Pioneer’s Maple Syrup Salmon  

 Indian Candy Salmon or Wigwam Salmon were the mainstay of Canada´s pioneers. When coolers were not an option they combined salmon, salt, maple syrup and hours of smoking to create a sweet treat, good for at least two days out in the harsh wilderness. 

Salmon´s firm texture lends itself to being cured, whether through smoke or just salt. Adding maple syrup was just a way to keep the taste and texture but the result was so delicious it´s now come to be considered a luxury food.  

The salmon has to be salted this dehydrates the met and stops it rotting. Original recipes recommend weighing down or burying the salmon, soaking it in maple syrup and smoking it over hot coals for at least six hours. This is a little easier! 

As always, use the best, local ingredients available. The salt will draw the moisture out of the fish and if the bag begins to fill with liquid, you´re doing it right. A cured piece of salmon will keep fresh in the refrigerator for about five days. Try it with a bite of cucumber and cream cheese for a crisp, fresh taste! 


1/4 cup dark brown sugar 

2 tbsp kosher salt 

1 lb salmon filet 

1/4 cup maple syrup 

coarsely ground black pepper 


1. Mix the sugar and salt in a small bowl 

 2. Lay the salmon skin-side down in the sealable plastic bag, sprinkle sugar and salt mixture evenly over the salmon, and cover generously with maple syrup. Get as much air as possible out of the bag as possible and seal it tightly to make sure the fish is fully covered. Lay the fish in a baking dish and place a plate or another dish on top. 

 3. Weight down the second dish with a few cans or other heavy items and refrigerate, turning every 12 hours or so, for two to three days or until it feels firm and turns a slightly darker color. 

 4. Take the salmon out of the bag and pat dry with paper towels. With a sharp knife, cut the fish from the skin in thin slices and add a little black pepper. Enjoy!