2nd chapter of our “visiting tour” to the producers from the Restaurant. Meanwhile obviously enjoying the sun with unfiltered – toasted beer in good company of friends.
Smoking? Yessssssssssssssssssssssssssssss… – FUMONT
2 very crazy ladies who was thinking to change the world.
And they did.
They did it easily – and won everything with their amazing rainbow trout caviar. Sorry. SMOKED rainbow trout caviar.
cold smoked rainbow trout caviar – delicacy, there are days when u just can not smoke it
But lets just jump back to the beggining. I am sure its a long long story what they could share about their past and it must have been a pretty tough way to get here…. but love challenge, right?!
We heard stories of the United States… then from Alaska (which i liked the most) ending up some how in England…. and finally in Spain, next to Barcelona in a little town – called Sant Iscle De Vallalta.
Meg and Maggie had a dream together. A dream to smoke. :) Sounds really cool to me. So they found an abandoned building on the most quiet corner of this town and started to work. With a dream but without money. By their own hands from brick to brick.
It was 5 years ago. And people came – checked it out – liked it …. helped. Lots of donations, any kind (materials, furnitures etc). Meg and Maggie are still keep going. From brick to brick, from one idea to another. The place still needs a lot of work – but u feel the soul in every piece they put in the right place.
There is an opened kitchen (seems more like a laboratory or research center) where they do magic. Mostly Meg does it with her very best friend “Kate”. “Kate” is pretty delicate and smoking – a lot, however it works better only for the cold proccess. I had a chance to see her closer – basically an oven with a special air-circulating system and a place where u can put your “magic smoker box” on the bottom. Although it has got heater inside if u want to do hot smoking – but for this job…. The Ladies has got the idea of “Brutus” in their head, another smoker with much more potential and heat. Hopefully he is coming soon.
So … the reason i love this little business… cause MEG is kindofexactlythesame like me. Pushing forward by ideas with a passion for experimenting. Better 24 hours a day – if its possible PLEASE :)
Lets see, what they do…. ( soon they will have all the permissions to smoke basically everything )
hot smoked eel from Delta de Ebro
Our very very Very Very VERY favourite is the smoked eel (was not selling in the Monvinic so far – but we see lots of potential – we have been yumming over especially with the salty – oily skin). After this – without any kind of order – we have been trying the mouthwatering trout caviar* and the smoked trout itself.
*footnote: i was never ever keen on the fish eggs – but this one tastes nothing like what u expect and has an unbelievable texture (the tiny balls do not stop busting in your mouth with an explosion of pure flavour)
After a bite of the mediterranean sardines and “salted cod” the ladies were starting to explain the proccess of smoking and shared their kindofsecret experimenting experiences (i am not going to share the details, sorry – but its all about respect).
cold smoked mediterranean sardines in smoked olive oil
They trying different types of wood to create smoke like oak, apple, chestnut – depending on the aroma they need – from very find powder till rustic chips – depending the intensity of smoke they want – season it sometimes with herbs and/or spices… sounds fun!
Till now their main “business” (i can call ·safezone·) was the “FISH”. As i mentioned before – they have been experimenting from years and years to reach the perfect texture and flavour. The key seems to be a kindof curing and/or marinating proccess at the very beggining – to prepair for smoking later on. It can be dry curing just with salt and sugar – or wet by adding water depending on the type of your fish and the result you are trying to reach. Not even mentioning the timing part both for curing and for smoking: CRUCIAL! – sometimes u need to marinate 24 hours then smoke for another 12 hours a specific thing, in another case 40 min curing with 5 hours smoking would do the job.
I need to talk a bit more about hot-and cold smoking as well. Each and every thing u would put inside of “Kate” needs different care and attention to get your perfect result. Just make it clear: cold smoking is happening without raising temperature, reaching maximum 30 degrees. Up to this we are talking about hot smoking (waiting for “Brutus” to come). But before u would start to worry about “which way i should do…..” please stop. No big deal.
First of all – when u add temperature – u cook your stuff. The (best) skandinavian way to smoke&cook your fish is to slowly increase your heat from 30 degrees till 110 – and its done. No magic. I did smoke a duck breast here to show u guys how easy u can play home.
The cold smoking needs a bit more attention (however usually doesnt need temperature control). With this proccess u give a flavour – or i can say u season your food, but u do not cook it. Its still raw – this can cause problems. For this reason u should cure everything before. Sorry…. U DO NEED TO CURE EVERYTHING BEFORE.
If u follow these rules… u can smoke everything. A very basic – seasalt. Although it needs more than 30 hours but u will ended up season everything with it. Or alga. I did use this alga almost in every sauce for fish/seafood and was working like an UMAMI BOMB. Cheese*? Heeeeeeeeeeh… its nothing new. Always fingerlicking.
*footnote: i was shocked when Meg was talking about the differences between fresh and pasteurized (goat) cheese – how they needed to treat/smoke them in a totally totally distinct way.
Let your imagination do the job…
… smoked butter? Hm…. a smoked Hollandaise?
… smoked chocolate? A smoked ganache petit four?
… smoked&cured egg yolk? … amuse bouche? … i think u should continue the list.
Have fun, have a smoke! :)
p.s.: Im really proud to work with you Meg and Maggie! Keep going – worth it!