What is Nova?
Nova originally got its name from Nova Scotia, where the salmon was fished. Now, Nova refers to a specific type of smoked salmon. Nova smoked salmon is actually what one might associate with bagels and cream cheese. It might be labeled “Nova lox” at the deli, but smoked Nova salmon is not lox and the label is a misnomer.
The delicious Nova is salmon that has been cured and cold smoked. It is known for incredibly thin slices and silky texture. Nova has a strong fishy flavor compared to other cured or smoked salmon.
How is Nova Made?
A smoked salmon cut typically uses an entire side of a salmon’s body. The size of the salmon determines if the fish will be cured or brined. Smaller salmon are cured in salt, and bigger salmon are cut into smaller pieces and brined.
Once the cut of salmon has been either cured or brined, it is then smoked. Nova is a type of cold smoked salmon. Cold smoking occurs under 90°F for periods of up to 18 hours.
Nova is sliced paper thin. Its width is one of its defining characteristics, and what makes Nova easy to layer on bagels, sandwiches, toast, or crackers.
How Much Does Nova Cost?
It’s Saturday morning, and you have been sent out for a weekend bagel run. Wait, no deli nearby? Order smoked nova online!
Nova primarily comes in 8 oz or 1 lb order options. The 8-ounce option usually costs between $22 to $30, and 1 pound usually costs between $45 to $60. Smoked salmon is shipped in either a vacuum-sealed pack, or frozen. Both packaging options can be easily stored and help prolong Nova’s shelf life.
Comparing Nova to Other Smoked or Cured Salmon
There are tons of different ways to prepare and order salmon.
As mentioned above, lox and Nova are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are not the same type of prepared salmon. Lox is made from the belly fat of salmon and has been cured in salt. Cold smoked lox does not exist. Lox and smoked Nova have a similar texture from the cut and curing process, but lox lacks the Nova’s smoky flavor because it has not been smoked.
Other popular types of cold smoked salmon include Scottish salmon, which is a fatty salmon that holds a lot of moisture, and Western Nova, which is made using wild king salmon, a lean salmon with a stronger flavor.
Gravlax is a salmon delicacy from Scandinavia. The fish is cured in a flavorful combination of sugar, salt, spices, aquavit, fresh dill, and citrus. Like lox, gravlax is not smoked. Its flavor comes from the curing process and can be fairly intense.
Hot smoked salmon is smoked at temperatures around 120 to 145°F for around 8 hours. Both the taste and texture of hot smoked salmon is different from a cold smoked salmon, like smoked Nova. Hot smoked salmon is thick and flaky, whereas cold smoked salmon is thin and silky smooth.
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