Here at Kettleman’s Bagel Company we serve up more than a few orders of bagels and smoked salmon. For many of us, it’s part of our culture and we’ve enjoyed the heavenly combination of bagel, cream cheese smear, smoked salmon and maybe a few capers, for as far back as we can remember. But for others, like my friend Elaina, they are introduced at a much later age.

Elaina was deprived of this perfect delicacy until she reached her twenties and was served up a catered platter of bagels, smoked salmon, cream cheese, and tomato slices as a ‘late breakfast’ food during a Saturday morning sales meeting. Not knowing exactly what to do with the curious looking meat, she remembers waiting and watching the others in the group. It didn’t take long. One bite and she too was hooked. Whether introduced sooner or later in life, one common thread runs true. Once introduced to smoked salmon and bagels, it becomes a part of who we are.

Thankfully, you don’t have to wait to satisfy your craving at the random sales meeting. At Kettleman’s, you can enjoy a smoked salmon and Montreal Style bagel any time of day or night. What a relief, right?

Occasionally, we are asked about lox. Specifically, ‘What’s the difference between smoked salmon and lox?’ Good question. If you’ve ever tried to buy smoked salmon from your local grocer or delicatessen, you know that the two meats are sold right next to each other, without offering much of an explanation. So, we thought we’d clear things up.

Unlocking the Mystery. Lox or Smoked Salmon

Smoked salmon is precisely as it sounds: Salmon cured by cold-smoking. The process gives it the bright color and silky, smooth texture you’re used to.

Lox, on the other hand, is not smoked. Instead, the meat is preserved by soaking it in a very salty brine. Lox (from the Yiddish word for salmon, laks), which was traditionally made from salmon brought from the Pacific coast, then shipped by rail across the country, became an inexpensive staple in appetizing stores for immigrant Jews from Eastern Europe.

Then with lox is the question of Belly or Nova lox. Belly is true lox, usually cut from the richest part of the salmon. Nova (also known as Nova Scotia or novy), traditionally came from Atlantic fish caught in and around Nova Scotia that is first wet-cured and then cold-smoked. Because of its milder and less salty flavor, it became the favorite between the two variations. Today, Nova lox can refer to a number of variations, from wild king salmon of the Pacific to farm-raised organic.

But, let’s get back to smoked salmon, since lox is definitely not smoked. Smoked salmon can be smoked over oak chips, or other special woods for hints of variations in flavor. You’ll find smoked salmon to have a perfectly balanced flavor in contrast to the rough, salty edge of lox. Lox almost always needs cream cheese to muffle the harsher flavor, while smoked salmon is perfectly lovely with or without the smear.

Regardless of what you’ll be having along with your smoked salmon and bagel, come on over to Kettleman’s. We’ll be happy to serve it up. We even have catering platters available for that Saturday morning sales meeting.