BALIK TSAR NIKOLAJ Smoked Salmon Fillet

Product: Tsar Nikolaj Smoked Salmon Fillet
Brand: Balik
Producer: Switzerland
Country of origin: Switzerland
Region: Switzerland
Town: Toggenburg
Approximate price per kilo: 260 euros/kilo
Approximate weight: 320 gr.
Prizes and recognition: Exclusive sales in Prunier Caviar House shops or website. 
Gourmetsearcher score out of 100: 96/100
Why does it deserve our mention?  Because it is the ideal combination of Norwegian salmon (Salmo Salar) from the fjords, because of their location in the Swiss Alps and their secret smoking method.  Today Balik is a gastronomic jewel owned by Maison Prunier /Caviar House and, 30 years after its commercial launch, it is still considered an example to follow.  The history of this smoked salmon is worthy of a novel.  The recipe is over 150 years old and is the one that was used  by the salmon smokers at the Imperial Russian Court.  The Tsar Nicolaj fillet undergoes a smoking process with a kind of wood that, combined with the pure alpine air and the water from the Swiss mountains exceptional and special properties.  One of the most valued features of Balik is that all of the pieces are smoked at the same intensity so that the final result is a delicate and subtle smoky taste.  It was an encounter between Hans Gerd Kubel, a business man and renowned gourmand, and the master smoker Israel Kaplan, grandson of the smoker of the Imperial Russian Court, that launched this fascinating adventure for Balik. During the time of the Russian Czars, court protocol dictated that this kind of salmon fillets could only be served at State receptions.  Foodies from Russia, Japan, China, India, Saudi Arabia, the US, and all of Europe travel each year by car from Zurich, and crossing the Alps, to visit this small business that for many, has reached the category of small gastronomic shrine.
How should you eat or cook it? By itself in small, one centimeter thick fillets, or with blinis if you prefer.
What wine should you drink with it? A pink Champagne like Billecart Salmon Rose.
How should you keep it? In the refrigerator between 4 and 6 ªC.
Where can you buy it? www.caviarhouse-prunier.com

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