The man of white
They are named so after the colour of fresh fish flesh, different from that of smoked fish at the end of the process. These men take in charge the fish when received: they salt it and rinse it in large tanks. Then, it is prepared and hooked to stainless steel bars vertically aligned on trolleys to be put in the oven.
They are in charge of the delicate operation of “levée” of the fillets, which consists in skinning and boning them, once the smoking is done. It is a very meticulous work that consists in boning the fish while preserving the inshore herring’s flesh whole and intact. They master a unique know-how the J.C. DAVID establishments are amongst the last guardians of in Boulogne, or even in Europe.
As their name suggests, they manually roll herring fillets in wraps of similar weight – a “ballotin” being the traditional herring wrapping. Simultaneously and for other types of packaging such as sous-vide, the packagers weigh and wrap the mild fillets, the salmons and other haddocks.
The smoking master
His exclusive task is to maintain the ovens at a temperature inferior to 28 degrees Celsius during sixteen to twenty-four hours depending on the products. He is the “guardian of fire” whose knowledge is made of well-kept secrets, passed down from generation to generation, through a long training of the successor to this key role.
The salmon sliced by hand is part of the traditional know-how of J.C. DAVID. This cut gives long and generous slices of salmon. J.C. DAVID can take pride in a perfect process: from choosing the salmon, to salting it by hand, traditionally smoking it with oak wood and other fragrances, and finally manually slicing it.