HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
What are you cooking today? Tell us about it

Looking for Smen

shaZamm Apr 20, 2011 10:01 PM

I would very much love to get my hands on some Smen, the moroccan fermented butter. Anyone know if there's a purveyor anywhere near downtown?

  1. s
    Snarf Apr 24, 2011 06:31 PM

    My first look into the topic (Der Haroutouian, North African Cookery), suggested that ghee or clarified butter would be a good substitute. You are correct that that is not the case


    .McGee doesn't even cover it.

    The Wiki article describes the process, but not any spicing (is there any?). Noting that there is spicing in Ethiopian clarified butter, thought that might work. Given that there is a salting and aging process, you probably won't find it made from cow's milk in Ontario, which would be non-traditional anyways. Might be best to hit the artisinal goat/sheep milk folks for the milk to separate, or source backwards from somewhere that uses the final product. Would love to know how it tastes and works in recipes compared to clarified butter. Please share.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Snarf
      shaZamm Apr 25, 2011 05:14 AM

      I will definitely let you know how it goes if I find some. I've emailed the Toronto Moroccan Cultural Assoc. and asked them if they know where to get it. Hopefully if it's available at all, they'll know where.

    2. y
      Yongeman Apr 21, 2011 08:56 PM

      You may be able to get it at Pimenton, on Mt. Pleasant just south of Soudan: http://www.pimenton.ca/

      681 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

      4 Replies
      1. re: Yongeman
        shaZamm Apr 23, 2011 10:58 AM

        Thanks for the suggestion. I just emailed them and they've never heard of it. I SWEAR I didn't make it up!

        1. re: shaZamm
          Yongeman Apr 24, 2011 12:31 PM

          Ha ha...oh well.

          1. re: shaZamm
            foodyDudey Apr 24, 2011 01:59 PM

            It's not hard to find at some online stores in the USA, why not buy some there?

            1. re: foodyDudey
              shaZamm Apr 25, 2011 05:14 AM

              Thanks FD, I may end up doing that, but if I can find a shop nearby that does it, that's generally my preference.

        2. s
          Snarf Apr 21, 2011 02:19 PM

          Would the Ethiopian version work for you?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Snarf
            shaZamm Apr 21, 2011 02:55 PM

            Unfortunately I think the Ethiopians just use clarified butter which they add spice to. I don't think it's fermented. I suspect it's actually close to Normandy butter, which makes sense (I think) since the French used to be in Morocco. I've emailed the Sultan's Tent restaurant to see if they know where to find it. I'll post if they get back to me.

            Sultan's Tent
            49 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E1B3, CA

          2. m
            ManAbout Apr 21, 2011 12:56 PM

            I got Moroccan preserved lemons from Ararat on Avenue Road, they might carry smen. You could try giving them a call and see if they have it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ManAbout
              shaZamm Apr 21, 2011 01:05 PM

              Good suggestion. Just tried it but they only stock Ghee. Anybody else?

            Show Hidden Posts