Our smokery is part of Halen Môn Sea Salt, on the edge of Anglesey, a ravishingly beautiful island in North Wales. We originally built our smoker to add a savoury edge to our world-famous sea salt, but quickly realised that we could experiment a whole lot more.
Things stepped up a gear when Heston Blumenthal asked us if we’d have a stab at smoking water (yes, you read that right) to add flavour to one of the dishes in his restaurant and we said we’d give it a go.
After hundreds of trials, we have refined and perfected a condiment that’s 100% natural and adds a savoury depth of flavour to an almost infinite number of foods and drinks incredibly quickly.
We now smoke salt, water and sugar over a variety of woods.
I’m a big fan of Halen Mon’s oak smoked water. It’s a key component in two recipes in my book, On the Side — as part of a salad dressing, and in a ‘smoky’ ratatouille. In both cases it adds a warming, rounded and of course smoky depth of flavour to the dishes. It’s a quality that you normally can’t get without going through the whole smoking process yourself, which is of course logistically and relatively admin heavy, particularly for the home cook.
It’s not acrid or bitter, which is impressive — other condiments offering an immediate smokiness often are. And if you try and smoke things at home, or use a smoke gun, you’ll often find the smoke is unpleasant, rather than beneficial.
Basically, Halen Mon’s oak smoked water has become as useful and legitimate an addition to my larder as the likes of Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, toasted sesame oil and fish sauce.Ed Smith