Childhood memories and a smokehouse in Sri Lanka

September 25th, 2012

Next month Smoky Jo is of to her place of birth – Ceylon – or Sri Lanka as it is now called.  We were there a couple of years ago when Smoky Jo spent 10 days tracing her childhood haunts.  We visited the house where she had grown up, the church were we saw the records of all the family christenings and weddings, the Brewery where her father introduced the now famous Lion Lager to the island and we ate some of the best food we have ever had.  Rice and curry!

Wonderful rich spicy curries served with  plain and string hoppers – (a sort of pancake made from rice flower and a sort of string mat made from rice flour) served with sambols – a sort of spicy chutney.  Mmmmm heavenly food. 

We also had some very good smoked food.  When we were in Nurawa Elyia – the town Jo grew up in-  in the hill country – we visited ‘Cargills’ which Jo remembers as being the grocer shop in the town- great for good food and many other items as well.

She had described it to me as being a huge shop (she was very small!) with a long wooden counter along one wall.  Well, much to our surprise the wooden counter was still there.

Cargills Food shop in Nurawa Elyia Sri Lanka

Cargills Food shop in Nurawa Elyia Sri Lanka where we bought smoked sausages


Not only were we delighted to find the original shop but we were even more delighted to find a great selection of smoked sausages.  We talked to the manager who could not have been more helpful and told us that Cargills actually have their own smokehouse in Colombo where they smoke food for all the shops, hotels and restaurants. We bought some sausage-based on a German recipe I think and it was delicious.

Smoky Jo has been in touch with Chandani from Cargills who has very kindly arranged a trip to Cargills and hopefully to see the smokehouse.  Jo has promised to take them a copy of our new book “Smoking Food at Home with Smoky Jo”!

We are very interested in how different countries smoke in different ways.  We have often talked about the difference between the UK smoked food and the US smoked food – especially in the deep south.   However if you visit south Africa – they smoke differently again and indeed so do the Aussies.  Slowly we are getting a global view of smoking food.  I fear Smoky Jo has got it in mind as the topic of her next book!

Anyway if you are ever lucky enough to be on the wonderful island of Sri  Lanka- pop into a Cargills store  and think of us.







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