The great sweep of Chesil beach, running west from the Isle of Portland (where it’s best not to mention rabbits) to West Bay is a land and seascape with its own particular, slightly desolate feel. It is, however, emphatically of the South West.
The Chesil Smokery has been recently founded in Bridport by Mark Firth, a man steeped in fish and fishing. Unsurprisingly smoked fish and seafood features strongly on their product lines, as well as chicken and duck breast and venison loin. Salmon is both cold and hot smoked, as well as being cured as gravadlax.
We tried a range of products, and were impressed. Generally, the level of smoke is light, and products are juicy and full of flavour. If you prefer a more heavily smoked product, then the Chesil Smokery might not be really for you (but they do sell an extra smokey cold smoked salmon). We particularly liked the fresh taste of the smoked mackerel, where the light smoke worked very well with the oil of the fish. We weren’t so sure about the smoked prawns and thought that in this case more time in the smoker might have been beneficial
The packaging is in a sort of modern rustic style, with coardboard slips covering the vacuum packaging. I do like the graphics on the packages, especially the stylised pictures of the relevant animal. The rubric is whimsical, with Boden-eque tones (I half expect to see “This salmon is Zoe, aged 4. Favourite sport: swimming” captions on the website. When chatting we were not that surprised to discover that Mark is in fact friends with Johnnie Boden)
Less than one year since the brand launched the smokery has impressively picked up two-star Gold awards for its smoked duck breas and smoked chicken breast and one-star Gold awards for its hot smoked salmon, smoked kippers and smoked cod’s roe in The Guild of Fine Food’s Great Taste Awards 2012.
Many thanks to the Chesil Smokery for the tour and goodie bag.
The Chesil Smokery
Chesil Smokery, The Old Laundry, Sea Road North, Bridport, Dorset DT6 3BD
Tel +44(0)1308 456 306