In the spirit of Christmas, we celebrate the birth of a King. Not that we’re getting overly religious here. But that’s the reason we have the festive season as we know it to look forward to. What better way then to honour that sentiment, than with food fit for a King? And with the King of fish as the main event. Smoked Salmon has been one of Ireland’s most successful artisan products. The unequalled taste and quality has put this delicacy firmly on the global map. Exports have thrived over many years. Visitors to this country rarely leave without sampling it. Many more will buy a side to take home. So we are lucky to have some of the most prestigious producers of smoked salmon within the Good Food Ireland network. Birgitta Curtin of Burren Smokehouse in Clare, Anthony Creswell at Ummera Smokehouse in West Cork and Graham Roberts Connemara Smokehouse, Galway are at the top of their games in this arena. Production methods differ with the intuition and unique technique of each artisan. But the base line is quality fish and time honoured smoking methods. Christmas Day gets off to a wonderful start with a plate of amber slices curled loosely on a plate, accompanied with a soft mound of gently scrambled eggs. Many will choose to start the Christmas meal with smoked salmon dressed simply with lemon and black pepper. However you eat yours this holiday. remember you are eating a heritage product whose origins date back centuries. A little royal reverence, please!