FREE SHIPPING on any order!
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

The Best Smoked Items from Across the World

Lounge Concierge

Smoking foods is a time-tested method of preservation that also happens to make your meals insanely delicious.  

A slow, low smoking session enhances and intensifies flavors, without breaking down or transforming your ingredients in the same way as cooking over a raging fire does. Smoking can even make food better for you, cutting out additives like cooking oils and heavy sauces, while reducing inherent fat.

If you think of “barbecue” whenever “smoked foods” appear, you’re not alone. But a tour around the world reveals numerous consumables that develop deeper flavors through smoking, from beer and tea to cheese and killer reptiles.

And since we’re here on a website about the best cigars to smoke, we figured it was a good time to put you onto the world’s best smoked foods, complete with the stogies you can pair them to.

These are the best smoked foods from around the world.

The Country: Poland

What Are They Smoking: The golden beer known as Grätzer or Grodziskie, which has a history going back to the 15th century Polish city of Grodzisk. It’s traditionally made with oak-smoked wheat, hops, and Grodzisk’s local water, but is making a comeback in varied forms through the homebrewing movement.

Where To Get It: This bold style of ale can be tasted in “Sooty Brother” from Colorado’s Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, as well as Schilling Beer’s own bottled Grätzer. Alternatively, one can look for rauchbier, a German-style of ale made with smoked malts that should be available at your better beer stores.

The Cigar Pairing: Arturo Fuente, which adds a little cedar, sweetness, and black pepper, with a creamy backbone, to your drinking sesh.


The Country: China

What Are They Smoking: Lapsang Souchong, a name you’ve likely heard. These traditionally pine-smoked black teas come from the Wuyi Mountains in China’s southeastern Fujian Province, first developed in the 17th century by villagers fleeing unification soldiers. The method provides a smoky, complex backdrop to your standard cup of camellia sinensis, with different lapsangs available bearing light-to-heavy smoke flavors.

Where To Get It: If you’re seeking the smokiest variety, we’ll point you to the Wuyi-originated lapsang of Yunnan Sourcing and the peaty, resin-smoked “tarry” teas offered by Rare Tea Co. For those just dipping their toes into these smoky waters, we recommend the widely available lapsang souchong sold in cans by U.S. brand Harney & Sons.

The Cigar Pairing: La Aroma de Cuba. If it was good enough for lapsang-swilling Winston Churchill, who loved these cigars and also cited this tea type as his favorite, you know you’ve found the perfect match.


The Country: Italy

What Are They Smoking: Provola affumicata, a spun, smoked cow’s milk cheese from Campania; the bad boy little brother to provolone that gets brined before aging while hanging for four months.

Where to Get It: The finest, most traditionally-made typically come in oblong shapes with their hanging ropes still attached to the packaging, like this provola Calabrese you can order online or find at gourmet Italian grocers. Of course, Italy is far from Europe’s only maker of smoked cheese, though others can be harder to find. Look out for Slovakia’s ovčí salašnícky údený syr, Spain’s San Simon de Costa, Georgian sulguni, and metsovone from Greece. And if you see them, buy them.

The Cigar Pairing: A medium-bodied cigar like Charter Oak allows you to savor the lighter aspects of the cheese’s paste while also complimenting its smokier notes with vanilla, nuts, and flowers.


The Country: Scotland/Mexico

What Are They Smoking: Booze. Scotland’s most intense whiskeys most famously come from Islay, where dry, malted barley is smoked with the funky soil matter known as peat, resulting in a spectrum of Scotches with smoky profiles. Mexican mezcal is by no means always smoky, depending on the specific recipe, but many brands do bear smoky characters from the agaves being coal-roasted in traditional stone pits.

Where To Get It: The peatiest Islay scotches on Earth are coveted by smoke-lovers and include Benriach’s The Smoky Ten, Lagavulin Cask Strength, Port Charlotte and the Octomore series from Bruichladdich, and most expressions of Laphroaig. If it’s a noticeably smoky mezcal you seek, Del Maguey’s Chichicapa and Montelobos Espadin are some of the most prominent smokeshows on the market.

The Cigar Pairing: Go for full-bodied smokes with Maduro wrappers if you’re a lover of peaty scotch and smoky mezcal. We like Olmec Maduro which, bonus, also pairs well thematically with mezcal.


The Country: The U.S.A.

What Are They Smoking: Alligator, a natural result of melding the South’s fetish for smoking meats with Louisiana and Florida’s preponderance of reptile apex predators.

Where To Get It: While smoked whole gators are featured regularly at Chicago’s wild game destination Frontier and make occasional appearances at Smorgasburg in L.A., this is unfortunately not something you’ll find beside the rotisserie chickens at Whole Foods. Fortunately, we know where you can find a whole skinned alligator for delivery. Locating a friend with a smoker big enough to fit it may be your bigger challenge.

The Cigar Pairing: Given seafood’s gentler flavors, we like the balance of sweet-and-spicy in Warped’s La Colmena Black Honey. And since you’re already going big…


The Country: Worldwide

What Are They Smoking: Garlic and salt, for adding smoky character to a dish, carnivorous or plant-based, when you don’t have the space/time/desire to smoke whole animals.

Where To Get It: You can make your own smoked garlic by rubbing olive oil over, then wrapping a few bulbs loosely in foil, and roasting them over direct heat for 30 minutes. Osmo also makes hickory-smoked salt that’s great in everything.

The Cigar Pairing: Pair what you’re cooking with a classic Montecristo White Label, which will provide some white pepper and mellow smoke to accompany your dish.


0 Replies 0