Exclusive smoked trout tribute to company’s 300th anniversary
A 300th anniversary
FEW businesses in the UK, let alone the world, will be celebrating their 300th anniversary this year.
One exception to the rule is Scotland’s very own RR Spink & Sons, which quite rightly chose to honour such an occasion with a product of the same gravitas – the world’s most exclusive smoked trout fillet.
Promising a unique taste of Scotland and inspired by a 300-mile journey through the Highlands, the 375g luxury fillet – priced at £300 – is currently being retailed exclusively through Selfridges.
So what does it take to make the world’s most expensive trout fillet? RR Spink & Sons development chef, Scott Fraser said: ‘All RR Spink & Sons trout is sourced sustainably from our own stock in the cool, crisp, crystal clear waters of Loch Etive in the Scottish Highlands.
‘We grow our fish directly from eggs, which allows us to control the whole process, meaning an ethical and sustainable approach from start to finish.
‘One of the best things about Loch Etive is that it is a tidal loch, so the fish have to work really hard against the current which means they develop fantastic muscle structure that, in turn, creates the perfect texture.’
After being harvested from Loch Etive, the trout makes its way to Uddingston where the fish is filleted before reaching RR Spink’s ancestral home in Abroath for curing and smoking.
‘Our Royal Fillet is hand cured and smoked with a bespoke blend of crushed sea salt, Dundee marmalade and fresh Perthshire raspberries; ingredients representative of the flora and fauna along the 300-mile journey between Loch Etive and Arbroath,’ said Fraser.
‘The fish is cured on racks for six to seven hours, where it forms a pellicle which helps to absorb the flavours of the smoke.
‘A variety of native Scottish woods, including oak, cherry, pine and beech, are then soaked in a combination of raspberries, marmalade and water before being drained and transferred to the kilns with the fish.
‘Here we operate a rotational process of smoking and drying in 30-minute intervals to gently dehydrate the fillets; a technique developed in-house to safe guard the texture of the fish.’
Following the smoking and curing process, the fish is moved to cold storage to achieve consistent salt content throughout each fillet. It’s then time for pin boning and trimming.
‘Each fillet is meticulously pin boned by hand by our expert team. We find that keeping the bones in place during the curing and smoking process maintains the integrity of fish,’ said Fraser.
‘We also trim by hand, removing the pellicle, skin and brown meat. From there we’re left with the pink meat which boasts a wonderful premium texture.
Following the four-day slow maturation period, pin boning and hand trimming, the final step is to individually vacuum pack and house each fillet in a commemorative presentation case.
Each box is hallmarked with a seal of authenticity, including the edition number.
‘The best way to enjoy this sumptuous fillet is on its own, thinly sliced in order to appreciate the texture and loch-fresh flavour to its fullest,’ claims Fraser.