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December 08, 2014 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, December 8, 2014-3

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Monday, December 8, 2014- 3A

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TOP LEFT: Durham's Tracklements employee Peter Arno prepares a fillet of salmon for display Saturday. TOP RIGHT: Durham and Arno work in the store. BOTTOM RIGHT: Durham cuts smoked salmon, one of the products sold at Durham's
Tracklements. BOTTOM LEFT: A large fillet of salmon is on display at the entrance.

From Page 1A
Judith Lowe, a Tracklements
customer, has been around since
the Ann Arbor grand opening.
"About every two and a half or
three weeks, I buy a large piece of
smoked highland salmon," Lowe
said. "And I also buy his smoked
puissant, his smoked mackerel,
his gravlax - most anything he's
got is good."
Florence Fabricant of the New
York Times featured Trackle-
ments in her Food Notes for their
"trendier varieties" in 1994, not-
ing the salmon was cured "Thai-
style, with a ginger flavoring."
"Actually they werent trendy-
at the time," Durham said. "They
were brand new. No one had ever
done flavored varieties of smoked
salmon. There was Scottish
I smoked salmon, Swiss smoked
salmon, Irish smoked salmon,
Norwegian smoked salmon, but
one thing they all had in common
was that they were just smoked
Now, however, "trendy" does
seems an appropriate word.
In addition to its review in the
Times, Tracklements has been
featured by Food and Wine and
the Boston Globe, among others.
They have mail-order customers
on the East Coast and elsewhere,
regular retail buyers in Ann
Arbor and wholesale buyers too,
Durham said.
The flavor added to the smoked
salmon, in innovative combina-
tions, was the key that brought
Tracklements the press and ensu-
ing success. It was a marketing
"For a small and rather impov-
erished smoker to start, it's impor-
tant to have something that's

eye-catching, that gets attention,"
Durham said.
Another flavored variety with
a ginger flavoring, like the one
mentioned by the Times' Food
Notes, is one that's cured in miso,
a Japanese technique Durham
read about in an old Japanese
"So we whipped up a batch of
miso with a marinade, with tam-
ari, with honey, some ginger and
other things, and then started
curing the salmon with a mari-
nade of those, and it's been far
and away our best-selling smoked
salmon product," Durham said.
"It happened within two weeks."
At its core, Durham's process is
one of refined trial and error. He
reads cookbooks - many of which
line the shelf below the cash reg-
ister - he travels and he hires
people with diverse food knowl-
edge. But the crux of the process,
the one that makes it all work, is
the feedback he gets from his cus-
"The great thing about Ann
Arbor in terms of setting up a
little boutique business like this is
that there are a lot of people who
are very avid foodies, to use the
trendier term," Durham said. "I
mean there are a number of neat
things, but one very important
thing is that you get immediate
feedback from them about new
products, so within a week or two
you can tell if you've got a winner
or a dog."
Though it still happens occa-
sionally, over the years the
Tracklements team has evolved
its process in such a way that
makes "dog" varieties rare.
From this stable process, com-
bined with the different bits of
food knowledge brought to the
table by his team members in
hodgepodge style, unique prod-
ucts emerge. One such product
is smoked salmon that tastes like

pastrami. It's like eating pastrami
that's healthy, Durham said.
Tracklements tried this prod-
uct a long time ago - when it
was requested by a deli business
in New York. Since then, how-
ever, it's become Tracklements
team member Ellen Wizniewski's
"hobby horse."
"It's really good, the salmon
really takes those spices very
well," Wizniewski said. "It's
about eight or 10 spices, predomi-
nantly paprika, and it just infuses
the flavor for pastrami spice."
Ellen Wizniewski has been
with Tracklements for about
seven years, taking time away
only for a short hiatus in Ireland
with her husband. She joined the
Tracklements team originally
after meeting Durham in the
store's parking lot by the dump-
sters. Her parents were among
Tracklements' first clients at
the beginning of the Ann Arbor
phase, a time when they had few
local customers.
Tracklements team member
Pete Arno brings bacon and other
pork-related products to the table.
He's an "Ann Arbor guy" who's
worked with Tracklements for
about three or four years now.
One of the many sticky notes
on the wall reads, "Pete's bacon -
the best bacon I've ever had."
Since 1992, Durham too has
been bringing unique bits and
pieces of information to the
Tracklements table. Wizniewski
said since college or before, Dur-
ham has been a cook and a travel-
ler interested in everything food
and culture.
"He's continuously questing for
new ideas, and seeing how things
come together, and channeling
people's interests into creativity
with his product," Wizniewski
said. "He's really brilliant."
The name "Durham's Trackle-
ments" itself manifests the way

bits of information converge to
produce the Tracklements prod-
ucts. It was coined by English
culinary writer Dorothy Hartley
to mean "a savory condiment to
be served with meat."
While Durham's Tracklements
has only occasionally used trackl-
ements like chutneys, relishes and
mustards throughout the years,
the word still reflects Trackle-
ments' process of producing such
widely renowned salmon for the
followingreason: Hartleyevolved
her word "tracklements" from
the word "tranklement," which
means "bits of things."
Durham could loosely be called
the Steve Jobs of the salmon food
industry, pooling "bits of things"
- information and people - in a
way that maximizes creative out-
He turned a hobby he picked
up from Dunken Stewart - the
manager of a cottage he rented in
Scotland who was smoking fish
that his friends had poached from
some nearby sport fishing estates
- into a flourishinglocal business
in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
However, Durhamreceives one
common question: Why doesn't a
local business like Tracklements
get their fish locally, from the
Great Lakes?
"Basically, it's not as good for
what we do, and it's not available
year around," Durham said. "And
a lot of people don't want it."
Great Lakes salmon is a fresh-
water fish, but as it doesn't have
the same salt content, as ocean-
bred salmon - it doesn't hold
up as well. More than that, mail
order customers on the East Coast
especially have expressed their
concern about pollution in the
Great Lakes and contaminated
salmon products.
Bigger fish like salmon, being
high up on the lake's food chain,
accumulate more contaminants

than would smaller fish in the
same waters.
So because Tracklements deals
primarily with large fish like
salmon, they count on farmed,
Atlantic salmon.
"Atlantic salmon has for a long
time been at least widely per-
ceived - and I think there's some
real basis of fact in this - as the
best for cold smoking," Durham
As for the often controver-
sial issue of farmed fish, in his
cookbook The Smoked Seafood
Cookbook: Easy, Innovative Reci-
pes from America's Best Fish
Smokery, Durham mentions that
he has a rant prepared, one he
calls "The bogus war againstfarm
While he acknowledges that
many complaints against farmed
salmon do warrant attention,
like "contaminated feed, color-
ing agents with possible health
implications ... and adverse effects
on the local marine ecology," the
industry has generally given all of
these concerns the attention they
Exemplifying their attention
to detail, Tracklements gets the
fish for their cold smoked vari-
eties from the Faroe Islands, an
archipelago cluster between Nor-
way and Iceland on the Arctic
Circle. Their hot smoked varieties
they get from the Bay of Fundy,
at the edge of the Gulf of Maine,
between Canadian provinces
New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
In addition to their mail order
and retail customers, Trackle-
ments also has a large wholesale
market, in the Ann Arbor area
Except for whitefish - one of
the fish varieties Tracklements
does not sell - they've provided
neighboring Zingerman's restau-
rant with all other fish varieties
since 2008. Likewise, they've

supplied Cafe Zola for around 12
But professional business con-
nections with buyers of their
products are not their only com-
munity relationships. The Kerry-
town local business community
is "like a very small, incestuous
family," Tracklements team mem-
ber David Wells said.
Wells' wife Mary Campbell is
the owner of Everyday Wines, a
nearby Kerrytown shop.
"David's in and out of there,
and we're in and out of there,
they're in and out of here. So like
David said, it is sort of incestuous,
around food and wine," Durham
Wells is aware that Durham
and Campbell share "a philosoph-
ical stance."
"Small business forever," Dur-
ham said.
Beyond Durham, Wizniewski,
Dominguez, Arno and Wells,
Tracklements also has a few other
part-timers, like Lucus Cole, the
son of Kate Tremel, a woman
whose ceramics brochures sit on
the makeshift counter above the
"Taking Holiday Orders" chalk-
board sign.
Tracklements generally has at
least one team member in high
school working; they often start
in eighth or ninth grade and work
up through university, Durham
said. Cole, however, doesn't work
all that often due to Saturday soc-
cer commitments.
In any case, Tracklements is
holding up pretty well.
"They have the best smoked
salmon anywhere around, and
they have a lotof other really good
smoked products too, and they're
really nice people," Lowe said.
"They do things like going out of
their way to really help you out
with what you want and calling
you when they've got what you
need. They're just terrific."

From Page 1A
Brown's body lay on the street
after he was killed.
Students from the University's
Black Law Student Association
organized Friday's event. The
demonstration followed a larger
vigil on the Diag last week, which
was attended by over 1,000 stu-
dents, faculty and members of
the community.
Friday, more than 200 peo-
ple registered for the event on
the group's Facebook page and
more than one hundred students
turned out on the Law Quad.
' Law student Emerson
Girardeau III, co-chair of the
Black Law Student Association,
said the student group wanted to
create a space for University stu-
dents to voice their opposition to
police brutality and express soli-
darity with protestors across the
Girardeau said the goal of the
picture and die-in was to raise
awareness about the issue of
police killings.
"There are still a lot of stu-

dents across the campus and
people across the country that
are unaware and unconcerned
about what's going on," he said.
"It takes protests and it takes
people voicing those concerns to
make people aware."
Britney Littles, another
co-chair of the organization,
stressed the importance of hold-
ing the event at the Law School,
as the issue revolves around a
grand jury's decision not to indict
the officers responsible for shoot-
ing Brown and placing Garner in
a fatal chokehold.
"As attorneys, we have to go
out and do the work that make
sure these injustices don't hap-
pen," Littles said. "Even if you
decide to go to work at a law
firm, whatever the case may be,
we still have a responsibility to
care about what's happening in
this nation and make a change."
Law School Prof. Samuel
Gross also said the holding the
event at the law school high-
lighted the significance of the
legal system in the situation.
He said change can be fostered
through the nationwide atten-
tion following the protests
around the country, though he

said the change should occur
by improving law enforcement
training, especially when work-
ing with minority groups that
are more frequently subject to
Though he expressed hope in
bringing change through peace-
ful protesting, he noted the
country's fragmented policing
system could pose problems in
implementing new policies.
Like many government insti-
tutions, the criminal justice sys-
tem is decentralized and locally
run. Each local area has it's own
set of police forces, ranging
from very large forces in metro-
politan cities such as New York
or Chicago to places that have
only a few officers.
Because every state and local
area has its own criminal code
and policies surrounding police
training, Gross said achieving
nationwide change could be a
"Getting practices to change
across the entire country is very
hard and takes quite a lot of
time," he said.
Business graduate student
Stefanie Thomas said she
attended Friday's event to bring

awareness to what she called
a racially biased police system
and give voice to the underrep-
resented minorities most affect-
ed by the bias.
"Regardless of your ethnic-
ity, your race, you're interacting
with police or law enforcement,"
Thomas said. "They're job is to
protect and serve, I think that
people should not feel threat-
ened by it."
LSA freshman Hadiya Wil-
liams also said she wanted to
bring awareness to the issue on
campus in an effort to reshape
the justice system and police
"Things are going to change,
it's not going to get swept up
under the rug," she said. "We're
going to protest things and let
our voice be heard."
Graduate students Tara
Dosum Diener and Jasimen Bai-
ley were solemn after the event.
Bailey was moved to tears.
Diener expressed the diffi-
culty in having to explain to her
children why the officers were
not indicted.
"This cannot keep happening,
and it happened again today," she
said. "This is ridiculous."

Campus Mind Works Groups
FREE mental health education
and support groups for U-M
Stress Reduction to
Improve Mood
Tuesday, December 9
from 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Chrysler Center, Room 151
North Campus
Visit www.campusmindworks.org
for more information.
Presented by the U-M Depression Center
in collaboration with the College of
Engineering and the Newnan Academic
CENTER Advising Center.

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