When in Arbroath.
When I was up North we took a little detour through Abroath.
This is a lovely coastal town. It has a few places of interest, things to do, a football club and an ancient ruined abbey.
There is a pretty little harbour too, a working one at that.
All good things but that wasn't the purpose of our visit
We were here for one piece of business.
We came to buy smokies.
The Arbroath Smokie is a protected food.
Which means if it wasn't smoked within 4km of Arbroath harbour it's not a smokie
These are Haddock, caught by line, salted and dried and then smoked over a barrel with the smoke from beach and oak wood.
They originated in the nearby village of Auchmithie and there's a definite Scandinavian connection to their production.
Serve them with whatever you want or eat them on their own.
They make a great ingredient for fish soups and I've tried them made into pâté.
Now I grant you, they're not the most visually appealing things to photograph.
They taste out of this world.
I always warm them up in the oven.
Warm! Not cook.
They're already cooked. You could eat them cold.
The drawback is that it does make your kitchen smell of smokie.
They have bones but are pretty easy to prepare.
The middle will come out in one piece. There are smaller bones near the head end that need a little care to remove.
There are a few little places scattered around the harbour that smoke and sell these delicacies.
I find it warming that there are still so many and that they are still small.
This is a cottage industry not mass prodoction.
And that means quality.
There was a fish & chip shop that I saw offering a smokie in batter or fried in breadcrumbs
(which in Glasgow would be called a Special Fish)
It sounded decedant but couldn't work out how it would be put together.
Take the bones out and remove the skin it falls to bits.
The skin isn't really that pleasant to eat.
You can get these occasionally in supermarkets and specialist fishmongers.
Though those are becoming rarer these days.
Some of the producers also offer mail order services and send them vacume packed.