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Happy New Year and what a way to start 2019!

 

Smoked Lough Neagh Eel was named Winner of From the Sea, Artisan product, by Delicious Produce Awards.

Judges comments  such as “Smoked eel that’s meaty, wonderful – and, crucially, responsibly fished”  and  “I like the light smoke, great taste and sexy softness”   are an indication of how this much loved product is revered for its quality, texture and flavour.

 

Smoked Lough Neagh Eel is a delicious ready-to-eat product. The primary product, Lough Neagh Eel is wild and grows naturally in Lough Neagh feeding on native substrates, which impart a naturally higher fat content, compared to eels from other locations.  As a result Lough Neagh Eels have a characteristic earthy flavour and soft yet meaty texture.  The higher oil content compared to eels from other regions, is one of the key features which produces the recognised characteristics of the smoked product; buttery texture, creamy mouthfeel and delicious flavour.

Photo credits: Chef Paula McIntyre

 

Lough Neagh Pollan was Highly Commended in the Primary, From the Sea category. Characteristically when cooked, pollan has white, shiny flesh and a delicate aroma and taste; pleasantly earthy with a mild fish flavour.

Photo credits: Brian Morrison Photography/MUDC

 

 In 2011, Lough Neagh Eel was awarded Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) recognising the heritage, tradition & authenticity of what are regarded as the best quality eels in Europe.   Pollan is the only European vertebrate found uniquely in Ireland and Lough Neagh Pollan is genetically distinct from other pollan populations.  Lough Neagh Pollan was awarded Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) in 2018.

 

The characteristics of Lough Neagh Eel & Pollan are linked to the environment where they grow.  The regulated fishing techniques and the processing of the primary produce at our SALSA approved site, close by the shores of Lough Neagh, ensures that Lough Neagh Fishermen’s Co-operative Society (LNFCS) continue to produce sustainable, high quality freshwater fish products.   The smoking process is completed at a 3rd party smokehouse and Smoked Lough Neagh Eel is branded and sold under the LNFCS/Lough Neagh Eel brand.

 

It was an amazing record for Northern Ireland in the Delicious Awards 2018, with the region scooping 5 of the 8 top awards!  Well done and congratulations to everyone on their achievement. You can read more detail about the other NI Winners on the link here  https://www.nigoodfood.com/northern-ireland-foods-top-delicious-produce-awards-in-britain/