Sunday, July 28, 2019

Saumon – Salmon. Salmon in French Cuisine.


from
Behind the French Menu
by
Bryan G. Newman
behindthefrenchmenu@gmail.com
   
The Atlantic Salmon

Saumon – Salmon. Saumon Atlantique – Atlantic Salmon

The only salmon that calls Europe its real home is the Atlantic Salmon, and it is France's best-selling fish, just ahead of cod.  It will be on the menu marinated, fried, poached, grilled, and smoked. Salmon is also number two in the fish restaurant popularity stakes just after fresh cod.
                
The Atlantic Salmon's French names include Saumon; Saumon Atlantique; Tacon  Atlantique; Saumon Baltic; Saumon Écossais; Saumon Norvégien or Saumon Sauvage. The English names for the Atlantic Salmon include Salmon, Atlantic Salmon, Black Salmon, Baltic Salmon Sea  Salmon, Silver salmon, Irish Salmon, Scotch Salmon, Norwegian Salmon, and Wild Salmon. 

All these names and more indicate the only type of salmon found anywhere in Europe.




Atlantic Salmon on French menus:
            
Carpaccio de Saumon, (Huile d'Olive, Toasts) – Salmon Carpaccio flavored with olive oil and served with toast on the side.
          

Carpaccio de Saumon
www.flickr.com/photos/manoelpetry/5264945056/
    
Dos de Saumon en Croute d'Herbes, Sauce Paloise - A thick cut from the back of the salmon, baked in a crust of herbs, and served with a Sauce Paloise, a granddaughter, or perhaps a grandson of one of France’s mother sauces, Sauce Hollandaise.      (Sauce Paloise is a minty version on Sauce Bearnaise, itself developed from Sauce Hollandaise).
              
Grilled salmon with teriyaki sauce.
 
Hure de Saumon – Translated without any good reason as salmon head cheese, or the nearly as bad, salmon pate since this dish is neither.  Hure de saumon is a fillet of salmon and parsley; steamed or braised and then prepared for display with a gelatin coating, nothing to do with a salmon’s head, any type of cheese or pate.  A hure de saumon will be served cold with fresh mayonnaise and is often part of a buffet offering.

Millefeuille de Saumon Fumé, Sorbet Citron Vert  – Layers of smoked salmon interleaved with a vegetable, and served with lime sorbet.  With salmon, in season, the vegetable that most often makes the millefeuille in this dish will be thin slices of avocado.  (N.B. Smoking, both hot and cold, is an important tool in French cuisines).

Pavé de Saumon Norvégien à la Provençale – A thick cut of Norwegian farm-raised Atlantic salmon prepared with a traditional Provençale recipe. The dish will include lots of tomatoes, and the Provençale flavor will be coming from the herb group called the Herbes de Provence, along with shallots and a small amount of garlic, local black olives and parsley. Additions such as cream or crème fraiche and white wine are at the chef’s discretion; however, they were not part of the traditional recipe. (This menu listing highlights Norwegian Salmon, but Norwegian Salmon is the same Atlantic Salmon farmed elsewhere in Europe). 
    
Dos de Saumon Sauce à l'Aneth
A thick cut of salmon with a dill sauce.
www.flickr.com/photos/marsupilami92/6927644262/
    
Saumoneau de Fontaine Sauce Suprème aux Cèpes - Young salmon (smolt) from the river served with a sauce supreme and cepes, the French porcini mushrooms. Sauce Supreme is a white sauce made with veal or chicken stock, butter and crème fraiche; here the stock may be a fumet, a fish stock.

Saumon Ecossaise Label Rouge
Farmed Scottish salmon hold the French Label Rouge, red label, for consistent quality and concerned animal husbandry.


Label Rouge – The red label of quality


RSPCA label of Freedom food
     
Scottish farmed salmon was the first non-French product to be awarded the French Label Rouge, red label. The Scottish Label Rouge salmon also comes with the British RSPCA label of Freedom food.  The RSPCA, Freedom Food Rating is the highest standard for farmed-fish in the world. The RSPCA inspects cleanliness, type of food, prevents overcrowding and ensures the absolute minimum of discomfort when the fish are brought in.       

This Scottish salmon is so flavorful and is farmed under such uniquely clean and controlled conditions that only five Scottish salmon farms have so far been awarded the French red label of excellence.



  
Filet de Saumon Écossais Label Rouge à l'Unilatérale, Pommes Sautées au Persil – A filet of Scottish label rouge salmon lightly fried through from the skin side of the filet, and served with boiled potatoes flavored with parsley. Cooking fish à l'unilatérale is considered the best way to fry a filet of fish; by cooking only on the skin side of the filet, the flavor of the fish is not affected by the cooking oil as it would be if cooked on both sides.
   
Blanquette de Saumon Écossais Label Rouge aux Girolles, Marrons et Graines de Moutarde -  A stew of red label Scottish salmon served with girolle chanterelle mushroomschestnuts and flavored with mustard grains.  The recipes for blanquette stews almost always include mushrooms and a cream sauce; many recipes include white wine. France has many chestnut forests, and the recipes that include chestnuts are endless. 
         
Salade de jambon cru et saumon Francaise fumé
A salad of cured ham and French smoked salmon
Two different tastes and textures that go so well together


Saumon Fumé – Smoked Salmon.
   
Many French chefs smoke their own salmon.  When you see, on a French menu, Fumé Maison, home-smoked, then the chef is in charge of the smoking;  that will be smoked salmon made with love; it will not have come from a commercial smoker.

Salade d’Asperges Vertes, Saumon Fumé et Son Œuf Poché – A salad of green asparagus served with smoked salmon and a poached egg.
  
Saumon Fumé Maison et Ses Toasts – Home smoked salmon served with warm toast.

Saumon Cru or Saumon Mariné
Marinated salmon or cured salmon.

Cured salmon is sometimes mistranslated as raw; sashimi is raw, saumon cru is not, it will have been marinated. I have had fabulous meals that included marinated salmon; twice, once in Paris, and once in Lyon, I enjoyed the nearest thing to the “absolute” saumon mariné.

Saumon Mariné à l'Aneth – Salmon marinated in dill.  Dill is the most popular herb, in France, for marinating salmon, and it is applied with a light touch. The result maybe some of the best-marinated salmon you will ever encounter. When saumon mariné à l'aneth is on the menu, do not pass it by.
   
Marinated salmon
www.flickr.com/photos/birdies-perch/1794151133/
   
Saumon Mariné au Citron Vert et Aneth -  Salmon marinated in lime juice and dill. When thinly sliced I think that French marinated salmon is the only salmon that comes close to the texture of the very best and thinly sliced smoked salmon.
         
Saumon Gravlax, Gravadlax or Gravad Lax
              
Gravlax is a dish of Scandinavian origin; it is the Scandinavian take on marinated salmon, and it preceded the French recipe. Gravlax has a different texture and taste; it is made with whole filets of salmon, cured in a nearly, but not quite, freezing, mixture of salt, sugar, pepper, and dill; it is served thinly sliced though not as thin as the French marinated salmon.
  
Gravlax
www.flickr.com/photos/ethorson/3148591844/
       
During a visit to Sweden, I was told that the name gravlax comes from the Swedish be-grava meaning “to bury” and the word lax, means “salmon.”  The name indicates that the recipe preceded refrigerators when it would have been wild, not farmed salmon that was buried and marinated under the snow for two or three days during the long winter.  With snow expected nine months a year in many parts of Sweden that was probably close to the home, almost certainly close to the kitchen door.

Saumon Sauvage de l'Adour Mariné Façon Gravlax, Tomates Confites, Câpres et Fleur d'Ail -  Wild salmon from the Adour River, prepared as Gravlax and served with a thick jam, a confit, of tomatoes and flavored with capers and garlic flowers.  The Adour is one of France’s shorter rivers; it rises in the Pyrenees and flows in an arc for nearly 330 km before reaching the sea below the city of Bayonne. Despite the Ardour's short length, it is famous for its wild salmon; here, you will be enjoying wild salmon, and since fish are undeniably very much what they eat; the difference in texture and taste to farmed salmon will be evident.

Tartare de Saumon – Salmon Tartar.

Tartare –  The Tatars are the tribes who, under Genghis Khan overran much of Asia and parts of Europe. In the French kitchen, the Tartars are now best remembered for the beef dish created by a French chef in their memory: Steak Tartare, Steak Tartar. Following on that success, another French chef begat Tartare de Saumon, salmon Tartar; that was followed by another chef who begat Tartare de Tomates, tomato Tartar.  From then on, like the real Tartars, there was no stopping them; one after other chefs begat and begot numerous new creations all named after the Tartars.

Tartare de Saumon -  Salmon tartar. Diced, marinated, fresh uncooked salmon prepared together with diced onions, chives, eggs, capersparsley, olive oil, pepper, and lemon juice. The spiciness the French chef will have added will come from Tobacco or horseradish or Worcester Sauce. Tartare de Saumon will be served as an entrée, the French first course.
  
Tartare de Saumon Pamplemousse
Salmon and grapefruit Tatar.
    
Tartare de Saumon Baltic Fumé à l'Aneth et au Citron Vert –  Baltic salmon, smoked with dill and flavored with lime.   The usage of the name Baltic salmon is just menuise (the language of menus) as the Baltic salmon is the same fish as the Atlantic Salmon. The fish offered here came from a Baltic Sea salmon-farm, and so they will not be too different to Norwegian farmed salmon as they will be fed the same food. Despite my caveat, there are the wild salmon that inhabit the Baltic sea, rivers, and fiords of the countries around the sea. The brackish water of the Baltic provides different foods supplies for the wild salmon who live there, and that certainly provides a different taste. The Baltic sea does connect to the North Sea and so from there into the Atlantic.  Look at the Baltic Sea is virtually surrounded by Sweden, Finland, the Danish Islands, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, and Russia.
   
Over 98% of salmon on sale in French fish-markets and on restaurant menus will be the Atlantic salmon; it will have been farm-raised in Norway, Ireland, Scotland and a few other European countries. The other 2% of Atlantic Salmon will be saumon sauvage, wild Atlantic salmon, from the Atlantic or the North Sea, Scottish rivers or France’s own rivers. A small amount of wild salmon, mostly saumon rouge, sockeye salmon, also called red salmon, is imported, frozen, from North America.  I have heard that some wild saumon rose, humpback salmon may come from Russia or the North of Sweden to which it has migrated.  If the humpback salmon migrate any further south, we may see this member of the salmon family claiming a European Union passport   
     
Lunchtime
www.flickr.com/photos/35363841@N04/4935996595/
        
The Atlantic Salmon in the languages of France’s neighbors:

(Dutch – zalm), (German – Atlantischer lachs, lachs), (Italian –salmone atlantico), (Spanish – salmón), (Latin - salmo salar).

Below are the French names for other salmon species; many countries have excellent French restaurants and excellent French chefs,  and they may be serving a salmon other than Atlantic salmon.

The other salmon
Rarely,  if ever on a European menu.

Saumon Argenté or Saumon Coho - Coho salmon.
(Latin - oncorhynchus kisutch).

Saumon Chinook or Saumon Royale – Chinook or King salmon.
(Latin - oncorhynchus tshawytscha).

Saumon Keta or  Saumon du Pacifique - Chum Salmon or Keta salmon.
(Latin - oncorhynchus keta)

Saumon Rose or Saumon Rose à Bosse – Pink salmon or Humpback salmon.
(Latin - oncorhynchus gorbuscha).

Saumon Rouge - Sockeye salmon or Red salmon.
(Latin - oncorhynchus nerka).


Saumon de Fontaine – This is not a salmon; rather this is the brook trout, a tasty member of the trout/salmon family. They area freshwater fish and an excellent menu choice; however, they are not salmon.
  
Brook Trout
     
------------------------------------------
    
Bryan G Newman

Behind the French Menu
Copyright 2010, 2013, 2019

For information on the unpublished book behind this blog, contact Bryan Newman.
at
 
--------------------------------




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Friday, July 12, 2019

Cardine and Limande - Megrim and Dab, the Fish. Cardine and Limande in French Cuisine.

from
Behind the French Menu
by
Bryan G. Newman
  
Megrim
www.flickr.com/photos/biodivlibrary/10574403693/
 
Cardine, Cardine Franche – Megrim in the UK and the Limande – the Dab or Common Dab.  Both of these are flatfish with close family members in the turbot family and flounder families. Their exact names are often confused in the markets and restaurants, but no one will suffer.  These are firm white-fleshed fish which will be prepared with a sauce and they are the equal of many of their larger and more expensive cousins. These are the smaller members of their families and most of those that I have seen were no longer than 25cm (12”).  

In the UK these fish are part of the 40% bi-catch that UK fishermen and women return to the Atlantic as they would be taking up room reserved for the money spinners.  The most popular fish in the UK with 50% of the market, salmon, tuna and cod are mostly imports with all the salmon farmed. (BTW it takes three kilos of wild fish to produce one kilo of farmed salmon).



Where they can the UK crews sell the Megrims and Dabs to the French and the Spanish where these fish are genuinely appreciated; if they don’t manage to sell them most will be thrown back in the sea dead so they can claim they did not exceed their fishing limits. The French public is much more adventurous and happy to see these fish on the menu or in the market at lower  price than brill, plaice or sole.  These fish are easily deboned and served as filets with smaller fish served for one. (Confusion can arrive when Sole Limande, Lemon Sole, is on the menu, this is Lemon Sole and another, larger member of the flounder family.

Filet de Cardine En Croute de Noisette et Café, Poêlée de Salicorne au Beurre Salé et Echalote A  filet of Megrim prepared in a covering of hazelnuts and coffee accompanied by Salicornia (Samphire) pan-fried in salted butter with shallots. (Salted Butter - Beurre Salé, has between 3%- 5% salt and is popular with the morning tartine beurrée. Salicornia or samphire is often called an edible seaweed; it is not.  Salicornia, of which there are many family members, grows in salt marshes and along the coast but not in the sea.


Megrim Meunière
www.flickr.com/photos/herry/6661370951/
  
Limande Meunière Pommes Vapeur – Megrim prepared in a Sauce Meunier and accompanied by steamed potatoes. Sauce Meunière is a classic butter sauce made with lemon juice and parsley added to melted clarified butter.
  
Limande Poêlée Entière, Sauce Vierge -  A whole pan-fried Dab served with a Sauce Vierge. As its name suggests, Sauce Vierge, virgin sauce, includes virgin olive oil and fresh tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice, basil, red wine vinegar, salt, and black pepper. The sauce will be served slightly warm but not cooked as a virgin olive oil loses its flavor when cooked. The sauce will be poured on the fish just before it is served.

Megrim with Caper Butter
www.flickr.com/photos/beckayork/5083548184/



Cardine Farcie aux Huîtres Gillardeau, Oseille, Beurre Blanc au Champagne – Megrim stuffed with Gillardeau oysters flavored with sorrel and served with Champagne and white butter sauce. Gillardeau  oysters come from the family-owned Gillardeau oyster farm that has been farming oysters in the famous oyster fattening grounds of Marennes-Oléron for over 100 years;  Marennes-Oléron is on the Atlantic coast of the department of Charente Maritime now part of the new super-region of Nouvelle Aquitaine. These Label Rouge, red label, oysters are raised on the island of Oleron opposite to where the town of Marennes on the mainland leads to the bridge that connects them.
  
Gillardeau  oysters No 3.
www.flickr.com/photos/claveirole/30295929204/

Suprême de Cardine aux Coques et Crémeux Passion  - A filet of Megrim prepared with cockles and a creamy passion fruit sauce.
  
Coques - Cockles
  
Tronçons de Limande, Asperge Blanche et Carottes Nouvelles, Béarnaise à la Framboise – A filet of  Dab accompanied by white asparagus, young carrots, and Sauce Bearnaise flavored with raspberries. (Tronçon is the original name used for filets from flatfish though despite its origins tronçon is now used for a cut of meat also).
   
White asparagus
www.flickr.com/photos/sunfox/3594612291/

Megrim and Dab are rarely seen in UK fish counters and their cousins caught close to North America are equally sparse though those who live close to the coast and know where the fresh fish markets are will see them fairly often.




 
Cardin - Megrim in the Languages of France’s neighbors:
 
Catalan - bruixa), (Dutch - scharretong), (German - scheefschnut), (Italian -rombo giallo), (Spanish  - ojito  ), (Latin - lepidorhombus whiffiagonis).

Limande – Dab in the languages of France’s neighbors:
 
(Catalan - limanada), (Dutch - schar), (German - kliesche), (Italian - limanda), (Spanish  - limanda),  (Latin – limanda limanda).
 
-----------------------

Bryan G. Newman
Behind the French Menu
Copyright 2010, 2019.

For information on the unpublished book behind this blog write to Bryan Newman
at
behindthefrenchmenu@gmail.com

---------------------------



Searching for the meaning of words, names or phrases
on
French menus?

Just add the word, words, or phrase that you are searching for to the words "Behind the French Menu" (best when including the inverted commas), and search with Google or Bing,  Behind the French Menu’s links, include hundreds of words, names, and phrases that are seen on French menus. There are over 450 articles that include over 4,000 French dishes with English translations and explanations.



----------------------------
  
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