Monday, October 02, 2006

Durham's Tracklements

We Ann Arborites are fortunate to have an excellent producer of smoked fish right here in our own town. Durham's Tracklements has a small storefront in to their equally small smokery near the Farmer's Market. They're only open to the public a few days a week - market days, usually. Their products can be purchased in some restaurants and stores around town, and they do a booming business in mail order (they were included in the New York Times' annual mail order guide several years in a row).

They make several varieties of cold smoked salmon. The Highland (pictured above on a Zingerman's roasted garlic Bagel with locally grown tomato and onion) is our favorite, but there's also pecanwood smoked, or double smoked for an even smokier finish. I recently tried the Thai smoked salmon, and it was a revelation. It's cured with ginger, coriander, lemon grass and pepper, and dusted with hand-ground, freshly toasted Sichuan peppercorn. Wow. Other regular offerings inclue a couple varieties of hot-smoked salmon, and the miso/mirin/tamari combination is great.

Lately, though, it's the "irregular" offerings that have me stopping in every chance I get. There are other fish offerings - haddock, trout, bluefish, amberjack - but there are some non-fish offerings too. I've had their smoked duck breast a couple of times, and it's absolutely divine, with medium rare meat and a thick smoky layer of duck fat. Last weekend I made an hors d'ouevres of pikelets (think mini-pancakes) topped with thinly sliced smoked duck and a dollop of mango chutney, and I barely made it to the table to set the plate down before they were gone.

As good as the smoked duck was, it was actually my second choice for that day. What I really wanted to try was the Berkshire/Kurobuta pulled pork, but they were completely sold out when I arrived. Kurobuta is to pork as Waygu/Kobe is to beef - it's fattier, juicier and more marbled than most commercially raised pork. Oh, and did I mention tastier? My one experience with Kurobuta was during a dinner out where my friend and I were switching plates halfway through, and it took a really strong will for me to give up my plate!

We got back to Durham's Tracklements this Saturday. We made it the first stop in our weekend urban hunter-gatherer routine, and managed to snag the last two containers of the pulled pork. It's good, but not as good as I hoped. It's not smoky enough, and I'm not sure what the spice mix is that's on it, but it reminds me of nothing so much as turkey stuffing. Which is a fine thing, but not what I was looking for/ expecting in my pulled pork. But that's alright - I'll save my money for the duck and salmon.

Durham's Tracklements
212 East Kingsley Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Phone: 734-930-6642
Toll-Free: 800-844-7853

Open Wednesday & Friday 10-3, Saturday 8-3, & by appointment
Best selection & Product tastings on Saturdays

1 comment:

David said...

Oooh thanks for the lead. I hadn't found them yet. Then again I've only been here a month....