Salmon in Ancient Times

Atlantic salmon have been a part of human history for more than 20,000 years. They have been more than a food source – they have been a sign of the ritual of passing seasons, an Read more

Ballyconneely – Baile Conaola

No visit to the West of Ireland would be complete without a visit to Ballyconneely Clifden Connemara. Ballyconneely is a small village, 10km South of Clifden the capital of Connemara. The entry point to the Read more

A Road Trip up Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way

A Road Trip Up Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way By Dakota Arkin Cafourek Jun 18, 2018 https://www.outdoorjournal.com/blog/road-trip-irelands-wild-atlantic-way/ "At Bunowen Pier, we stop at the Connemara Smokehouse for a package of Gravadlax (smoked salmon marinated in sugar, Read more

Galway Food on the Edge-Future of Food

Kicking off today @FoodOnTheEdge #FoodSymposium #Galway #FOTE2015 where coming together of international chefs & food innovators for 2-days Mon 19th & Tue 20th Oct 2015... The aim of the symposium is to challenge our perspective Read more

La Connemara Smokehouse – L’univers de Thal

Tout d’abord on apprend la différence entre saumon sauvage, saumon bio et saumon d’élevage. Fanatique de saumon fumé je dois avouer n’avoir jamais fait plus attention que cela à la différence entre ces trois types. Mais grâce aux explications éclairées et passionnées de Graham, je vous garantie que je n’ai même plus envie de goûter au saumon d’élevage.

  • certificate of recognition connemara smokehouse

Irish Food Writers Guild Awards Winners (2018)

Connemara Smokehouse Smoked Mackerel winner at the Irish Food Writers Guild Award. We are absolutely thrilled with the award, it’s so nice to get this recognition from such a respected organisation. Thank you also for the

  • petit fute

Petit Futé Award (2016 – 2020)

French travel guides broadly equivalent to the Lonely Planet series in English. This salmon smokehouse is known worldwide for its ancestral know-how, transmitted from generation to generation in the Roberts family.

  • georgina campbells ireland

Georgina Campbell Guide Award (2014 – 2020)

One of the best fish smokers in the west of Ireland is Graham Roberts of Connemara Smokehouse, and visitors to Connemara are in for a treat when they see the smokehouse signed between Clifden and Ballyconneely – it’s well worth allowing time to call in and see

Launch of the Galway County Fleadh 2011

The official opening & concert took place in the Station House Hotel and was. addressed by Comhaltas Connaught Chairperson Michael Brennan. Connemara Smokehouse provided the canapies for the evening with Organic Smoked Salmon on homemade brown bread and Line caught Smoked Tuna with lime......

Connemara Mussel Festival

Connemara Smokehouse took part on the Sunday of this event. Where Graham hand-sliced a side of Smoked Salmon and explained the traditional smoking methods and techniques on what makes his Smoked Salmon different from all the rest.

For Food’s Sake…

* Does our indigenous fishing industry have a sustainable future, and do we care enough to demand that it does? Graham Roberts of Connemara Smokehouse talks at Food Food's Sake!

Foodie Experience at The G

One such producer is husband and wife team Graham and Saoirse Roberts of The Connemara Smokehouse who are avid foodies and have enormous pride and obvious passion for their work.

Radio Interview On The Food Show

Listen to Graham Roberts Connemara Smokehouse on The Food Show at 18.05pm Thursday 22nd July Time: Today Thursday 22nd· 18:00 – 19:00 Location:Connemara Community Radio @ 106.1 and 87.8 FM

  • Warm Potato Salad with Smoked Mackerel

Warm Potato Salad with Smoked Mackerel

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 13 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 300 g baby potatoes, halved
  • 150 g broccoli, cut into florets
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium beetroot, cooked and cubed
  • 2 smoked mackerel fillets, skin discarded and fish flaked into 1/2-inch-wide pieces

Instructions

Add the potatoes to a pan of boiling water and cook for 10 minutes, then add the broccoli florets and cook for further 3 minutes.

While the vegetables are cooking, prepare the dressing. In a large salad bowl whisk the vinegar, mustard and honey with the oil.

Drain the potatoes and broccoli well, tip into the bowl, add the beetroot cubes and flaked mackerel and toss with the dressing to coat well. Serve warm.

Enjoy!

  • Honey Smoked Salmon and Spinach Salad

Honey Smoked Salmon and Spinach Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes Serves: 4 Ingredients 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice sea salt and freshly ground pepper 5 cups baby spinach 170 grams sliced honey smoked salmon, cut crosswise into Read more

Blog

  • Traditionally Smoked Irish Salmon

Organically Sourced Irish Salmon

Traditionally Smoked Irish SalmonThe organic salmon used by Connemara Smokehouse is raised at Clare Island sea-farm and other remote and exposed salmon sites on the West Coast of Ireland. The location of these marine sites is recognised as the most exposed in Western Europe.

This exposed, westerly coastline is swept by strong tidal currents, high waves, has a 1A rating for water quality and is a place where the organic salmon thrive in the wild, pristine waters. Clare Island is where organic salmon was first produced in 1995. It is the knowledge and expertise of the people that have given Clare Island a reputation for producing the finest quality organic salmon in the world.

The exceptional water conditions are of crucial importance in producing some of the world’s finest organic salmon. The organic salmon are reared in large cages which allows them to follow their natural shoaling behaviour and provides additional control over their proximity to other salmon, in line with organic farming concepts. The Salmon are stocked at low densities, with only two fish per tonne of water, which means there is a lot of space to swim freely.

The lifecycle of organic salmon mirrors what happens to their counterparts in the wild. They start life in freshwater as an egg which is then hatched and, after about a year, grown out to a fish about the size of your finger (smolt). At this stage, they are transferred to seawater and from there they are hand-fed daily with organic feed based on natural ingredients from sustainable sources and free from genetically modified organisms. The fishmeal in the organic feed is only derived from the by-products of fish which is processed for human consumption. No artificial colourings are used, as the feed contains herring, mackerel, plankton and shrimp (source of pigment in the diet of wild salmon), along with a Phaffia Yeast which ferments to give the fish their natural colour.

The high tidal exchange rates in the Clare Island area ensure that oceanic water continually flushes through the pens. The strong currents against which the fish are compelled to swim result in fish with firm flesh and lower than average fat content. At the end of their lives, Clare Island salmon will have swum the equivalent of nearly 14,500 miles, which is about the same distance wild salmon would have covered. The conditions under which the salmon is reared are very close to its wild counterparts.

The way the staff at Clare Island works is unique, they operate a fully integrated supply chain, where each stage of the salmon’s lifecycle has complete traceability. The fish can be traced back to the hatchery where the life of the salmon began by using the customer’s batch code that is on the fish box. There is a well-boat to safely transfer the salmon to the required location in order to ensure continuity of supply. Every stage of the product process is audited annually by the independent organic authorities, as well as the quality and hygiene certifying agents, to ensure that they are continually working to meet the requirements as set out in the strict governing standards. 

The Benefits Of Clare Island Organic Fish:

  • Traditionally Sourced Wild Atlantic SalmonGrowing sites are located in deep seawater
  • Growing sites have strong tidal currents
  • It is an environment where water is richly oxygenated
  • High feed quality
  • Stocking density
  • Full traceability
  • Continuity of supply
  • Highest quality product
  • Team of experts
  • Respect for animal welfare
  • Respect for the environment
  • Sustainability

Traditionally Sourced Wild Atlantic Salmon

Connemara Smokehouse is run by the Roberts family and they have sourced the finest wild Atlantic seafood for three generations. To conserve stocks, Irish salmon is only fished in May, June and July each year. They are fished in a very old, traditional style of fishing called draught net fishing. This involves three to four fishermen waiting to spot the fish, then trying to row out around them placing the net in the water and returning to the shore to hand haul the net in.

Known as the ‘king of fish’, wild salmon has a flesh that is firm, meaty and pink/reddish in colour, thanks to the pigment in its natural diet of insects, sand eels, capelin, herring and crustaceans. Wild salmon are native to the world’s two biggest oceans and the rivers draining into them.

The Atlantic Ocean has only one species called Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Whereas the Pacific Ocean has multiple species:

  1. Pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha)
  2. Chum (O. keta)
  3. Sockeye (O. nerka)
  4. Coho (O. kisutch)
  5. Chinook (O. tschawytscha)

The Life Cycle of Wild Atlantic Salmon

Wild Atlantic salmon vary in appearance during their lifetime. Until the early 19th century the life cycle was not understood and documented. Parr and smolt were assumed to be different species of fish.

Irish salmon are Atlantic salmon, spending their juvenile phase in rivers before migrating to sea to grow. To complete their life cycle, they must return to their river of origin to spawn. Fish with this life cycle are called anadromous.

Eggs

The eggs (ova) begin developing right after fertilisation and will hatch after about 180 days at normal water temperatures. The fertilised, orange, pea-sized eggs will not become ‘eyed’ (i.e., the eyes of the embryo can be seen as two black dots) until January-February, before hatching in March-April.

Alevins

Just-hatched salmon are called alevins and still have a yolk sac (-) containing the remains of food supplied from the egg – attached to their bodies. When most of their yolk sac has been consumed, the alevins become active and begin their journey up through the gravel. They soon grow all eight fins, which will be used to maintain their position in fast-flowing streams and to manoeuvre in the water.

Fry

The small fish must rise to the surface of the water to take a gulp of air with which they fill their swim bladder, giving them neutral buoyancy. This makes it easier to swim and hold their position in the water column. This critical period is therefore referred to as ‘swim-up’ and exposes the young to dangerous predators for the first time. Once they begin to swim freely (three to six weeks after hatching), they are called fry. Their survival is temperature is dependant and heavily influenced by predation and competition for food.

Parr

Fry quickly develop into parr with vertical stripes and spots for camouflage. They feed on aquatic insects and grow for one to three years in their natal stream. Once the parr have grown to 10 – 24 cm in body length, they undergo a physiological pre-adaptation to life in seawater while still in freshwater, by smolting. In addition to the internal changes in the salt-regulating mechanisms of the body, the appearance and behaviour of the fish also change. The smolts become silvery and change from swimming against the current to moving with it. This adaptation prepares the smolt for its journey to the oceans.

Smolts

In spring, large numbers of smolts leave Irish rivers to migrate north along the slope current into the rich feeding grounds of the Norwegian Sea and the greater expanse of the North Atlantic Ocean. Here they feed primarily on fish (piscivorous) such as capelin (Mallotus villosus), herring (Alosa spp.), and sand eel (Ammodytes spp). As they grow, fewer predators are able to feed on them. Their rate of growth is therefore critical to survival.

Adult Salmon

Most of these salmon migrate to feeding areas off Greenland, whilst some may remain in coastal waters within the influence of the rivers in which they were born. Some Irish salmon, called grilse will reach maturity after one year at sea and return to their river in summertime weighing from 1 to 4kg. If it takes two or more years to mature, the salmon will return considerably earlier in the year and as larger fish at 3 to 15kg – becoming a highly prized but also a very rare fish.

Salmon exhibit a remarkable ‘homing instinct’, by which a very high proportion are able to locate their river of origin using the earth’s magnetic field, the chemical smell of their river and pheromones (chemical substances released by other salmon in the river). A journey of up to 5000km makes salmon ‘the king of fish’. Some stay at sea longer and these are the big fish that can weigh up to 43 lbs/19.5kg (our company record) or more. Summer catch rates for fish in the wild are very low, but sufficient to sustain the population if not over-harvested.

Kelts

Having spawned, the salmon are referred to as ‘kelts’. Weakened by not having eaten any food since their arrival in freshwater and losing energy in a bid to reproduce successfully they are susceptible to disease and predators. Mortality after spawning can be significant, especially for males but some do survive and commence their epic journey again. In exceptional cases, some Irish salmon are known to have spawned up to three times!

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  • awards

Georgina Campbell’s Irish Breakfast Awards (2018)

Georgina Campbell’s Irish Breakfast Award (2018)

IRISH BREAKFAST FOOD AWARDS
Fish: Connemara Smokehouse, Ballyconneely, Co Galway

Smoked fish plays an important role in Irish breakfast on the buffet and as a key ingredient in hot dishes such as Smoked Salmon with scrambled egg but quality is paramount to avoid disappointment.

Acknowledging the role of this modest meal in creating some of Ireland’s most memorable food and hospitality experiences, some of the nation’s leading businesses and personalities have again received due recognition for their unstinting efforts at the second annual Georgina Campbell Irish Breakfast Awards in Association with Fáilte Ireland, which took place at the InterContinental Hotel, Dublin, on 22nd March 2018 and are also supported by RTE lyric fm.

The coveted Irish Breakfast Awards were presented in each of the Fáilte Ireland accommodation categories and others, including Visitor Attraction and Brunch – and, very importantly – in Breakfast Foods categories, ranging from Breakfast Meats and Dairy, to Cereals, Preserves and Irish Bread.

“They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it’s certainly becoming a very important part of the visitor experience. We are delighted to partner with Georgina Campbell’s Irish Breakfast Awards to promote the authentic taste of Ireland that a quality Irish breakfast can provide to visitors. As part of Fáilte Ireland’s recently launched Food & Drink Strategy 2018-2023, we have highlighted the importance that food experiences play in determining overall visitor satisfaction. Quality experiences are now a major contributor to increasing holiday satisfaction, creating positive memories and driving positive word of mouth. Amongst those deciding on a holiday location, the expectation of good food is nearly as important as hospitality and today’s Awards are another important step forward in promoting the very best of Irish cuisine.”

 

  • certificate of recognition connemara smokehouse

Irish Food Writers Guild Awards Winners (2018)

Irish Food Writers Guild Awards Winners (2018)

Connemara Smokehouse Smoked Mackerel winner at the Irish Food Writers Guild Award.

The Irish Food Writers’ Guild was formed in 1990 to promote high professional standards of knowledge and practice among writers about food, nutrition, food history and related matters and to assist in the formulation of links and networks amongst all involved in the food industry.

  • petit fute

Petit Futé Award (2016 – 2020)

Connemara Smokehouse has earned  the Petit Futé Award

French travel guides broadly equivalent to the Lonely Planet series in English. This salmon smokehouse is known worldwide for its ancestral know-how, transmitted from generation to generation in the Roberts family.

  • Coq D'or Guide des Gourmands 2014-2020

International Coq d’Or Award for Connemara Smokehouse (2014 – 2020)

International Coq d’Or Award for Connemara Smokehouse (2014-2020)

The multi award-winning Connemara Smokehouse has received a Coq d’Or (Golden Roaster) Award from the Guides des Gourmands in France. The Guides des Gourmands is a guide for both professionals and private food enthusiasts all over France. Each year it awards 12 Coq d’Or Awards to producers, restaurateurs and top food delicatessens for ‘exceptional quality and in recognition of complete dedication to perfection’. The awards are usually issued within France, but very occasionally there is an International Coq d’Or – and the Connemara Smokehouse received one of only two international awards this year.The Guides des Gourmands selected Connemara Smokehouse after visiting the Smokehouse and seeing and tasting Graham Roberts’ ‘pure pride and passion for perfection in everything that he does’.

  • certificate of recognition connemara smokehouse

Irish Food Writers Guild Awards Winners (2018)

Connemara Smokehouse Smoked Mackerel winner at the Irish Food Writers Guild Award. We are absolutely thrilled with the award, it’s so nice to get this recognition from such a respected organisation. Thank you also for the

  • petit fute

Petit Futé Award (2016 – 2020)

French travel guides broadly equivalent to the Lonely Planet series in English. This salmon smokehouse is known worldwide for its ancestral know-how, transmitted from generation to generation in the Roberts family.

  • georgina campbells ireland

Georgina Campbell Guide Award (2014 – 2020)

One of the best fish smokers in the west of Ireland is Graham Roberts of Connemara Smokehouse, and visitors to Connemara are in for a treat when they see the smokehouse signed between Clifden and Ballyconneely – it’s well worth allowing time to call in and see

  • certificate of recognition connemara smokehouse

Irish Food Writers Guild Awards Winners (2018)

Connemara Smokehouse Smoked Mackerel winner at the Irish Food Writers Guild Award. We are absolutely thrilled with the award, it’s so nice to get this recognition from such a respected organisation. Thank you also for the

  • petit fute

Petit Futé Award (2016 – 2020)

French travel guides broadly equivalent to the Lonely Planet series in English. This salmon smokehouse is known worldwide for its ancestral know-how, transmitted from generation to generation in the Roberts family.

  • georgina campbells ireland

Georgina Campbell Guide Award (2014 – 2020)

One of the best fish smokers in the west of Ireland is Graham Roberts of Connemara Smokehouse, and visitors to Connemara are in for a treat when they see the smokehouse signed between Clifden and Ballyconneely – it’s well worth allowing time to call in and see

  • Awards and Achievements from Irish Smokehouse

Irelands 1st Économusée Networking & Business Forum & Showcase

The first all Ireland Artisans at Work ÉCONOMUSÉE Networking & Business Forum was held in Ballinahown Co. Westmeath where the first Irish Économusée Celtic Roots opened.
At the Forum an All Ireland brochure was launched by Carl-Éric Guertin, Chief Executive Officer of the International Économusée Network Society Québec. 7 artisans in the Irish network of crafters & producers Celtic Roots Studio, Connemara Smokehouse & Visitors Centre, Ireland, St. Tola Irish Organic Goat Cheese, Breeogue Pottery, Scullion Hurls, Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil & The Steensons all showcased their produce of high quality products.
Also attending on the day Kevin Heanue & Bridin McIntyre Teagasc, Maxime Sizaret & Tierna Mullan Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust Discover Northern Ireland & Failte Ireland.

Launch of the Galway County Fleadh 2011

The official opening & concert took place in the Station House Hotel and was. addressed by Comhaltas Connaught Chairperson Michael Brennan. Connemara Smokehouse provided the canapies for the evening with Organic Smoked Salmon on homemade brown bread and Line caught Smoked Tuna with lime......

Connemara Mussel Festival

Connemara Smokehouse took part on the Sunday of this event. Where Graham hand-sliced a side of Smoked Salmon and explained the traditional smoking methods and techniques on what makes his Smoked Salmon different from all the rest.

For Food’s Sake…

* Does our indigenous fishing industry have a sustainable future, and do we care enough to demand that it does? Graham Roberts of Connemara Smokehouse talks at Food Food's Sake!

Foodie Experience at The G

One such producer is husband and wife team Graham and Saoirse Roberts of The Connemara Smokehouse who are avid foodies and have enormous pride and obvious passion for their work.

Radio Interview On The Food Show

Listen to Graham Roberts Connemara Smokehouse on The Food Show at 18.05pm Thursday 22nd July Time: Today Thursday 22nd· 18:00 – 19:00 Location:Connemara Community Radio @ 106.1 and 87.8 FM

  • Warm Potato Salad with Smoked Mackerel

Warm Potato Salad with Smoked Mackerel

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 13 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 300 g baby potatoes, halved
  • 150 g broccoli, cut into florets
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium beetroot, cooked and cubed
  • 2 smoked mackerel fillets, skin discarded and fish flaked into 1/2-inch-wide pieces

Instructions

Add the potatoes to a pan of boiling water and cook for 10 minutes, then add the broccoli florets and cook for further 3 minutes.

While the vegetables are cooking, prepare the dressing. In a large salad bowl whisk the vinegar, mustard and honey with the oil.

Drain the potatoes and broccoli well, tip into the bowl, add the beetroot cubes and flaked mackerel and toss with the dressing to coat well. Serve warm.

Enjoy!

  • Honey Smoked Salmon and Spinach Salad

Honey Smoked Salmon and Spinach Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes Serves: 4 Ingredients 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice sea salt and freshly ground pepper 5 cups baby spinach 170 grams sliced honey smoked salmon, cut crosswise into Read more