Blog Post: Arbroath Smokies - Sweet, Tender, Smoky Goodness
You've had smoked salmon, finnan haddie and kippers -- now try Arbroath smokies!
The varieties and flavors of smoked fish represent a mini universe of culinary traditions and possibilities. Scotland is known for its smoked fish -- smoked salmon
, smoked herring
, smoked trout and finnan haddie (smoked haddock)
are all beloved parts of a healthy Scottish diet. The Scots know a thing or two about smoking meat and smoking cheese, as well. If you've already sampled some of those smoky delicacies and are interested in more deeply flavored, flaky and tender fish, try Arbroath smokies. These are very difficult to come by outside of Scotland, but we've got them!
Arbroath smokies are made with small haddocks, cleaned (but not split), salted, tied in twos by the tail and smoked to a deep copper color. Scots Kitchen author F. Marian McNeill wrote that smokies have "a most delectable savoury flavour and creamy texture." Writing in the newspaper the Telegraph in 2003, Tom Bruce-Gardyne said this about them: "The Arbroath smokie is to the haddock what Parma ham is to the hindleg of a pig. It is quite simply the most delicious thing you can do with the original article, and the secret lies in the cure. With smokies, it is the subtle combination of smoke and the sweet, tender flesh of the haddock that works so well." In 2004 Arbroath smokies earned the appellation status for regional foods from the European Union, meaning that you can't sell Arbroath smokies unless they are produced in the right place and according to the established standards. Try this national delicacy rarely tasted on this side of the Atlantic.
To enjoy them, just steam, or heat gently in the oven, split and remove backbone, sprinkle with black pepper and butter, close and heat a little more.