Healthy Living London loves locally sourced, organic food, even when we head out of town, as Susie aka Gourmet Glow found out when she moved to Dorset and discovered the Chesil Smokery. Read on to find out how you can also get your hands on their delicious smoked meats and salmon…
Do you like smoked salmon? I would guess the answer is 50/50 for and against. I admit, it’s an acquired taste, aside from its plethora of health benefits, you have to LIKE it to eat it. But have you had REAL smoked salmon?
The quality and flavour of smoked salmon can vary more than you would realise, with many supermarket brands enhancing their products with preservatives and flavouring such as ‘liquid smoke’, which is essentially a chemical masquerading as a ‘smokey taste’. Even artisan varieties of smoked salmon can be subject to these which, in my opinion gives the final product a cloying, often overpowering mouthfeel. This, I guess, could be the perpetrator for many people not liking it.
When I moved from Surrey to Dorset my main prerogative was to start to become solely reliant on local producers for my ingredients. I wanted to be assured that what I was using in both my home and outside catering was the best quality I could find. By quality, I mean both great taste and ethically sourced products are important to me. Locality, sustainability and welfare all contribute to quality and I want to be assured that morally I am doing the right thing. So, I embarked on the not-so-gruelling task of testing out all the weird and wonderful suppliers in Dorset and Devon to narrow down what I believed to be the best locally sourced products. I’ve uncovered so many gems and the Chesil Smokery is one that I can’t keep to myself (rest assured, it does most of its business online and will deliver nationwide so you won’t miss out….)
The Chesil Smokery makes ‘real’ smoked fish & meats, which means the flavour is so clean and unadulterated that it is a far cry from the cloying stuff I mentioned earlier. In fact it’s a whole different taste sensation. Suspended over slowly smouldering Dorset Oak and Apple, it’s left over time to naturally infuse; no additives or chemicals are used. Every employee undergoes an oath ‘to do the right thing’. By this, they mean using traditional methods and sourcing from the most sustainable and ethical sources. They won’t smoke eel, even if you take one in and ask as it’s under such severe pressure in the wild. They won’t smoke wild salmon either, as they believe it’s better off in the wild than under commercial pressure (and they are right, wild salmon are close to becoming a protected species) and the farmed salmon they use is organic so the farming mechanism does not impact the environment.
It doesn’t just stop at fish either. Whilst the salmon (both hot and cold) is fantastic, I’ve also sampled many of its delicious meats. Chicken (free-range from Devon) is succulent and mild and calling out for a summery salad with grilled nectarines. Grouse (wild from the heather clad Pennine Hills) is earthy and rich, perfect with some pickled blackberries. The duck (free-range from Devon) was perfectly pink and not too smokey that it overpowered the delicate flavour of the breast itself. I enjoyed it with a sweet Korean salad and kimchi. I just can’t wait to try the venison when it comes into season.
Even though the Chesil Smokery won’t compromise on the quality of their ingredients, they remain very competitively priced. I’m lucky enough to be able to go in person to pick up what I need and it’s so refreshing to see them at work, actually smoking the produce in front of me. Plus, there is the added benefit that they are all so lovely there.
So, go and place an order, even if it’s just out of curiosity, I’m sure it will be worth your while. If not, they even do a money back guarantee!
Tel: 01308 456306