• Feature

Boston Smoked Fish Co.

When Matt Baumann told law school buddy Chris Avery he was ditching his career as a tax attorney to smoke fish, Avery quietly questioned his sanity—that is, until he tasted some of the cured creations from his friend’s smoker. The business potential was clear: After all, despite being an irrefutable seafood hub, Boston was lacking in companies dedicated to smoked fish.

Baumann spent the winter of 2013 renovating an old llama barn on his brother’s front yard in Sudbury in order to meet ​FDA​ ​fish​ ​processing​ ​standards. The day after he snagged his ​processing​ ​license, he put in his ​two​ ​week’s​ ​notice at the law firm. After testing and tweaking 72 different brine recipes, Baumann settled on one that would lend a rich, buttery flavor to any fish, and finally launched Boston Smoked Fish Co. in June 2013. It only took four months for Avery, who attended Suffolk Universtiy Law School as well as Boston University School of Law with Baumann, to jump on board as a partner.

The company prides itself on quality standards. Its sustainable suppliers, certified by Best Aquaculture Practices, follow top-notch environmental and social responsibility, food safety, animal welfare, and traceability requirements. Fish are smoked in small batches​ of 75​ ​to​ ​100​ ​pounds, using ​kiln-fired​ wood ​with a moisture​ ​content ​that creates the perfect ​burn​ ​rate. While other producers may cold smoke, Boston Smoked Fish Co. focuses solely on the art of the hot smoke, cooking and flavoring seafood simultaneously.

Each morning the team hand-selects their catch—much of it caught mere hours earlier—from Boston Fish Pier, before transforming it into a range of products that includes Simply Smoked Salmon, Cajun Smoked Salmon, and Smoked Salmon Pâté (which shines as a spread on pumpernickel bread with a sprig of dill). Smoked Bluefish Pâté is the company’s most popular product, but Salmon Bacon also gets plenty of praise for being a tasty pork substitute that’s equally craveable in a cobb salad or in a BLT with avocado. Smoked Haddock, meanwhile, adds delicate sweetness to a variety of dishes, from soups and chowders to omelets and tarts. (Pro tip: try incorporating it into a risotto with leeks and Gruyère).

At the company’s Boston Public Market outpost, its products are incorporated into a multitude of prepared breakfast, lunch, and dinner items. At breakfast, for example, Smoked Salmon Pâté is served with cream cheese, fresh dill, and lemon juice on​ ​an​ ​Iggy’s​ ​bagel. During lunch and dinner, you’ll find smoked fish in burritos with​ ​house-made​ ​dirty​ ​rice and​ ​cilantro-lime​ ​crema or in tacos with house​-made​ ​cabbage and carrot​ ​cumin-lime​ slaw, while a Hawaiian​ pizza features the Salmon Bacon with BBQ sauce, pineapple, and cajun-ranch​ ​drizzle.

Pick up any of Boston Smoked Fish Co.’s products on its website, at the Boston Public Market, or via AmazonFresh delivery. You’ll also find them at a slew of specialty stores and farms around the Boston area, including Roche Bros., American Provisions, City Feed and Supply, Eataly, Savenor’s Market, Cardullo’s Gourmet Shoppe, Formaggio Kitchen, Pemberton Farms, and Allandale Farm.

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