forman & field: smokehouse crate hamper

forman & field contacted me recently and asked if i’d like to try one of their food hampers. over the years i’ve heard a lot about their “london cure” smoked salmon, which often gets rave reviews in taste tests, and thought this would be a good opportunity to see what all the fuss is about.

i chose the smokehouse crate which contained a mix of fishy delights; the aforementioned smoked salmon, a pack of smoked tuna, two pates – wild smoked salmon and potted lobster - plus some keta salmon caviar and dill sauce.

my favourite thing in the hamper was the wild smoked salmon pate which was just heavenly. it is made with mascarpone which gives it a wonderful richness but this is balanced by a hint of lemon and some shallots, plus of course the smokey salmon. if i could eat this regularly for breakfast, atop hot buttered toast with a mug of tea, i’d be a very happy girl.

i was less keen on the potted lobster which tasted much richer, with all the clarified butter that it contains. it’s also much less easy to handle as even at room temperature it doesn’t spread particularly easily. maybe this is one for a summer picnic when the weather is warmer, as the sweet lobster meat is very delicious.

on to the london cure salmon – this was lovely. the salmon is cut quite thickly which means you can enjoy it’s melting texture and delicate flavour. this delicacy was reinforced by the fact that there was none of the oiliness that can be quite off-putting in some smoked salmons. i served it, along with the smoked tuna, on blinis, with crème fraiche and the smallest squeeze of lemon. the smoked tuna was also a success but very different – the flavour was, for me, more similar to a cured meat, perhaps a braesola, rather than fish (although when i used some on a pizza it was very reminiscent of anchovies, so the fishiness was definitely there!). it is also much saltier that the salmon and so you do need to eat it with something to balance that out.

i wasn’t keen on the keta caviar and found the dill sauce too sweet but overall, i think a hit rate of 4 out of 6 is pretty good. the hamper isn’t cheap so this is a luxury treat. and if you’re feeling the pinch, get yourself a jar of their wild smoked salmon pate, put the kettle on, pop the toaster and settle back…