Category Archives: General fish chat

It can’t all be about smoked salmon, can it?

John Ross Jr celebrates oysters - not smoked salmon - as part of the 2016 Whitstable Oyster Festival.
John Ross Jr celebrates oysters – not smoked salmon – as part of the 2016 Whitstable Oyster Festival.

No, it can’t.


Of course smoked salmon is very dear to our hearts as you would expect, however sometimes it’s nice to put someone (or something) else in the spotlight and for this week, we’ve chosen oysters.


Why oysters? Two reasons. First of all, they’re delicious and, like smoked salmon, are often aligned with all things luxury when it comes to fish and seafood. Secondly, it’s the Whitstable Oyster Festival up until 31 July.


From oyster trails and quizzes through to food fairs and oyster eating challenges, there isn’t a celebration quite like this anywhere else in the UK.


The festival celebrates its 32nd year in 2016 and aside from oysters you can expect to find a wide selection of entertainment ranging from live music and comedy through to art and film.


Even if live music and some of the freshest seafood isn’t what you’re looking for, then simply enjoy Whitstable’s laid back atmosphere and traditionally British feel, which never fails to disappoint.


When it comes to food, if you’re looking for more than oysters (and by that we mean fresh fish) then visit the Fishermen’s Feast, where you can buy the freshest fish Whitstable Bay has to offer. And if you’d prefer the confines of a restaurant, then Wheelers Oyster Bar, which also happens to serve John Ross Jr smoked salmon, is hugely popular.


Over 80,000 people are expected to descend on what we believe is one of Kent’s finest destinations so be prepared for a busy week. And make sure you have an appetite, too.


Finally, if a blog post on oysters alone was too much for our core readers, then here’s an oyster AND smoked salmon recipe to redress the balance.


Will you be going to the 2016 Whitstable Oyster Festival? If so, share your pictures via our Facebook page or via Twitter.

A Pescatarian Life

Salmon Fillets on slateboardFor those who enjoy a fish dish and are looking to improve their diet pescatarianism may be an option. But what are the benefits? Fish certainly tastes delicious!

What is a Pescatarian Diet?

Pescatarianism is the practise of consuming a diet including fish and seafood, but no meat. The term comes from the Italian word for fish ‘pesce’ and the English term ‘vegetarian’. Many see this as a healthy medium between being a carnivore and vegetarian.

Why Become Pescatarian?

The main advantage of adopting this way of eating is for its health benefits. There’s plenty of reasons why fish is good for you:

Plenty of Protein

Fish is full of protein, which could decrease the risk of heart disease as well as some cancers. A 2012 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that those who get their protein from fish and plants rather than meat, are less likely to die prematurely. So technically, pescatarianism can make you live longer!

Lots of Vitamins

Many people who enjoy a vegetarian diet find they are lacking in many vitamins and minerals, and end up taking supplements to replenish these deficiencies. Pescatarians are less likely to suffer from this thanks to the goodness of fish.

Did you know, that an average portion of salmon has 100% of an adult’s daily recommended dose of vitamin B-12, it’s high in vitamin D and includes zinc too. Whereas cod and tuna are high in iodine – even if they come out of a tin!

Fish can also add a healthy amount of iron to your diet and therefore pescatarians have a low risk of developing iron deficiency, anaemia.

Full of Fatty Acids

You may think that fat is a bad thing, but don’t worry, this is the good kind. Fish and seafood are full of fatty acids and are a brilliant source of omega-3 and EPAs (eicosapenentaenoic acid) in particular. These are the good types of fat that can help decrease the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, amongst a myriad of other medical conditions.

These fatty acids can lessen the symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis, prevent heart attacks and even treat those with depression. Introducing one fish meal into your diet a week can make a significant difference. And here at John Ross Jr. we have plenty of recipes for you to try if you are a novice fish fanatic!

So Why Cut Out Meat?

A delicious steak is a favourite meal for many. But although there are many benefits of eating meat, non-lean red meats are high in saturated fats, choline and carnitine, which can be detrimental to those with heart conditions. Fish and seafood is low in fat and cholesterol, compared to meats in general, so is a great substitute to any diet.

Could pescatarianism be an option for you? There are plenty of different types of fish, so you’ll never get bored. Take a look at a few of our recipes and serving suggestions for some inspiration!

Smoked salmon slices & cuts explained

So, you’ve decided to host a party and chosen the type of smoked salmon you’d like to eat, however now you’re faced with a choice of cut.

Confused? If so, here’s our guide to the types of smoked salmon cuts you can buy so that you’re all ready and prepared for when you next buy smoked salmon online.

The most common slices of smoked salmon sides are D-cut sides and long sliced sides.

D-Cut sides

The D-cut side is the perfect way to buy smoked salmon if you’re entertaining. Here, you’ll find that the slices are cut into the salmon and the slice is in the shape of a ‘D’. The slice, which goes from the back to the belly, includes the salmon’s rich, flavoursome brown meat. Each slice is then carefully layered on top of each other, with great skill, in order to recreate the look of the original, uncut side.

Minimum weight of John Ross Jr’s D-cut sides: 900g

Portions: 16 – 18 (as a starter)

Long Sliced Side

This technique is the more modern method of slicing and involves slicing the salmon lengthways (from head to tail) so as to create a long thin slice of smoked salmon – without the brown meat. It is sometimes referred to as a ‘lateral’ slice. This type of slice is the most versatile when it comes to using smoked salmon in a wide range of dishes – from smoked salmon bagels to pasta dishes.

Minimum weight of John Ross Jr’s long sliced sides: 900g

Portions: 16 – 18 (as a starter)

The Fillet

The fillet isn’t something you see everyday and is usually reserved for special occasions (think fillet steak of the smoked salmon world!). The fillet comes from the crown of the salmon and is the most tender and succulent part of the fish – the true Rolls Royce of smoked salmon. In our case, with The Balmoral Fillet, the long whole fillet needs to be cut across its width in pieces that are around 3-4mm thick. Then, simply serve with fresh lemon and cracked black pepper using cocktail sticks.

The Balmoral Fillet_the jewel of the smoked salmon crown

Can you cut it?

If you’d like to take the slicing into your own hands then unsliced whole sides of smoked salmon are also available. Some chefs prefer unsliced sides as they often like to ‘slice to order’, which creates a fresher, richer taste. Equally, for the non-chefs amongst us, if entertaining, slicing your own carries with it a degree of food theatre, so here’s how to do it.

  • Make sure you a have sharp knife.
  • Make sure that you’re in a safe working environment.
  • Lay the salmon lengthways on a chopping board.
  • Place the knife a quarter of the way up the length of the fish (the head end), keeping it almost flat to the fish so that there is approximately only a 10 degree angle – i.e. so that the knife just about cuts into the fish.
  • Cut into the fish and then move backwards and forwards at the same time as moving slowly down towards the tail end of the fish.
  • Remember, whilst you can cut it to your own taste most people like to eat their smoked salmon in thin slices. A good way to keep it thin is to make sure that you can see the knife through the salmon as you cut.
  • Once you have cut the right amount for you and your guests, enjoy.

Harrods signs exclusive retail deal with John Ross Jr

London’s internationally renowned department store, Harrods, has become the first retailer in the UK to sell John Ross Jr’s critically acclaimed Tea Smoked Salmon with Lapsang Souchong Tea after the traditional Aberdeen smokehouse secured an exclusive deal.

Cured and smoked in traditional red brick kilns, which have been listed by Historic Scotland and date back to 1857, John Ross Jr’s Tea Smoked Salmon with Lapsang Souchong Tea is delicately smoked over a blend of tea and smouldering oak chippings for 24 hours.

Tapping into Britain’s growing demand for innovative smoked salmon flavours and using China’s most famous tea leaf, often distinguished by its smoky aroma, John Ross Jr’s latest artisan product delivers a beautifully smoked flavour and succulent, rich texture reminiscent of how smoked salmon used to taste.

Created to enhance the flavour of the smoked salmon and not as a marketing gimmick, John Ross Jr’s Tea Smoked Salmon is expected to be popular with food lovers who appreciate the subtle tones and nuances of smoked salmon that has been prepared using time-honoured techniques.

The new arrangement, which is part of Harrods’s plan to extend its range of John Ross Jr products, will see the retailer sell the Tea Smoked Salmon in 200g packs for £9.95. The new deal will also see John Ross Jr’s flagship product, the Balmoral Fillet, make an appearance in its newly designed presentation box retailing at £60.

Vicky Leigh, John Ross Jr’s Sales Director, comments: “We love the fact that Harrods takes as much pride in supplying our products as we do in making them, which is why we’re delighted to be a part of what has become an international showcase for excellence. Appreciating a product’s quality and provenance are two vital elements that John Ross Jr and Harrods have in common, which is why I believe that the partnership is a great fit and one that will continue to grow over time. We’re proud of our Tea Smoked Salmon and in my opinion it’s one of the best products we have created.”

John Ross Jr's 200g pack of Traditional Scottish Smoked Salmon can be found natiownwide in Waitrose John Ross Jr's Tea Smoked Salmon with Lapsang Souchong Tea
The partnership between the Knightsbridge retailer and the prestigious smokehouse began in 2011 when Harrods made John Ross Jr’s signature products available at its iconic food hall. Harrods also retails John Ross Jr’s Traditional Smoked Salmon in 200g packs and sides, Smoked Salmon Pate, Plain Hot Smoked Salmon and Hot Smoked Salmon with Honey and Mustard Seeds.

Bruce Langlands, Director of the Harrods Food Halls, adds: “Harrods welcomes producers who focus on quality and honour artisan techniques. As a family business with over twenty seven years of producing smoked salmon using traditional methods there is huge synergy between the smokehouse and the food hall and we look forward to continue working with John Ross Jr.”

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