The foodie side of an Irish Christmas

First off, Connemara Smokehouse. A family run business sourcing, curing and smoking the finest fish they can find.  It’s in a beautiful location so well worth a visit for that alone, but obviously above all is their incredibly high standard of fish smokery.  They use beechwood which seems to give a more delicate smoke than the tradiitional oak – they were using ash for a while, but it is hard to come by as it’s used to make hurley sticks… They control everything manually, they hand fillet the fish, dry salt it rather than inject with brine and most importantly they remove the fish from the smokers when it’s ready not when a timer goes off.  It’s all done in the traditional way and you can tell.  The smoked mackerel was particularly good – softer than most and not dried out like a lot of the smoked mackerel that is readily available in shops.  We also got some smoked salmon which was brilliant and moreish and some smoked tuna which I was most excited about but was sadly the least impressive of them all.  All in all though it’s an incredibly high standard of smoked fish.