animals, and for the Native people of Alaska as well due to the ease of preservation and its flavor when smoked. The fish oils are retained while smoking and alter the taste while being smoked, thus making it a glamorous meal for the people. Smokers will blend different types of wood, the period of time used to smoke, and temperatures to obtain the best tasting fish. Specific woods offered certain flavors to the fish, Alder would give one taste, apple another, and cedar for a third.
The time spent smoking the fish affects the flavor as well, and hot smoking produces a more powerful smoke flavor and a much drier fish. Cold smoking will offer a weaker smoked flavor and a more oilier or soft texture. Different woods give different flavors. The best smokers will blend different species to give just the right result. Alder wood gives one taste, apple another, and cedar a third. The length of time the fish is smoked affects the flavor, as does the cure before smoking.
Wet cure means the meat is soaked in a brine solution that contains salt, pepper, sugar and spices. Veteran smokers often keep their precise recipe a secret. Dry cure, a combination of sea salt, sugar and aromatic herbs or fruit, is more commonly used to produce cured but not smoked fish. Another important fact that must be taken into count while smoking fish is the actually species of salmon. There are actually give different species of salmon which exist in Alaskan waters, and each offers a different taste in the combination of cures and smoking. Today, people can find salmon on their local grocery store shelves, but this variety is typically farm raised and cold smoked.
For any connoisseur, however, Alaskan Smoked Salmon is the best bet. The taste of Alaskan Salmon is comparable to fine wine when its properly smoked and cured correctly.
You can easily get salmon gift basket if you live in Seattle, but if you live inland, it may be much more difficult. Of course the best place to always get salmon gift basket is from an internet salmon site. Try 3- 12oz Snickerdoodle Cookie Mix.