If I had to make a short list of the top ten artisan foods, then Ummera’s Smoked  products would be up there, probably in the top five. Luckily I don’t have to make any such list which would also include the Sparkling Apple Juice of Tipperary’s Apple Farm, the Venison Burgers of Gubbeen, the Country Baguette made by Tom’s Bakery in Kinsale and the most recent arrival Iain Flynn’s Cannelloni Spinach and Ricotta.

Just wandering through the
English Market this afternoon and thinking had we everything covered. What if someone turns up unexpectedly over the Christmas? Why not have some Ummera Smoked on hand? Why not indeed? And if they don't turn up? Well then we’ll have it all to ourselves and indeed, we might do that anyhow! The logic was perfect and near at hand was the Good Food Shop and yes indeed they had some in stock and, having had the duck recently, we went for the chicken on this occasion.

Ummera's  smoked duck is a relatively recent arrival, bursting on the local scene only in November 2009. Local customers gave the product rave reviews at tastings and the company backed them and all were proved right when the smoked duck won a Three Star Gold in the Great Taste Awards and that meant that each of Ummera’s products has won an award from the Guild of Fine Food!

Overnight success? Not really. “For nearly forty years Ummera has built up an enviable reputation for producing some of the finest smoked salmon available. We originally concentrated on smoking the Wild Atlantic Salmon which were caught by fishermen as the salmon returned from their feeding grounds in the North Atlantic. Since 2006, when it was obvious that over-fishing was having significant effects on wild salmon stocks,   Ummera has been smoking Irish organically reared salmon. Their natural flavour and texture, blended with our careful curing, and gentle smoking over smouldering oak fires ensure that you will enjoy the finest smoked salmon.”

Ummera products are exported all over the globe. Anthony Creswell, son of the founder: “Our location in West Cork puts us in one of the most lively centres of artisanal food production in Western Europe. The vitality of fine quality food producers in this area helps us maintain a vibrancy and high level of interest, maintaining quality and continually developing expertise. Ummera Smoked Products (including Smoked Organic Salmon, Organic Gravadlax, Smoked Eel, Smoked Chicken, Smoked Duck and Smoked Dry Cured Bacon - with NO artifical preservatives) are available at a range of outlets in Ireland, and also for direct sales from our Smokehouse itself.