December 07 2010
We had just arrived at the door of a good friend in London, who was renowned for laying out a sumptuous feast. This particular evening he had surpassed himself, with a white-suited butler serving champagne and dainty canapés made by our host himself. And he was especially proud of his new find, a range of smoked fish organically farmed from sustainable resources off a small private island off the Atlantic west coast of Ireland. A few minutes later, we were all more than happy to agree. Inish Turk Beg’s cold-smoked salmon tastes like smoked salmon used to taste before it became the mass-market product that it is today.
Each fish is hand-filleted before being cold-smoked with beechwood and a touch of seaweed gathered from the shore. It’s got a fresh, subtle flavour with just a hint of beech from the smoking. Their gravadlax is also flavoursome; along with salt, sugar and dill, it is marinated with a splash of organic whiskey which, you’ve guessed it, is also produced on the island.
Inish Turk Beg is big on self-sufficiency. A privately-owned island off the coast of County Mayo, not only do they produce their own organically smoked fish, whiskey and bacon, they have a stud farm which is home to the finest Connemara stallions and broodmares; there are also six holiday cottages designed by European young architect of the year, Andrew Wright.
Other products in the smoked fish range include succulent smoked wild mackerel and albacore tuna, all line caught off the Atlantic west coast. If you can’t get to the island itself, get a flavour of it from Harvey Nichols, Harrods or Selfridges. Alternatively you can buy direct from the website.
Smoked salmon, from £7.95 for 100g.