You wouldn’t expect to find a genuine Scottish smokery in the heart of Lunigiana, yet there is one. When I first heard about it, I had a vision of a rustic old barn with hand-fed fires and smoked fish hanging from wooden sticks poked through their heads. So a visit to Foods of Scotland in Pallerone turned out to be a bit of a surprise.
The smoked fish factory in Pallerone is one of seven in Italy and couldn’t be further from my quaint idea of a smokery. It is modern, efficient and gleaming, with the strictest hygiene standards in place. The week we visited, the factory was processing two tonnes of salmon, and one and a half tonnes of tuna and swordfish.
Foods of Scotland was founded by Margaret Grandison and Paolo Sanna in 1991. Margaret, who comes from Leeds in England, originally worked in the smoked salmon industry in Scotland. She was asked to represent her company at a trade show in Italy, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Margaret obtains her fish fresh mainly from Scotland and Scandinavia and smokes it with seasoned beechwood chips, which arrive from Scotland together with the fish. The factory supplies cruise ships, restaurants and supermarkets. If you spot the brands Scottish Dawn, Norwegian Dawn or Scottish King in the supermarket, you’ll know where they come from.
Margaret usually has small packs of smoked salmon available to buy at the factory, and certainly at a better price than you’ll find in the supermarket. If you’re interested, drop by but preferably give Margaret a call in advance to check availability. Margaret often brings in fresh frozen cod, which is in huge demand by the local British expats, who miss their traditional fish and chips.
The factory is in Via Guido Rossa in the industrial zone of Pallerone. Look out for the Kerotris petrol station and the Doro Centry supermarket and turn down the road opposite. The factory is not signposted, but is on the right. There are usually a few cars with British number plates parked outside.Foods of Scotland Telephone: +39 0187 418138 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Z.I. Pallerone, Via Guido Rossa, 20/D Aulla (MS)