The pros: Trader Joe's Hot Smoked Scottish Salmon is a pretty good smoked salmon.
The cons: This is more expensive than even Trader Joe's Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon. Like any smoked fish, this has an exceptionally short freshness period. It is highly perishable, so you'll need to use it right away.
The verdict: If you are from New York, you perhaps understand that there are certain culinary items that we have uniquely mastered as a region; bagels is one of the items that come to mind. Whether it is the water or some other form of magic, I've never had a bagel that tastes quite like a New York bagel.
Naturally, if you master the bagel, you'll need to master the toppings that are delicately placed a top. Cream cheese doesn't seem to have the same regional variation that bagels do. But once you get into lox and bagels, then yes, there is some local lingo you'll want to be aware of.
A bagel with cream cheese and lox might not mean salmon like the one I am about to get to. Lox or gravlox, is cured and not smoked. That leaves it with the texture almost similar to what you might find in sushi. Yes, there is a taste difference between it and sushi, as there are different knife skills required by those preparing it for you.
When I've had lox in other places, I tend to find their interpretation of "lox" means something smoked. With a texture much like the product here. Now, this is a drastically different texture than gravlox. This has the texture of an almost cooked salmon filet. Except it might be considered "undercooked" if you had baked this yourself.
Being that this is hot smoked, this would have been prepared in a low heat environment that might take hours. Thus leaving you with a texture that is closest to a baked salmon that was removed a bit too soon. Have to fear though, for the amount of time it was cooked, it is a fully cooked item.
This is packaged well and vacuumed sealed as tight as anything I've purchased. As I was taught as a kid, "Fish and company both stink after three days." I've found that I agree with the seafood aspect of that statement. This is best consumed right away.
As for a usage beyond just bagels, yes, you could use this with pasta or any dish you can creatively incorporate salmon. However, this is a bit of a premium product.
For $7.59 for my package or $15.49 per pound this is priced well above Trader Joe's Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon and Trader Joe's Farm Raised Salmon. You aren't just paying for the salmon here, this is a process that takes hours and that is what you as a consumer pay for. The gravlox that I adore so much, comes from a local bagel store and they price it per ¼ pound. So I'm pretty sure that per pound, gravlox at my favorite spot is pretty much double in price.
Here is the visual run down of what you get if you buy this product:
The package of Trader Joe's Hot Smoked Scottish Salmon:
The nutritional information and the ingredients:
Out of the package and served with some of Trader Joe's Mini Plain Bagels and Whipped Cream Cheese you get:
Would I buy this again? If I was anywhere but New York and was without good bagel stores, then yes, I would buy Trader Joe's Hot Smoked Scottish Salmon again. Otherwise, I'm sticking with either their fresh salmon or going to my local bagel store for my salmon fix.
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!