The programme they were filming the documentary for is called Mare TV and is taking an interest in the lives of people who are living on, from or with the sea. They are filming all over the world, and had featured a few smokehouses, for example in Canada, already.
So when they knocked on our door to have a chat and a look, they needed a kind of more unusual angle to be able to include the Burren Smokehouse in their documentary. And that, we got in spades!
The first unusual thing was the fact that a Swedish woman settles in Ireland, and then starts a salmon smokehouse with her husband. The second one was that we use a very Irish ingredient to spice up our smoke. Another one was one of our marinades and where we get it from, and the story behind the recycled material we use to generate the smoke.
We started our day on Slieve Elva, a nearby mountain with a flat top. It is the only mountain in the Burren which is covered by a bog due to the impermeable shale layer over the limestone. Here, we met the owner Joseph of this particular part of the bog. He cuts the turf in a sustainable way, i.e. by hand and not with machine. He demonstrated that very nicely, and had a chat with Birgitta about the bog and what it meant to him. Then he and Birgitta loaded the turf sods onto the old worldly barrow which looked as if it was the same age as the bog underneath it.
Birgitta and the film team then went back to the Burren Smokehouse to explore the smoking process. Birgitta carried the turf sods into the smoking room and started a fire. Other parts of the smoking and packing process were filmed another time. Up in the visitor centre, the team got to finally taste some of the salmon. Birgitta took the opportunity and told them about the big names in the department store world who order our smoked salmon, like Fortnum & Mason and Selfridges in London, and Kaufhaus des Westens in Berlin. They were very surprised and impressed when they heard about the historic visit of the Queen of England to Ireland in 2011, and that she was served our smoked salmon not just once, but twice! It seemed that that in itself would have been a nice angle on the "Burren Smokehouse story"...
The next day, they benefitted from the fine weather to go down the Clare coast to pay a visit to the Talty Family who own the Wild Irish Sea Veg. They filmed how they gather the right seaweed for our Burren Smoked Irish Organic Salmon with Seaweed, and Ger Talty (in the red t-shirt, standing next to Henning Rüttgen from Mare.TV) explained the ins and outs of seaweed harvesting and drying.
They also paid a quick visit to the company who provide us with the recycled wood shavings. They were absolutely fascinated by this company and what they produce - which is coffins -, and that we use their wood shavings to create something as delicious as smoked salmon... Well, we call it "recycling at its best"!