When people ask me how I got into smoked spices, I remember marshmallows and hotdogs around the campfire.
My life has always been associated with the natural and complimentary flavours that wood, charcoal, and hot embers add to foods. On fishing trips with my Dad, the shore lunches of fresh caught Quebec Reds, sautéed in a cast iron skillet with heart clogging butter, attracted the subtle flavour of smoke from the fire.
In my career as a “foodie” I’ve traveled the world and always the hints and smells of outdoor fires and grills – their wisps of smoke combined with delicious food aromas – conspired to activate my taste buds.
My first visit to a Turkish manufacturer of sun-dried tomatoes was interrupted when I followed my nose to a side room where, over an open fire, local cooks smoked and grilled sweet red peppers before adding them to vegetable relish.
In Argentina, I waited with patient anticipation to taste the multitude of smoked meats served at the annual San Antonio de Areco Goucho Festival.
Back home, I watched Montagnais Tribe members and the Northern Inuit smoke salmon, arctic char and sturgeon over slow-burning open pits. I tasted whitefish, black cod, carp, and salmon smoked traditionally by the Hasssidic Jews of Montreal as their ancestors had done for centuries in Eastern Europe.
The tagines of a Moroccan souk, the curries served in the stalls of a Kerala bazaar, the hint of smoke on a bowl of Peruvian quinoa at an outdoor market, the smoked salmon of the West Coast Haida…these are the tastes and traditions of SMOKE I bring to you.
For over 30 years I have made and delivered fine foods – tapenades, organic specialty foods, aromatic oils and vinegars – to North American, European and South American grocers. Smoke is my passion now and I guess it always has been…glowing like an ember, adding flavour to my imagination.