Derimôn Smokery is run by Dave and Chris who use traditional methods of wood smoking to smoke a wide variety of foodstuffs from meat, poultry and fish to cheese, butter and vegetables. All the foods that are smoked are sourced locally where possible. However at certain times of year and for some produce, they buy outside of the area.
Derimôn also sell their own eggs and local preserves.
We visited the smokery to see how Derimôn create their smoked products. We learnt about:
Derimôn own two ovens. The oldest is 26 years old. The other oven is larger and computerized. They are having a third oven built due to demand, which is being built to their specifications. It will be twice as large as the largest oven.
The ovens work by circulating smoke from local oak shavings and damp sawdust. The shavings are put into a drawer at the side of the smoker and damp sawdust on top; they are then lit with a blowtorch (quicker than a match) and the draw on the oven is adjusted to get the wood burning. Once the smoke reaches the far side of the oven it is sucked up by a fan and circulated. Each drawer of shavings last for eight hours, there are three in total on each smoker.
All kinds of fish are smoked at Derimôn including; salmon, trout, bass, haddock, cod, scallops, mussels and kippers, but the favourites are Salmon, mackerel and herrings.
The herrings and mackerel being gutted when we visited were from the North Sea. The herring migrate around the British Isles from the North Sea, through the Irish Sea, then down to Cornwall. They are around Anglesey during March and April; however, at that stage in their growth they are too small for smoking. Derimôn ensure that the herring they smoke are only taken after the fish have spawned, taking care of the stock for the next year.
Chris told us that the salmon they use comes from Orkney where the fish are farmed in a sea loch. This allows the salmon to feed on natural food (they're not fed dyes for instance), as well as to swim against the tide, keeping their muscle toned. This all adds up to a better tasting fish. The salmon is smoked for 24 – 36 hours on a cold smoke and is then allowed to stand for 6 hours to allow the omega3 oil to soak back into the fish.
Derimôn also sell Salmon Gravadlax, a Scandinavian dish where the salmon is cured in salt and herbs. Chris learnt the traditional recipe when he worked for a Swedish firm.
Derimôn smoke a huge selection of meat all of which is popular. This includes; beef, lamb, bacon, gammon, chicken, goose and turkey. During our visit we saw pork, duck and bacon being smoked. Chris also showed us a ham they had smoked earlier and which was later packaged for sale.
Bacon is the most popular of the meat products and Chris has a tight schedule to keep enough bacon smoked for the demand they get. During our visit they had several sides of bacon smoking amongst other cuts of meat. They normally smoke meat for 36 hours at 26 ºC, although times are subject to the type of meat and the size. They also smoke Barbary duck, which smokes very well. The smoking process reduces the fat in the duck whilst ensuring the meat remains tender. It is cold smoked for 12 hours and then hot smoked for 3 hours. They sell the duck fat from this separately, Chris recommends using it for roasting potatoes.
One of the first foods of smoking is cheese and Derimôn smoke a wide range from local garlic and herb soft cheese to cheddar. Again they use local cheese where possible. The cheeses only take 2-3 hours in the smoker. Chris normally smokes them in the morning or evening when the ovens aren�t too hot (12 - 18�C approximately.)
They also smoke butter, which is tricky. It involves showing the butter the smoker oven before running with it back to the freezer. Thankfully butter takes on the smoky flavour quickly. Derimôn sell lots of smoked butter to local hotels who use it to make smoky mash.
I think it is worth mentioning here that Derimôn will smoke practically anything! They sell smoked eggs and smoked vegetables, particularly smoked garlic and tomatoes. Chris told us that local hotels use the tomatoes to create smoked tomato soup. The tomatoes take a long time to smoke because of their tough skins, up to 48 hours.
A further product they handle is Anglesey sea salt, which is smoked for 4� days at 50 kilos per session. Chris recommends using this for adding a smoked flavour to any dishes.
Dave from Derimôn travels both nationally and internationally selling their smoked products at farmersn' markets. They also sell direct from the Smokery shop, through local delicatessens and other retailers and will arrange for private orders as well. They currently smoke about 50 salmon per year for individuals and also smoke cheese for a manufacturer in Lancashire.
For Derimôn's address and contact details please see the bottom or top of this page.