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7 March 2016

AFT Introducing: Thule Ventus

Photo: © Thule Ventus
Thule Ventus salt cured cod and pollock is of the highest quality and a hand-crafted artisan product. Only the finest, freshest and largest fish is sourced from Shetland’s famous fish market landed by locally-owned boats that make short trips and catch from sustainable, quota controlled stock.

All the fish is prepared in small batches using traditional family methods. The process that takes at least a month, to create a truly unique and special seafood. The fish is caught from the pristine, wild seas around Shetland and then cured in the pure Shetland wind.

Thule Ventus, based in Cunningsburgh, Shetland is very much a family business and its products are an embodiment of the island's rich heritage in fishing.

David Polson, owner of Thule Ventus grew up where salting fish and mutton was very much a part his of life. He and his father would go fishing in a traditional 17 foot wooden boat, known as a fourareen, as it could be rowed with four oars. They worked the hand-lines and set lines for pollock, skate, mackerel, haddock and cod. Their catch would be salted, with some set aside for supper, usually pollock, boiled with their livers fried and added.

On leaving school, David discovered that salt fish was the a staple of the worker's diet on the ferries which plied between his native island of Whalsay, and the Shetland Mainland. As far as the older ferrymen were concerned, mastering the art of salting and curing of fish was an essential rite of passage for all aspiring crewmen.

It is with his background and knowledge that David can bring, what he believes to be the finest cured cod and pollock available.

All fish is landed by local boats on to the Lerwick or Scalloway fish markets in the early hours. It is filleted by lunchtime and salted by tea-time. The fish slowly absorb the salt and give up their moisture as they make their own pickle.

The fish are checked regularly and once they have ‘taken enough salt’, the excess salt is removed and the drying process commenced. The fish hangs outside in the wind, before being finished off in a drying room.

To find out more about Thule Ventus visit their page on 
The Artisan Food Trail here.

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