Hey, are you hungry? Then look no further than Gravlax! Gravlax salmon is cured with salt and sugar. The flavor lies somewhere in between the taste of sashimi salmon and smoked salmon mixed with gentle herbs like dill. Gravlax takes about 36 to 48 hours to cure, but it makes for a great party appetizer! If you’re a fan of lox and bagels, then you gotta do yourself a favor and try out Gravlax next!
Gravlax dates all the way back to 14th century Northern Sweden. Back then, salt was expensive and that meant that most foods were preserved using alternative methods.
Peasants and fishermen in Sweden developed a technique called Gravad Lax or buried salmon. The fileted salmon would be placed in a hole in the earth before being covered with a birch box and laid in a bath of water. Here, the fish’s own blood combines with various spices and herbs and creates a very potent smelling product that would be more akin to modern day’s surströmming (fermented herring) than the gravlax we prepare today.
As time marched forward, gravlax techniques evolved and the introduction of salt and dill with various other things led to the development of a more gentle dish. In Norway, it soon became customary to make use of a curing blend of salt, pepper, honey, local spirits, and dill to soften and ripen the fish. After about 72 hours of curing, gravlax is ready to be served! In North-Norwegian houses, it would be a sin to not serve proper mustard sauces with gravlax!