Welcome to Robb Recommends, a regular series in which we suggest something our editors think might just change your life for the better. The products, services and experiences featured herein are independently selected and vetted by Robb Report’s editorial staff. However, we may earn a small commission if you buy something on this page.
You know a piece of smoked salmon is good when it requires practically no help from your gnashers and instead breaks apart effortlessly in your mouth. That sumptuous melt-in-your-mouth texture is only possible when said salmon comes from good stock, is especially fatty and perfectly marbled—like the premium slices from New Zealand King Salmon.
For decades, this New Zealand-based outfit has been raising “best-in-breed” Ōra King salmon in the fresh, clear waters of the Marlborough Sound. Here, the prestigious fish—which represent less than 1 percent of the world’s salmon supply—mature in roomy sea farm pens, where there’s a 98 percent ratio of water to fish. The clean, unpopulated waters cut down the need for chemicals and antibiotics which typically give the fish a subpar flavor.
More from Robb Report
- The World's Most Expensive Snow Crab Just Sold for $46,000 at Auction
- Meet the Young Chef Who Is Changing How the World Thinks About Seafood
- This Airy Charleston Oyster House Is Infused with Puerto Rican Flavors
Praised for its rich taste, high oil content and pronounced marbling, the salmon has become a firm favorite among America’s preeminent chefs—from Daniel Boulud to Thomas Keller—and has all the opulence of raw fatty tuna. Given its bucketload of flavor, you only need a smidge—but where’s the fun in that? I stacked the delicate slices atop a still-warm French baguette until the salmon-to-bread ratio swung well in the fish’s favor. I added cream cheese, capers and washed it all down with the requisite bubbly. All the flavors came together harmoniously. I got around 2 pounds of the good stuff and it was legitimately difficult to stop myself from devouring the whole lot in one day. Take it from me, this is the Smoked Salmon you need for the holidays.
Best of Robb Report
- From Stogies to Table Lighters: The 15 Best Gifts for Cigar Smokers
- Wagyu Beef: 5 Myths About the World's Most Luxurious Steak, Debunked
- 10 Dynamic Restaurants That Broke the Rules of Fine Dining and Defined the Decade