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What Happens in a Smokehouse and Making Blinis

smoked-salmon-in-dubaiHaving a tour of a smokehouse might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I’d been badgering Jason of Salmontini for a visit since last November. Partly because of the story behind it – his Dad had started the business in Beirut smoking five fish a week on their balcony in a home-made smoker made out of a cupboard due to the introduction of a huge tax on smoked goods (which he was then importing). Partly also in awe that someone could actually be bothered to fly fresh Scottish salmon to Dubai and smoke it here and make it taste absolutely sublime. Finally because I was refused entry to a kipper smokehouse in Craster – “against rules and regulations you know. We supply Waitrose.” Yes the inner rebellious teenager in me is alive and kicking; if someone says I can’t do something it makes it even more compelling.

So here I was on an industrial estate, not improved in any way by being in a place called ‘the Green Community’, meeting the next generation of Bassili salmon smokers. I had some vague romantic vision in my head of wooden sheds with large dangling creatures suspended in the smoky gloom. Of course it was nothing like that, gleaming white surfaces and modern machinery, but even more impressive when you get down to it.

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