Lox on Bagel, Atlanta GA.jpg
Lox on bagel
CourseBreakfast or lunch
Main ingredientsLox, cream cheese, bagel
  • Cookbook: Lox
  •   Media: Lox
A "lox and a schmear" refers to a bagel and cream cheese with lox. This dish is a part of American Jewish cuisine.
A bagel, lox, and cream cheese sandwich, before assembly

Lox (Yiddish: לאַקס‎) is a fillet of brined salmon. Lox is one type of salmon product often served on a bagel with cream cheese,[1][2] and is usually garnished with tomato, sliced onion, cucumbers, and capers.


The American English word lox[3] is derived from the Yiddish word for salmon, לאַקס laks (cf. German Lachs, Swedish Lax), which ultimately derives from the Germanic word for salmon, *laks-.[4] The word lox has cognates in numerous Germanic languages. For example, cured salmon in Scandinavian countries is known by different versions of the name gravlax or gravad laks. (lax or laks means "salmon" in the Scandinavian languages.) Its wide distribution likely means it existed in its current form in a Proto-Indo-European language.[5]

Similar products

  • Nova or Nova Scotia salmon, sometimes called Nova lox, is cured with a milder brine and then cold-smoked. The name dates from a time when much of the salmon in New York City came from Nova Scotia. Today, however, the name refers to the milder brining, as compared to regular lox (or belly lox), and the fish may come from other waters or even be raised on farms.
  • Scotch or Scottish-style salmon. A mixture of salt and sometimes sugars, spices, and other flavorings is applied directly to the meat of the fish; this is called "dry-brining" or "Scottish-style." The brine mixture is then rinsed off, and the fish is cold-smoked.
  • Nordic-style smoked salmon. The fish is salt-cured and cold-smoked.
  • Gravad lax or gravlax. This is a traditional Nordic means of preparing salmon. The salmon is coated with a spice mixture, which includes dill, sugars, salt. It may also include spices like juniper berry, fennel, allspice or coriander. It is often served with a sweet mustard-dill sauce.

Other similar brined and smoked fish products are also popular in delis and “appetizing stores”, particularly in Northeastern cities that received significant Jewish, Eastern European and Russian immigration, such as New York City, Philadelphia and Chicago, including chubs, sable, smoked sturgeon, smoked whitefish, and kippered herring.

See also


  1. ^ "No Schmear Job: A Brief History of Bagels and Lox". NPR. September 21, 2013. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  2. ^ Canavan, Hillary Dixler (June 30, 2014). "The Classic Bagel and Salmon Sandwich at Russ & Daughters in New York City". Eater. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  3. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". etymonline.com.
  4. ^ "lox". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  5. ^ Nurkiyazova, Sevind J (13 May 2019). "The English Word That Hasn't Changed in Sound or Meaning in 8,000 Years". Nautilus (science magazine). Retrieved 13 May 2019.