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Ex­clu­sive smoked trout trib­ute to com­pany’s 300th an­niver­sary

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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.

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