About Summer Isles Foods
With a heritage going back to 1977, Summer Isles Foods is a small Smokehouse based in Alness on the scenic banks of the Cromarty Firth, in the North of Scotland. Our expert staff produce an extensive range of high quality smoked salmon and smoked fish products, delicatessen smoked meats and a wide range of Scottish cheeses.
About the Smoking Process and Smoked Salmon
Vital for good smoked products is the good quality of the raw materials and being located in the heart of the salmon producing region, Summer Isles Foods can pick from amongst the best available salmon and other fish.
Unlike most other smokers who simply dry salt their fish before smoking, a fairly harsh process, the Summer Isles technique involves marinating sides of salmon in brine-marinades spiced with molasses, juniper berries and black peppercorns. This unique recipe, unchanged for nearly thirty years, gives just a subtle hint of sweetness to the aftertaste.
After drying overnight the sides of salmon are loaded into the smoke kilns where they are cured with a gentle stream of fragrant cool smoke for a full twenty four hours. The smoke is produced from smouldering oak shavings, which originate from the cooperage at Craigellachie on Speyside, where they make whisky casks from matured oak. In many cases they refurbish sherry casks so the shavings used for firing the smoke kilns are of the very best quality and produce a wonderful, sweet-smelling, smoke which gently permeates the sides of salmon to give them a most appealing aroma and firm texture.
After twenty four hours in the smoke kilns the job is not yet done as it takes a further 3-5 days in the chill to allow the salt and smoke flavours to evenly balance out through the sides of salmon. Eventually it is ready for slicing and the small retail packs are produced with a high speed rotary knife but the sides of smoked salmon are hand-sliced in the traditional manner.
The result of all this is a range of smoked salmon and smoked fish products which discerning customers find to be quite distinctive. Do give them a try.