CHC Canada 150 Food Blog Challenge
Prelude: I am definitely a proud Canadian so when the Culinary Historians of Canada invited food bloggers to participate in a Canada 150 Food Blog Challenge – well, that is something I just have to do! What a great way to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday by honouring our country with a different Canadian dish every month. The first topic is fish and seafood, so I am sharing my recipe for Potlatch Salmon with you, plus a wee bit of background about the history of potlatch.
Potlatch Salmon – have you heard of it? Potlatch Salmon is one of our family’s favourite ways to serve fish. It has turned many folks from being fish dislikers to fish lovers – it is all about the glaze. First, though, we should take a look at the term Potlatch and understand the source. Potlatch is a term derived from Canada’s Northwest Coast aboriginal groups that symbolized an abundant feast, typically held in winter often using indigenous food that had been dried and preserved throughout the year. The feast was held for life events such as weddings, funerals or births. Roughly translated, it means a feast of ‘giving’. Tables at the Potlatch feast overflowed with food, generally far more than could be consumed with the idea that it would be shared amongst the guests to take home.
While Potlatch feasts are not as common today, traditional dishes that were once served at these events, of course, are still enjoyed by one and all. One of our favourites is Potlatch Salmon. What is Potlatch Salmon, exactly? Typically, it is an entire filet of salmon (skin on), spread with a simple, yet unique dry rub and cooked over an open flame or barbecue. The dry rub turns magically into a luscious sauce which can also be used as a glaze. For the purposes of this post, I will explain the method and technique of making Potlatch Salmon three different ways using slightly altered techniques that you can enjoy as an appetizer, lunch, dinner or at your own family feast. Try it with bannock, another traditional dish. I show you how to make bannock in this post.