It’s amazing how many small food businesses exist in this area that even the most avid food lover might not know about. Take Sugartown Smoked Specialties, for example, who has been smoking up specialty meats & fish in this area for almost 20 years. 20 years! Though much of their business is selling to restaurants and wholesalers, Sugartown Smoked Specialties has also been a longtime tenant at the Lancaster County Farmers Market in Wayne (located next to the Greek stand in the back aisle), and sells some products at Hill’s Seafood Markets locations. In addition, all of their products can also be ordered online.
Owner Scott Hattersley offers a wide variety of smoked foods, including fish (salmon, scallops, etc.), fowl (chicken breast, pheasant) and pork (loins, tenderloins and ribs). Here’s an overview of a few of the items we sampled:
Natural Wood Smoked Boneless Duck Breast
Duck prosciutto, which is cured duck breast, is a somewhat trendy item to find on a charcuterie tray, and, with that wonderful layer of duck fat that sits atop the breast meat, it really is no wonder. This isn’t that… but there are similarities. Instead of being cured, Sugartown’s 12oz moulard duck breast is hot smoked over wood, which imparts a bold, intense flavor. That wonderful layer of duck fat remains, and the meat is packed with smoky goodness. What does that have to do with duck prosciutto, you ask? Well, although this can be heated an eaten like any other duck breast dish, I actually suggest serving it like charcuterie. Cut it super thin, and serve as you would prosciutto… alongside hors d’oeuvres, or perhaps in a sandwich with figs and bleu cheese. At more than $30 for each breast, this isn’t an everyday treat, but it’s a nice addition to the antipasti platter for a special occasion.
Whole Smoked Quail
4oz each, 4 for $26.50
Quail’s flavor is much stronger than that of chicken, and the natural smoke flavor that’s added during cooking makes this dish even more intense. I ordered quail in a restaurant once. It’s tasty, but it’s also a lot of work. There I was, sweating for every bite, while I watched my fellow diners relaxingly enjoying their non-quail meals. Since then, I’ve stayed away. It’s just not worth the effort. There are bones in Sugartown’s quail too, but I took a different tact. I broke the quails down while they were cold. Tore them apart with reckless abandon, not caring so much for the presentation as for the meat itself. I heated the yield gently and served it over a summer salad of mixed greens, peaches and corn. A great weekday meal. Of course, if presentation matters, you could certainly heat these babies whole and they’d look mighty purty.
Natural Smoked Tasmanian Trout
This trout, which was awarded the outstanding fish or seafood product award in 2008 in the Gallo Family Vineyards Gold Medal Awards for artisinal food producers, is similar to smoked salmon, but with a more intense, slightly gamey flavor. Though that may not be for everyone, lovers of smoked fish should be salivating. We served it in a rather traditional manner — with cream cheese and rye crackers — but this could be used in just about any preparation that calls for smoked fish. (8oz for about $20, larger sizes also available)
Sugartown Smoked Specialties
306-1Q Westtown Road
West Chester, PA 19382
Lancaster County Farmers Market:
389 W Lancaster Ave.
Wayne , PA 19087
Hours: Wed, Fri – Sat, 6am – 4pm; Sun – Tue, Thu, closed
Photos courtesy smokedfoods.com. Complimentary samples of items were provided to MainLineDine.