In today’s blog, Christine & Christoph from Ardshealach Smokehouse write about their recent trip to the Loch Duart farm in Scourie. They have also provided one of their own smoked Loch Duart salmon recipes for you to try at home.
« Our recent two-day visit to Loch Duart fish farm was a great experience for Christoph and I, from Ardshealach Smokehouse. We had the most amazing journey and were warmly welcomed by the chef from Loch Duart, Patrick Evans, and then settled into a lovely bed and breakfast nearby.
Loch Duart trip
The purpose of the trip was to visit the farm, with the aim of discovering how Loch Duart farm their delicious and sustainable salmon. What we learnt from our trip was that the fish from Loch Duart, from beginning to end, grow up naturally in their own time. What was most interesting, was that Loch Duart sits in front of the hatchery and Loch Yucal supplies fresh water so that no artificial lights and temperatures need to be enforced.
After our tour of the hatchery, we then went to Laxford to discover one of Loch Duarts fish farms. The journey was absolutely fantastic as the sun was shining down on us whilst we were cruising over the water by boat. It was interesting to see that the fish are constantly being monitored to check whether they are healthy and safe from seals and seagulls. One of the interesting things about the way that they feed their salmon was the accuracy and precision used in the process. The fish get fed suitably to their size and Loch Duart is cautious that the fish don’t get over or under-fed. One of the fascinating methods that are implemented within the farm is the ways the fish are treated when unwell through algae. Loch Duart has put a system into place for the fish to swim into freshwater tanks for recovery. Simply amazing!
Aside from our visit to see the fish grow up, Patrick put a lot of effort into his slideshow about Loch Duart and the cooking of his three-course meal which included the most delicious salmon. An exciting part of the evening of Patrick’s cooking was his blind tasting session which explored three different salmons of which one was from Loch Duart. It was definitely noticeable that the Loch Duart salmon was simply the best.
As we are a smokery that focuses on quality, we really value the fact that a small independent farm is putting so much effort in the growth of healthy and happy fish with such an extraordinary taste. We would like to thank Loch Duart’s team for an amazing visit that was full of informative information but also a great experience.
As our business is mainly focused on quality, we put great importance on the quality of our fish and ingredients. We especially love the fact that Loch Duart salmon farming is sustainable, environmentally friendly and does not use growth promoters or antibiotics. The all natural approach is rare to find today, and thus we are delighted to use this high-quality fish for use in our smokery, which is located on the West Coast of Scotland in Glenuig.
Our smokery is a family run business that values traditional methods in its products. Some of these methods involved in creating our smoked salmon include traditional filleting, dry curing with sea salt, trimming, hand slicing, interleaving, packing, and fine smoking that is timed to perfection with the use of whisky barrel oak chips for an authentic Scottish taste.
Ardshealach customer, Will, describes the smoked Loch Duart Salmon as « a match made in heaven » when paired with a high-quality New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
The process takes great efforts and is time-consuming but the difference that this creates, from industrially produced salmon, is the impeccable taste held within the salmon. As a business, we love to try out new things for the experience of new flavours. One of our favourites has to be the smoked duck that is cured in a lovely red wine sauce.
We are constantly seeking for excellence and have a great passion for quality food and that is why we take the traditional, hand made method so seriously. We are proud to say that no additives, dyes, or artificial flavour enhancers are used in any of our products in order to achieve a healthy product with great taste.
Occasional holiday visitor to the shop, Sarah, claims that both the sliced, and fillets of salmon are « the best she has ever tasted ».
Many of our products have won taste awards but the biggest motivator for us is the interactions with customers and the lovely comments that they make. »
Christine and Christoph have shared a recipe of Ardshealach Smoked Salmon with Freshly Baked Potato Fritters and Sour Cream with Herbs for you to try at home. You can find many other recipes like this in the Recipe section of our website. Loch Duart features Ardshealach Smokehouse on our website, along with all other stockists of our salmon. You can find your nearest stockist by entering your postcode into our How to Buy tool.