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Mar 14, 2007 11:21 AM

Where to Find Turtle's Smoked Trout

Does anyone know what happened to these guys? They were at the North Market every Saturday but they're not there anymore. They have the most amazing smoked trout. They would occasionally have fresh Georgian Bay pickerel too.

If they are no longer at the market, where can the trout elsewhere in town? I would go anywhere in the City to get it.

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  1. I was buying fish at Fresh from the Farm which was from a supplier called Turtle Island Fish. I was told it closed last year. Perhaps that is the same place you refer to?

    2 Replies
    1. re: foodyDudey

      That's the one. It closed??? That sucks. Maybe I'll call Fresh from the Farm to enquire.


      1. re: acd123

        It's too bad as their fresh and smoked fish was great. Sometimes they delivered it fresh instead of frozen, and that's the only way I'd buy it. FFTF said they bought the last stock and froze it, but I avoid frozen food. Maybe there is some still available, if you are interested.

    2. Kristapson's has added trout to the list of what they smoke, but so far I have only seen it in their retail (Queen East and Yonge N of Lawrence), not the other stores that carry their products. They also do Whitefish, but only on Thursdays.

      1. If you come across Milford Bay smoked trout, it's very good..the company's near Gravenhurst, but it's distributed to select stores around Toronto.

        1. Turtle's is from Cape Croker Indian Reserve near Wiarton. I know business has been struggling for a while, and perhaps they're really closed, OR perhaps they just haven't had enough fish, because the ice on Georgian Bay has been too heavy for most boats to get out. I used to buy from them, both on the Bruce Peninsula and a couple of Toronto spots. In the last couple of years I've switched to buying from one of their neighbours (1 mile away): Akiwenzie's Fish (Andrew Akiwenzie). They started last spring to go weekly to the Riverdale Farm market on Tuesdays, and then (since Toronto business was SO good for them) they also started to go to Dufferin Grove market on Thursdays. Info for each is easy to find on the web. Riverdale market is seasonal and not open til May, but Dufferin Grove is year-round, and I happened to go last week and found Andrew huddled in the cold, but selling the smoked trout and whitefish to all of his devoted customers. When he has fresh (which he didn't last week due to ice) it's always "yesterday's catch", and he does the fishing (and cleaning, and smoking, and packaging, and driving 3 1/2 hours to get it to market - with his wife, Natasha, and 3 kids). Check them out - you'll probably be a convert too.

          13 Replies
          1. re: genejan

            Jacqui at Fresh From the Farm told me she could no longer get Turtle Island fish in November or December so it probably was not an issue with the ice.

            1. re: genejan

              I was just about to post about the smoked trout available at the Dufferin Grove market. I was there yesterday, arriving at about 2:50 p.m. (the market is open Thursdays 3-7). I eyed the smoked fishes just outside the entrance, inquiring (with acd123 in mind) about trout, which they did have. When I left the market at about 3:30, they were already totally sold out of trout.

              So, my advice is to get to the Dufferin Grove market (Dufferin south of Bloor, across from Dufferin Mall) before opening time.

              Question to acd123: The smoked trout at Dufferin Grove looks to be hot-smoked. Is this what you're looking for, or are you seeking out cold-smoked trout?

              1. re: FlavoursGal

                Thanks to all for the very thoughtful responses!!!

                1. Sorry to hear about Turtle's Fish. The trout, and fresh pickerel when they had it, were really good. It was a HUGE treat to hear that their lines were in the water a day or two before I was buying it. I ask at other fish shops when the fish were swimming and most of the time I just get a shrug.

                I googled Turtle's fish, found a phone number, and spoke to a girl who said she used to work for the owner. She said that she doesn't know if they will be continuing. The owner is presently focusing on wood carving. I know he's into that because when i was buying the trout at the North market about 6 months ago, I saw these really awesome owls carved from logs. I was thrilled to see that considering that my dad is a huge owl collector so I bought one.

                2. I bought a piece of trout from Akiwenzie's Fish (I think it was Natasha) at Riverdale last summer. Also very good, so that will be my new source. Happy to hear that they are also at Dufferin Grove. I usually drive by Dufferin Grove on my way home from work on Thursday, but alas, I had a meeting in Woodbridge yesterday and couldn't make it )(*(&^(&^%& Gotta love GTA traffic.

                Response to FlavoursGal: Not sure if I like hot or cold smoked better. I think the fish from Turtle's was hot smoked, but I love the cold smoked fish from Kristapson's so I'm sure they are both good. Any thoughts???

                If Akiwenzie sells fresh whitefish, maybe I'll buy some for my mom when she makes her gefilte fish on Passover :-)

                3. I haven't tried the trout at Kistapson's, but I'll definitely will. It's just so convenient to buy the trout where I buy other stuff so I don't have to make a special trip. No, I'm not environment boy, but if I made a went to different places to get everything I want, my ecological "food-print" would be massive (I just learned that term today on CBC Radio :-)

                4. I would like to try the Milford Bay trout too. Does anyone know what stores in TO carry it? I could buy it on the way to the cottage (just north of Huntsville), but it would be quite a hike off Hwy 11 to get it.

                1. re: acd123

                  Re: hot vs cold smoked fish - When it's fresh-water fish, it must be cooked. i.e. hot smoked. When it comes from the sea, it's OK to cold smoke it. Akiwenzie's (and the one-time Turtle's) is definitely hot smoked, using maple sawdust from the local sawmill.

                  The comment about "fresh fish" always being "yesterday's catch" applies only to Akiwenzie's, because you're buying directly from the person who caught it, and he states his policy. I can't speak to the standards of anyone else,

                  1. re: genejan

                    Something to reflect upon when purchasing smoked freshwater fish.

                    Of wild freshwater Trout and Salmon types, only Lake Trout or Whitefish are available on a retail basis. Any Rainbow Trout or any Salmon species are farmed fish - not comparable to wild, but still tasty, either smoked or cooked. Our freshwater fish must reach 145*C to kill off any parasites and bacteria. I smoke my own catches and find that by keeping the temperature at 150*C I can get a result that is, let's say, "tepid-cured." It's a texture bordering on Nova Scotia Lox or Scottish Smoked but not quite. It's certainly not flaky - but we like that too. I have never found anything but cooked retail product.

                    There was a vendor at the Etobicoke Farmers' Market from Dornoch with excellent smoked fish. He offered produce as well, and was a couple of spots down form the west entrance. The first time we had to work to see his fish sign. Does anyone know if he's still there?

                    1. re: DockPotato

                      Thanks for the information about temperatures for killing off parasites and bacteria when smoking freshwater fish. I'm fairly new to smoking, having purchased an electric smoker oven a few months ago. I've made excellent salmon and black cod (sable fish), and have been planning to try some freshwater fish smoking. Have you ever done pickerel? We have a place up near Parry Sound, and I've been thinking of finding a source up there for fresh pickerel.

                      1. re: FlavoursGal

                        I've not done Pickerel, but only because they're hard to catch here. There is no reason not to expect a good result. There should be good Pickerel fishing in your corner of Georgian Bay so make nice with your fishing neighbours : ) There should also be a commercial fishery there and all commercial licences on G.B. are now held by aboriginals. So look for a retail outlet on the reserves. Is there a Sobey's there. If so, Sobey's meat and fish counters deal in local product, at least ours does. I also see Sauger there, a small subspecies of Pickerel they bring in from Saskatchewan. But then you probably want fish under a day old if possible which should be no trick up there.

                        Also, have you checked the selection of wood chips at Sobee's on Willowdale Ave?

                        1. re: DockPotato

                          The Sobeys in Parry Sound is wonderful, and they do carry lovely looking pickerel. Checking out the reserves in the area is a great idea.

                          I use wood chunks in my smoker; I checked with Sobie's when I first got the smoker, and their prices were quite high. I get them for a fraction of the price directly from Cookshack in Oklahoma.

                          1. re: FlavoursGal

                            I use a Texas Char-Broiler with a side box (bought from Sobies.) I could use chunks but that would be too hot for me.

                            I like to know where my hardwood is coming from. Industrial hardwoods are to be recycled as charcoal or whatever. Who knows what they were used - and he ain't telling.

                            There is a flooring mill nearby with piles of fine shavings which I get for free. So far I've tried oak, cherry, maple and ash. You may want to do what did before I found that mill. Check in the local paper for someone supplying firewood and ask for some chips from their saw pit. They're even better than the shavings I now use.

                            By all means check out the reserves - you're bound to find some excellent smoked fish there as well.

                            A word on buying fresh fish though. It's not legal to buy fish off the boat. The catch must go from the tug to a bonded facility where it is tallied against the licensee's quota. I don't know if the First Nations adhere to this or not, but you're advised to search out a local retail outlet.

                            1. re: DockPotato

                              Thanks for all the tips, DockPotato.

                  2. re: acd123

                    acd123, as much as I like cold-smoked salmon (what good Jewish girl doesn't), I think I'm more partial to hot-smoked fish, now that I've tasted it straight from the smoker. The flavour and texture of warm, hot-smoked salmon is unbelievable.

                    Such a good son to think of your mother for Pesach. A Yiddishe Mammeh's dream! :-)

                    1. re: acd123

                      I bought the Milford Bay trout at Bruno's Fine Foods yesterday

                  3. re: genejan

                    i have just become a convert to andrew's fish since buying it a few weeks ago at dufferin grove. the smoked trout is delicious, super fresh, and really nicely smoked. i thought it was also a very good price.

                  4. Milbree Viking on Laird has great smoked fish.