Years ago, at a cooking demonstration at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Jacques Pepin waxed poetic about smoked salmon made by a company in Aurora.
The company, Honey Smoked Fish Co., came up again recently, and I found out where to get the fish locally.
Sprouts Farmers Market, one of several places that carries the brand, had three flavors: Original Honey Smoked Salmon, Cracked Pepper Honey Smoked Salmon and Chipotle Lime Honey Smoked Salmon. Other stores also offer a Cajun Honey Smoked Salmon.
I opened the cracked-pepper fillet and almost devoured the whole thing. It's outstanding, with just the right smoky flavor. The fully cooked fish is juicy, flaky and firm - not mushy like some commercially smoked fish.
Now I keep it in the fridge at all times. And why not? Salmon is so nutritious, it's a superfood. It's high in omega-3s (fatty acids), a great source of protein, low in cholesterol and high in vitamins A, D, B6 and B2, niacin, riboflavin, calcium, iron, zinc and phosphorus.
While all those benefits are good, it's the omega-3 level that gets the attention of dietitians and physicians. Those fatty acids have been linked to increased heart health and brain function. These health professionals routinely recommend salmon to heart patients and others trying to lower their blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Salmon consumption also has been associated with better eye health, reduced inflammation and improved skin tone.
Those last three benefits would reel me in to eat more salmon, especially the salmon from Honey Smoked Fish Co. You can bet one or two of the flavors will make an appearance on my charcuterie board on New Year's Eve. I'm so glad I was reminded of this delicious fish option.
The Aurora company's smoked salmon also can be found at Albertsons, King Soopers, Safeway, Costco Warehouse and Sam's Club. Flavors vary by store. Cost is $17.99 a pound. Visit honeysmokedfish.com for recipes.