Gravlax (of Swedish gravad lax, including Danish gravad laks, Norwegian gravlaks, Finnish graavilohi ) or Gravlax literally means originally "buried salmon" or secondary in today's cooking Language "marinated salmon". The method of slightly salting the freshly caught salmon and burying it in the ground for a few weeks or months for fermentation in order to preserve it was developed by the Scandinavians centuries ago; the word gravlaks can be traced back to 1348.
After gutting, the fish were rubbed with pickling substances (dry salt-sugar mixture with dill and possibly other spices and herbs) and then buried in holes in the beach or in the ground for at least three days (dialectal Swedish gravad ) and weighted down with stones. The physical pressure and osmotic pressure of the pickle pulls water out of the salmon meat. At the same time, the fish ferment a little. Due to drying and benign fermentation, other, putrefactive microorganisms no longer find good living conditions, which means that the longer shelf life is achieved. In the past, the fish was also left in the pit for months to make it durable for the winter months. The long fermentation time creates a strong odor. Similar preparation methods with different types of fish are common in many polar regions . However, gravlax is neither as dry nor as long-lasting as air-dried stockfish .
Today the fish is no longer buried, but ripened for a few days in a cool place. To do this, two salmon fillets are rubbed with the pickling mixture on the inside, placed on top of one another and weighted down with a weight. Making gravlaks is one of the household chores commonly performed by men. Fermentation does not take place because of the cold, and the fish does not get quite as dry with the modern method as in traditional production. Real gravlax is not smoked , the shelf life is only achieved through pickling.
Before use, the resulting brine is poured off and the meat is brushed clean. The fish is then cut into very thin slices and served as a starter . For gravlax now mostly a cold, with a lot of will Dill made mustard sauce ( Danish Rævesovs , Swedish Hovmästarsås , in the German language as gravlax salmon sauce known) or potato salad served.
- cf. Svenska Academies ordbok , Volume X, Col. 868, keyword grava v. 3 ( online ). The German naturalized form graved is etymologically incorrect.
- Alan Eaton Davidson : The Oxford Companion to Food . Ed .: Tom Jaine. 3. Edition. Oxford University Press , New York 2014, ISBN 978-0-19-104072-6 , keyword “gravlaks” .