The world’s most coveted blind-tasted food awards, Great Taste, has just released the Great Taste stars of 2015 and we are amongst the producers celebrating as its Smoked Haddock, Leek and Potato Pasty is now able to proudly carry the little gold and black Great Taste logo.
“We are thrilled to have won another Great Taste Award from the Guild of Fine Food!” said owner of Latimers Seafood Deli & Café Robert Latimer. “After winning a Great Taste Award last year for our own in-house Roasted Smoked Salmon, we thought we would enter the awards again, this time with our own Smoked Haddock, Leek and Potato Pasty. Made to my Dad’s secret recipe, we smoke our own haddock on the premises then Bill, our chef, does the rest of the magic. The pasties are a firm favourite on our café menu and for our deli customers too. So to have them acknowledged amongst the greatest tasting products this country has to offer is really something special for our small family business.”
“We’re on the crest of a wave at the moment,” Robert continues, grinning from ear to ear having slipped another fishy pun into the conversation “having been awarded the prestigious National Fishmonger of the Year 2015 Award at the NEC, Birmingham back in March. The team here deserve a massive pat on the back for all their hard work. We all work long and hard to produce everything on offer from dressing crabs & lobsters, filleting and smoking fish, pickling our own cockles, whelks and mussels, making cakes and scones and not to forget our award winning pasties. We also try really hard to look after our customers as best we can, so to have had our pasties recognised with such a prestigious award is fantastic, a real pat on the back for us and our team – whelkdone team Latimers, another sterling job!” He finishes with a t’winkle in his eye.
A previously experienced salmon farmer and lone – creel fisherman off the west coast of Scotland, Robert implicitly understands the importance of not only sourcing the finest sustainable fish, but keeping it and preparing it so it’s the best it can be for his customers too.
The haddock used in the award winning pasties is caught by our local day boat fleet; it’s landed the day it’s caught, with Robert up every day in the early hours of the morning to collect from up and down our coastline. Once it’s back at Whitburn, they work hard to keep it in tip top condition, as to give it the special Latimer treatment the haddock has to be super fresh. Robert explains “we have a unique way of skinning and boning the haddock, to leave a lovely ‘butterfly’ fillet, that can only be done when the fish is literally hours out of the water and still firm enough to fin and skin whole. If the fish is any older than that all you do is literally rip it to pieces – not pretty! That’s why this type of fillet is only seen in proper fishmongers, like ourselves.” Once the haddock is filleted Latimers brine it and then smoked on the premises, to give it a lovely delicate smoky flavour. This is the product that is used in the now famous award winning Smoked Haddock, Leek and Potato Pasty.
Robert goes on to explain “As the awards are judged blind we decided to enter our Smoked Haddock, Leek and Potato Pasty – because it’s not all about the packaging & branding – it is all about the taste! We stock and use lots of Great Taste Award products in our deli and cafe, such as sauces, dressings, pickles and dips that complement our seafood and we know it means that behind the packaging is an excellent product.”