Lox vs. Nova

What's the Difference?

Lox and Nova are both types of smoked salmon, but they have some key differences. Lox is traditionally made from the belly of the salmon and is cured in a mixture of salt, sugar, and sometimes dill. It has a silky texture and a mild, buttery flavor. On the other hand, Nova is made from the salmon fillet and is cold-smoked, giving it a firmer texture and a smokier taste. While Lox is often enjoyed on bagels with cream cheese and capers, Nova is commonly used in sandwiches or salads. Ultimately, the choice between Lox and Nova depends on personal preference and the desired flavor and texture.


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First Release20142020
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Further Detail


Lox and Nova are two popular types of smoked salmon that are enjoyed by seafood lovers around the world. While both Lox and Nova are delicious and offer a unique flavor profile, they do have some distinct differences. In this article, we will explore the attributes of Lox and Nova, including their taste, texture, preparation methods, and cultural significance.


When it comes to taste, Lox and Nova offer different experiences. Lox, which is traditionally made from the belly of the salmon, has a rich and buttery flavor. It is often described as being milder and less salty compared to Nova. On the other hand, Nova, also known as Nova Scotia salmon, has a stronger and saltier taste. The flavor of Nova is more pronounced and can be slightly smoky, making it a favorite among those who prefer a bolder taste.


The texture of Lox and Nova also differs. Lox has a silky and smooth texture that melts in your mouth. It is often sliced thinly and has a delicate, almost velvety feel. On the other hand, Nova has a firmer texture with a slight chewiness. The texture of Nova is more substantial, making it a great choice for those who enjoy a heartier bite.

Preparation Methods

Both Lox and Nova undergo a curing and smoking process, but the methods used are slightly different. Lox is traditionally cured in a mixture of salt, sugar, and sometimes dill. It is then cold-smoked at a lower temperature, which gives it a delicate flavor. Nova, on the other hand, is cured in a similar manner but is then hot-smoked at a higher temperature. This hot-smoking process imparts a stronger smoky flavor to the fish.

Cultural Significance

Lox and Nova hold cultural significance in different regions. Lox is commonly associated with Jewish cuisine and is a staple in Jewish delis and bagel shops. It has become an iconic part of the classic New York City bagel and lox breakfast. On the other hand, Nova is named after Nova Scotia, a Canadian province known for its rich fishing heritage. Nova Scotia salmon has been enjoyed by Canadians for generations and is often featured in various Canadian dishes.

Usage and Pairings

Both Lox and Nova can be enjoyed in various ways and are versatile ingredients in the kitchen. Lox is often served on bagels with cream cheese, red onions, and capers. It can also be used in salads, sushi rolls, or as a topping for scrambled eggs. Nova, with its bolder flavor, is a great addition to sandwiches, omelets, or as a topping for pizzas. It pairs well with cream cheese, dill, cucumbers, and other ingredients that can balance its saltiness.

Availability and Price

When it comes to availability and price, Lox and Nova may differ depending on your location. Lox is more commonly found in Jewish delis and specialty stores, particularly in areas with a significant Jewish population. It is often priced higher due to its traditional curing and smoking process. Nova, on the other hand, is more widely available in supermarkets and seafood markets. It is generally more affordable compared to Lox, making it a popular choice for those looking for a delicious smoked salmon option without breaking the bank.


In conclusion, Lox and Nova are both delicious types of smoked salmon that offer unique attributes. Lox has a milder and buttery taste with a silky texture, while Nova has a stronger and saltier flavor with a firmer texture. The preparation methods, cultural significance, and usage of Lox and Nova also vary. Whether you prefer the delicate and velvety Lox or the bold and smoky Nova, both options are sure to satisfy your cravings for a delectable seafood experience.

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