1. Hello Iacopo, could you introduce yourself and Smokin' Brothers?
I am Iacopo, co-founder of Smokin’ Brothers a brand focused exclusively on handcrafting sustainable smoked salmon delivered in 100% plastic free and compostable materials. We are three very good friends from Italy with a completely different skillset, young and extremely passionate about food. When we first arrived in UK, we would never imagined that 6 years later we would have started a smoked salmon brand, or that we would have live together for so long that we can considers ourselves a family. London took us and inspired us to make a difference.
We aim to bring our Italian food philosophy to a traditionally northern product that is smoked salmon. We believe in simplicity and high quality of raw ingredients to craft superior products.
2. What are your main criteria for selecting the salmons and farms you are working with?
We source our salmon just from certified farms in Scotland that comply with our sustainability ethos and with the finest quality standard. All the salmon we source are IGP and RSCPA certified. We use fresh fishes every week, never freezing stock.
3. Could you explain what is the difference between wild, organic and regular salmon?
Wild salmon is extremely seasonal. It can be fished here in UK mostly over the summer. However, with nowadays smoked salmon consumption the wild salmon would be extinct since many years. Most of the wild salmon you find around comes from Alaska and the majority of the time is overfished. Think about also the impact of logistic to deliver it around the world.
We believe organic salmon is the most sustainable option for the welfare of the fish. Indeed, organic farmed salmon has enough space to swim that in a lifecycle the fishes swim for a distance very similar to wild fishes. Unfortunately, organic farms are very few in UK, and their production is extremely delicate so the producers cannot respond to the demands on a regular base.
Farmed salmon is the most popular across producers and restaurants. But there are farms and farms. Massice productions can be very dangerous for the environment, for the fishes welfare and for our diet. Luckily for us, many farms care about the impact of their choices and do their best to guarantee an healthy environment. For example, our certified suppliers are committed to raise health fishes, of the highest quality and that comply with UK government and relevant authorities standards.
4. How does smoking salmon work? What is the process for smoking?
Our smokery is one of a kind! It looks more like a bespoke Nordic sauna than a smokery. It was designed following two principles: beautiful design, because we believe that every detail around our product matters and aiming to create an environment in which the smoke could have whispered like the wind. The wind effect doesn’t allow the smoke to stand still, which results in a fresher texture and a light smokiness. However, the smoking process is divided in 4 phases: filleting the salmon, curing it with salt, smoking it and slicing it. For every batch we take at least 36 hours to handcraft it.
Curing the filet with salt
Smoking the filets
Slicing the salmon!
5. We are buying the skin and trimmings to make delicious Rillettes with your organic salmon. Could you tell us where they come from?
We have different kind of trimmings: raw ones one which come directly from the filleting process, and smoked ones from the slicing process. We keep bones and skin on during our smoking process, so when we slice the end product we cut out all those part not very good to eat as they are. But we love trimming! Unsmoked trimming, heads and bones are amazing to cook a beautiful fish stock, or even better a salmon bisque. While smoked trimming are perfect for pate, fishes, rillettes etc. We love also the skin! If you deep fried or bake it it become a super crunchy, healthy and tasty snack!
Thank you Iacopo!
Find out more about Smokin Brothers and order their beautiful smoked salmon on their website: https://smokin-brothers.com/