6 Smoked Fish Holiday Traditions from Around The World

smoked salmon gift

Season’s greetings! It’s that time of year again. Thanksgiving is behind us and the holidays are in full swing. Many of us agree that some of our best holiday memories have been made enjoying family, friends, and great food. Across this diverse company, we were curious to see how different cultures used smoked fish throughout their holiday celebrations. And you know what? We found some pretty interesting traditions! You never know, they might even inspire you to try a new recipe or two. If you do, don’t be shy and tag us on social!


smoked salmon latkes


Our smoked salmon on a latke is a transcendental experience for those that celebrate Hanukkah. Okay, transcendental may be stretching it, but you get the point. It’s really good. These fried potato pancakes have become inextricably linked to the festival of lights. Why? Because foods fried in oil are symbolic of the eight days the blessed oil burned in the lamp of legend. If you’re old school, salty lox on a latke with a dollop of sour cream probably sounds as good as Hanukkah pronounced with a chet. For the casual type, schmear it with some whitefish salad, because it’s eight days’ worth of noshing. 

Recipe: Smoked Salmon and Potato Pancakes


pickled herring smorrebrod


In Denmark, it’s all about the herring! Over Christmas supper, the Danes dine on open-faced sandwiches of herring in wine and rye bread. Check out a twist on this tradition. Family and friends toast one another with the salute, “Time for the herring to swim!” while touching glasses of akvavit, a spirit distilled with caraway. An apt tribute to these little fish. Swim on little fishes!

Recipe: Herring Smørrebrød


smoked salmon pasta feast


Italians celebrate Christmas Eve with an epic seafood extravaganza called The Feast of the Seven Fishes. It features at least seven different kinds of seafood served throughout seven separate courses. Steeped in tradition, the Feast of the Seven Fishes is the centerpiece meal of the entire holiday season. If this is how you’ll be celebrating Christmas Eve, check out our Store Locator that can help you find your seven (smoked) fishes (and more for good luck)! Go BIG or go home, am I right?

Recipe: Smoked Salmon Pasta


smoked salmon pie


The English love their pies. And it’s not Christmas in England without fish pie. Think shepherd’s pie, but with seafood. If you’ve never heard an Englishman wax poetic about fish pie, you’ve probably never met an Englishman. A great twist on this tradition is using our hot smoked salmon or whitefish in place of the unsmoked varieties. 

Recipe: British Fish Pie With Smoked Salmon, Shrimp, and Mashed Potatoes


smoked salmon sushi


Japanese love fish and it is no surprise that chirashi-zushi would be a common feature at Japanese holiday parties. Chirashi-zushi means “scattered sushi”, so think sashimi casually arranged on a plate or over rice. How about inviting some of our togarashi smoked salmon to the party to jazz up the classic. If you develop a taste for smoked fish in sushi after this one, we encourage you to try one of our other Japanese sushi-inspired recipes, such as our Togarashi Smoked Salmon Sushi Roll or our Smoked Sablefish and Avocado Rice Ball.

Recipe: Chirashi Zushi

pickled herring canape

What would a Swedish Christmas be without matjes herring? “Not much of a Christmas at all,” according to an Acme Smoked Fish fan from who had ten jars shipped to Texas for the holidays to get a taste of home. Pickled herring with goat cheese and apple combines the salty and subtly sour umami smack of our pickled herring, with the sweet and lightly tart flavors of green apple. Here is a recipe that excites the taste buds and leaves you wanting more. This complex and savory use of our pickled herring finishes smooth on the palate with creamy goat cheese and cool radish.

Recipe: Pickled Herring Canape with Goat Cheese and Apple

At Acme, we’re all about celebrating diversity and sharing good food with loved ones. We had fun learning about different applications of smoked fish from around the world and sharing them with you. Hopefully you did too! And if you were inspired to try one of these recipes, let us know by tagging us on social media!


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