Fresh Produce: My Weekend with Huon Salmon
A few weekends ago, I flew to Australia's produce capital, Tasmania to visit the Huon Salmon Family farm.
My aim? To learn exactly how Huon Salmon gets from the farm to my plate and find out how Huon Salmon is always the freshest to market.
Once I got off the plane, I joined up with the rest of the group (including lovely foodies and bloggers the talented Nagi from RecipeTin Eats, Melbourne's best restaurant reviewers Gastrology and the talented Tassie-based chef Massimo Mele). We drove through the green, rolling hills of the beautiful Huon Valley to get to the Huon farm in Hideaway Bay.
Hideaway Bay is the perfect name for this spot!
It's really a beautiful, untouched and remote. The air is so crisp and fresh and there is wide open water all around. It seems I am happiest when I'm in nature (surrounded with good food and company)!
First stop. The Huon Salmon Hatchery, where the lovely Kylie (pictured above) cares for the baby Huon Salmon eggs at the beginning of their lifecycle.
When the 'fry' (baby salmon) hatch, they feed off the egg sack - which is incredibly nutrient rich. As the little salmon grow, they are moved into bigger and bigger tanks until they are ready for the big ocean at about 200g.
At around this time, their body changes and goes through a process called smoltification, so they adapt to be able to live in salt water. Now they are ready for the open waters!
As they grow, Huon Salmon come live here, in the fresh Tassie water. Huon Salmon live in these large pens (pictured below, left). It was so good to see how Huon salmon have plenty of space as it's really important to me that they are happy and have plenty of room.
I found out that Huon Salmon only fill up 1% of the pens and the other 99% is water for them to swim. The netting protects the salmon from birds and seals.
The farmer can always check up to see that the Huon Salmon are doing well with the help of cameras and sensors. There is so much attention to detail - it was so good to see the level of care and technology used.
Once we got back from our boat ride, we ready to eat. As all of us in the group are food lovers so we were challenged to a recipe cook-off (Masterchef style!)
We were given a lush selection of fresh ingredients and could use any Huon Salmon product from the fridge.
I decided to make Warm Cauliflower Salad with Pomegranate and Hot Smoked Huon Salmon, my favourite product (Salad pictured below, left).
We ended up creating an epic feast. Each of us cooked up something really different. It's so easy to pull together a tasty, fresh dinner when you've got the right ingredients. Thank goodness for that, because we were cooking for the Huon farmers who were about to start their night shift.
They need to eat food that keeps them energised and feeling good because they harvest by night so Huon Salmon is the freshest to market.
After dinner, we got to see the farmers in action. I tell you, working in the dark, whilst floating, isn't easy! That's why they wear protective gear and head torches to see exactly what they are doing. The Huon farmers are dedicated to their work and use the innovative RSPCA UK best practice when they harvest.
Immediately after, Huon Salmon is placed on ice and put directly onto the truck. The truck driver drives through the night so Huon Salmon gets to you fresher by day.
The next day, we used our fresh Huon Salmon to create simple recipes. Of course, I wanted to make something super simple and quick...
So I created the One-tray Teriyaki Huon Salmon Recipe (pictured below), perfect for when you get home after work, exhausted but want something fresh and healthy for dinner.
You place your Huon Salmon fillets in a lined baking tray with seasonal vegetables and top with a simple 5 ingredient marinade: 1/4 soy sauce, 3 tbsp honey, 3 tbsp evoo, grated ginger and garlic. Then bake for 15-20mins on 180c. And voila! Your healthy dinner is ready!
I had such a great time learning about how the Huon Salmon are cared for. And I felt so good knowing exactly how the fish from cared for and how Huon Salmon are always the freshest option.
I'm already planning another trip to Tasmania because fresh, Aussie produce is my jam!
This is a sponsored post! I only align with companies who share my back-to-basics philosophy and are passionate about fresh food so I'm so proud to be working with Huon Salmon. They are an Australian, family run company who really care about sustainability and making sure Huon salmon is the freshest and best quality.