A Tasty Carboniferous Terroir

October 12, 2008 in Food Porn, Local Food, review, seafood

Smokehouse Scallops, pancetta, smoked cheese soup

See what this does for your taste buds – Smoked Scallops, Smoked Cheddar Bourbon Soup, and artisanal smoked pancetta, all brought together as part of a larger smoked, bourbon tasting menu.

Yeah, my tastebuds almost fainted, I almost fainted, my family was inarticulate as they simply scarfed their share of our samples.

Brian Treitman, of BT’s Smokehouse, who you know I have blogged about before (An improbable meat nirvana in a BBQ wasteland, Criminally Good Smoked Salmon and Bacon – B.T.’s Smokehouse, Food Photo 101: Shooting BBQ) shared a delightful sneak taste of this scallop dish recently when I stopped by for my latest fix of his smoked salmon.

Wine connoisseurs speak of terroir – the notion that a particular wine has a unique taste that is gained from the ecology of a very specific location.

The wiki defines it as such:

Terroir (/t̪εʁwaʁ/ in French) (Spanish: terruño, pago) was originally a French term in wine, coffee and tea used to denote the special characteristics that geography bestowed upon them. It can be very loosely translated as “a sense of place” which is embodied in certain qualities, and the sum of the effects that the local environment has had on the manufacture of the product.

I am sure that this concept is nothing new to most of you.

Today I would like to suggest that there is another sort of terroir, one which is more complex in some ways, more fascinating to me (perhaps because I do not drink wine and I DO eat BBQ).

I think that each well-seasoned and well-used smokehouse smoker has its own distinct terroir. If you get close to the gaping maw of Brian Treitman’s smoker you will notice the build up of solid smoke and smoked meat essence.

Brian adjusting the pork roasts

It coats the interior and the racks.

B.T.'s Smokehouse: Slow roasted pit BBQ beef brisket, pork butt, chicken

Brian uses applewood from the MANY orchards that surround us in this region. He does a dry rub on many if not most of the meats (and tofu!) that he smokes. The smoke and the slowly cooking meat react and meld in a way that seasons the smoker to its own unique terroir.

This terroir is the lively organic memory of the many ribs and chickens and pork butts and bacons and salmons and turkeys of the past.

You can choose to utterly submerge yourself in a tongue electrifying miasma of smoke as you nibble on the bark of a long smoked pork butt.

BBQ pork butt

You can get a wholly different but BT Smokehouse specific smoke essence when you eat one of the smoked scallops shown in this post.

Smokehouse Scallops, pancetta, smoked cheese soup

This particular assembly of ingredients can be a part of a larger tasting that Brian can provide to foodies in the Massachusetts area. He works with you to identify a seasonal menu that also leverages the unique terroir of his smoker as well as local microbrew beers and smoke-friendly spirits like bourbon.

You can call Brian at 1-617-251-6398 to talk about your tasting. There is a minimum of 8-10 people, likely max up to 50 depending on your home situation. There is a 2-4 week lead time so plan ahead.

Here are the salacious details of this fantastic dish.

Moist plump scallops were cured in Brian’s spice rub and brown sugar for 4 hours and then cold smoked with applewood. You can special order these and their price is pegged to the scallop market price. Call in to get the details.

The soup is made with a sharp white cheddar cheese that he smoked as a block and then spiked the soup with bourbon. This alone would delight you in its mixture of the smoky terroir and the bourbon. He sells this at $8/pint.

The pancetta was cured for 5 days, lightly smoked, and then dried for 4 months. This goes for $10/lb.

Smokehouse Scallops, pancetta, smoked cheese soup

The soup and the scallop, while both smoked, have a distinct flavor from one another. It may come from the lack of cure on the cheese, it offers a lovely layering of differentiation.

Smokehouse Scallops, pancetta, smoked cheese soup

This is such a fantastic variation from the heavier beef and pork BBQ. I am just in love with it and I hope that you get a chance to work with Brian to bring a tasting that includes this offering to you and your loved ones this holiday season!

KD eating pancetta

Five year old KD really enjoyed it all, could hardly wait for the shoot to be over. Notice that super mod hair cut? Yeah, she got a hold of some scissors and decided she needed to do the do.

Reach Brian at 1-617-251-6398 (Tell him Nika sent you)

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