Cured salmon also known as gravlax is a silky smooth salmon cured in a mixture of salt, sugar and spices. It is Nordic in origin and its preparation goes back to the Middle Ages. In ancient times the salmon was fermented and salted then buried in sand, hence the name “grava” , to dig. Essentially the salmon is coated in the brining mixture then tightly wrapped in plastic film, placed under a weight and refrigerated for 2-3 days(if your fillet is thinner or not very fatty, reduce the curing time). Salt draws the moisture out of the salmon’s flesh, changing its texture and taste. The weight helps draw moisture out and infuse flavor into the fish. At the end of the curing period, rinse the salmon and slice thinly to enjoy. The first time you try curing your own salmon, start with a classic mix of seasonings such as lemon and dill. A current popular trend is to use alcohol, such as whiskey or bourbon, for flavor with the salt/spice mix. My 3/4 pound salmon fillet was cured in equal parts of kosher salt, granulated sugar(1cup each), a teaspoon of each fennel seeds and peppercorns, the zests of an orange, a lemon and a lime and a handful of chopped lemon balm herb from the garden. Get creative and have fun with different flavor combinations! Cured salmon can cost up to $25 a pound. Making your own is far more economical, fresher, takes only a few minutes of hands-on time and is free of any chemical preservatives. This was a really fun culinary activity with a delicious final result!