Twin Light Smokehouse: A Beacon Of High Quality Smoked Seafood

Editor’s Note: A big thank you the folks at Twin Light Smokehouse for the complementary samples used for this review. They were outstanding!

We live in a time where if you don’t own a smoker/BBQ, you at least know someone who does. Smoked meats, traditional barbecue, charcuterie boards are all popular and rightly so. Smoked fish and seafood has also undergone a facelift among foodies and is now more available than ever. Smoking fish, mussels and other seafood is an amazing metamorphosis. Smoking can even turn a polarizing species like bluefish into something fantastic.


Supermarkets, gourmet shops, farmer’s markets and online, are common places to find smoked seafood. However, not all of these smokehouses are created equal. There is a pretty wide spectrum in quality, taste, and ingredients. Good thing there is a local, artisanal, smokehouse right here in Gloucester that stands out among the pack. Twin Light Smokehouse has been gaining market share the old-fashioned way: by creating delicious and consistently high-quality smoked seafood in America’s Oldest Seaport.

About Twin Light Smokehouse

Twin Light Smokehouse is based in Gloucester, Massachusetts and had its beginnings as Sasquatch Smokehouse. Sasquatch is the nickname for a well-known local fisherman/musician that started the smokehouse in the former Cape Ann Forge building along the Annisquam River. In 2020 the smokehouse was purchased by Cape Ann Fresh Catch.

Cape Ann Fresh Catch is a woman-owned, locally based company that has grown into America’s largest community-supported fishery (CSF). The organization uses locally caught fish in their programs and this directly supports our local fishing community. The cultured mussels and farmed Norwegian salmon used by Twin Light Smokehouse are sourced from certified sustainable producers.  

Twin Light Smokehouse operations help Cape Ann Fresh Catch run as a zero-waste community supported fishery.  They smoke any fresh fish not sold through their seasonal shares and repurpose smoked fish not used in finished goods. Turning them into delicious spreads or limited release specials.  

Twin Light Smokehouse Product Line

Twin Light Smokehouse uses honest, simple ingredients across their product line to allow the fish and shellfish to shine. When you start with fresh, local haddock, mussels, and high-quality Norwegian salmon, you don’t need to overload with flavorings or additives. I have my share of digestive issues and food allergies and am always shocked when I see soy used as an additive in seafood. I’m not allergic to soy, but it does not agree with me with the exception of additive-free soy sauce. Twin Light Smokehouse proudly states on the website that their products are soy-free.

Twin Light Smoked Salmon

Twin Light smoked salmon whole piece

The company has three types of smoked salmon: traditional hot smoked, peppered smoked and salmon bacon. If you’ve ever been dissatisfied with a piece of dried out smoked salmon, then come check out Twin Light. The salmon is dripping in natural fish oils right out of the package. Do yourself a favor and drizzle that smokey salmon nectar on some crusty bread – you will not be disappointed.

Even with the peppered salmon, Twin Light does not overload the fish with extra flavor. They keep the ingredients simple, and you really taste the moist and flavorful salmon as the main note. If you served either type of hot smoked salmon at a party, I can pretty much guarantee your guests will be asking where you got it.

Twin Light Smoked Mussels

Twin Light Smoked Mussels

This is arguably the company’s most popular product among the fishermen I know. When I mentioned that I was sampling Twin Light Smokehouse, they all said I had to try the mussels. I can see why they are popular: the mussels are meaty, flavorful and smokey. They are smoked using salt, sugar, herbs and spices and are packed in canola oil. So far, I have enjoyed them right out of the container, but there are so many possibilities to use these savory nuggets in tapas and interesting appetizers.

Twin Light Smoked Spreads

twin light smoked mussel spread

The smoked salmon spread is addictively delicious, but a little dangerous for me due to high FODMAPs. It is similar to an herbed salmon cream cheese but has much more smoky salmon flavor. The smoked mussel spread is creamy and smokey and very rich, a light schmear is all you need for a burst of flavor. Many of the old school New England seafood and steakhouses serve crackers and flavorful cheese spreads when you are seated. These spreads remind me of an upgraded variation that you will be slathering on toast, bagels, and crackers.

Twin Light Smoked Haddock – Finnan Haddie

The smokehouse also produces a traditional cold-smoked haddock, better known as finnan haddie. This is a favorite of New England and Canadian Maritimes that is poached in milk before serving. I’m not going to go in depth here since I plan on featuring their finnan haddie in an upcoming recipe. Stay tuned.

Where to Purchase Twin Light Smokehouse Products

Twin Light smoked salmon package

Twin Light Smokehouse products can be found locally and online via Cape Ann Fresh Catch. Check out the list of stores in the Boston area on their website. Even more exciting is the new that Twin Light Smokehouse is now available at Whole Foods. The products stand out among the competition, and I am confident that Twin Light Smokehouse will be available in more locations soon.

Conclusion

The quality of Twin Light Smokehouse is unquestioned and starts with their ingredients and follows through with the small team that makes it happen. This artisanal smokehouse along the Annisquam River is creating smoked seafood that punches above its weight class. Their smoked seafood is some of the best you will find on the market – far fresher and tastier than what you typically see at a supermarket. I highly recommend Twin Light Smokehouse and there is not much more to say.