James Bond food smoked salmon

Fleming on smoked salmon

We know that, in the novels, James Bond loves smoked salmon and regards Scottish smoked salmon as the finest. In Moonraker (1955), for example, he tells M, while dining at M’s club, Blades, that he has a mania for the dish. The salmon that’s served is described as having a glutinous texture only achieved by Scottish curers. Scandinavian products are, in contrast, dismissed as being desiccated.

In Diamonds are Forever (1956), Bond is served smoked salmon from Nova Scotia at Sardi’s in New York. The salmon is described as a poor substitute for the product of Scotland.

It comes as little surprise that Bond shared his taste of smoked salmon with his creator, Ian Fleming. In his ‘Atticus’ column published in the Sunday Times on 31st July 1955, Fleming writes that there is no doubt that smoked salmon cured in Scotland is the finest in the world. Fleming also offers some insight into the industry in Scotland, having spoken to a Mr Joe Barnett, a partner in a leading firm of curers. Fleming reports that every year in Britain, three million pounds of salmon are smoked and that one and a half million pounds of smoked salmon consumed.

Next time you have smoked salmon, serve the slices with buttered brown bread, just as Bond has it in Blades (silver tray optional).

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