Many folks enjoy purchasing a souvenir from a vacation. Perhaps some coral earrings from a beach trip, or an “I Wrestled An Alligator In The Bayou” T-shirt to evoke a happy memory.
Me? I like to bring home food. Traveling in Tuscany, for example, I returned to Michigan with dried porcini mushrooms, which were sniffed out by dogs and confiscated at customs.
This year’s vacation did not end with barking dogs and stern reprimands, but with a big piece of smoked salmon from our August trip to Northern Michigan. It was the smells of fragrant smoke that led my husband and I to a small fish store in the shadow of the Macinac bridge; hunks of Great Lakes smoked whitefish and salmon sat stacked and glistening in an upright cooler. I transfered the fish to my own cooler, bringing it back to Ann Arbor.
Smoked fish keeps a good long time, refrigerated, and turning it into a favorite smoked fish spread evoked the heat and sunshine of those giddy last days of summer.(I notice Monahan’s Seafood in Kerrytown always stocks a wide variety of smoke fish, so you could make this yummy appie year round.) I’ve made many smoked fish spread recipes in my day, and this one is best of breed. Serve with a sliced baguette and rounds of cucumber.