Saturday, 10 October 2009
A Smokehouse Open Day at Forman and Sons
The twitterverse has been kind to us recently. We found out about the Wahaca Qype event on there and soon after also heard about an open day at a local smokehouse, Forman and Sons.
Having lived in Scotland for 5 years, I had images of the Achiltibue Smokehouse circulating in my head. We visited there a few years ago and were captivated by the lush surroundings.
Forman and Sons however, is distinctly urban. It sits in an industrial complex directly across from where they are building the Olympic village. Not exactly windswept dunes, but, in its own way still an oasis in a very urban landscape.
The smokehouse has been in business since 1905. In the entryway there is a wall-sized photo of Harry Forman the founder of the business. He was the one who developed the "London Cure' which uses less smoke than other smoked salmon you find.
The open day featured stands and presentations by some of the producers whose products Forman and Sons distributes under the name Forman and Field. They have a diverse offering of fine meats, cheese, chocolates and patisserie items which you can buy online. This was a great chance to meet the producers, sample their products and buy from a generously discounted selection of their goods. Visitors also had the chance to win a whole side of salmon by guessing the total weight of four sides they had hanging.
We also had the opportunity to take a tour of the smokehouse operation which was fascinating. We saw how they prepare other cured salmon with a traditional gravadlax cure, a pink beetroot cure and a pungent wasabi cure. The fish is expertly prepared for smoking and nothing goes to waste. Particularly interesting to me was their mechnical slicer with which the operator can slice the finest thin slices off the fillet in minutes.
After our tour we went upstairs to their bar/restaurant which at the time was still in the process of opening. A recent check on their website says they're now open for business. I hope to return for a lunch or dinner there, especially given the views of the work in progress at the Olympic stadium and of course the fine ingredients they have at hand.
Forman & Sons, Stour Road, Fish Island, London E3 2NT
tel: 0208 5252 390