I just spent a while in the New York area, where I indulged in one of my favourite, yet simplest, sandwiches: a bagel with cream cheese and lox. Yes, yes, I know it's a stereotypical Upper West Side nosh, but there is no reason why it has to be better there than anywhere else. And no, I don't mean because of the bagels - I prefer ours.
And yet, I found myself not doing something down there that I have to do all the time here, when I order lox and cream cheese from a bagel place: I didn't have to pick the crusty bits off of the filets. Maybe it's just me, but I find some of the smoked salmon in Toronto disgusting. Parts of it are dark, and much of the time, is scaly and rough.
The smoked salmon in New York is nearly perfect, and not just from a place like Zabar's. From a Jewish delicatessen to a neighbourhood grocery store, the lox is aways cured well, and entirely crunch free. Here - not so much.
But why is that? Do our hatcheries prepare the salmon in a different way? Are we too far from Nova Scotia to keep the fish fresh? What is it?
It's so disappointing that in Toronto, where we do fish and bagels quite well, we can't really make a fine lox and cream cheese sandwich.