Ancient aromas and flavours.
by David Parham
Of course we cannot know what ancient smoked foods tasted like. We can guess but we might be wildly inaccurate. So many flavour and texture characteristics are embodied in the life and death of the creature involved . In farmed salmon these characteristics are reasonably stable so I use their fillets as a base onto which I can deposit my smoke flavours of very ancient origin but probably identical through history.
This is Sól . My sailing fishing boat from the Faroe Islands. Clinker planked with 'Gran'- Norwegian Spruce. And tarred with Pine Tar from Finland . I use what's referred to as 'Peasant Tar'. It's made in the forests of Finland using ancient methods and is unrefined so it's quite thick and retains a degree of wood ash. The aroma is very pungent and it probably smells identical to the same product of 1000 years ago. An aromatic link with the past.
I feel that in eating my smoked salmon or sailing this beautifully aromatic old boat something resonates inside me . Something reassuring. Something saying 'Thats right' ..... 'Thats how it should be'