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In WEE BITS, in The Mag., thre's an article on the correct colour of Blue for The Saltire WELCOME to Find it in Scotland. The site's navigation menu Main Headings are down the left-hand panel. Click on these to see what's in each one. Some sections have a LOT in them.
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YOU'LL FIND MORE HELP IN THE SCOT-TALK SECTION  find it in Scotland ???(cont) FIND IT HERE- OR IN SCOT-TALK

 Iain R. Spink's Original Smokies From Arbroath

Scotland produces a number of very individual items. The Quaich is one; this, of a very different sort, is another... 

  Arbroath Smokies originated in Auchmithie, a small fishing village a few miles north of Arbroath, once populated with fisher folk of Scandinavian origin; 'Spink' is a Norse surname. Iain uses the same methods that were used in the Seafest  late 1800's .The fishwives originally smoked the fish in halved barrels with fires underneath, trapping the smoke under layers of hessian sacking. At the start of the 20th century the first Auchmithie fisher-folk began moving to Arbroath, and the process soon became known as the Arbroath Smokie, as we know it today.

Only haddock can be used to produce an authentic 'Arbroath Smokie'. The fish are gutted at sea, washed and boxed ready for auction at the fish market. Once back in the fish house, they are headed and cleaned, or 'sounded'. They are then dry salted in tubs for a given period. This helps to draw excess moisture from the fish and toughens the skin in preparation for the smoking process. The length of salting time depends on the size of the fish and how fresh they are (amongst other factors). After salting, they are thoroughly washed off, then tied by the tail in "pairs" and hung on sticks. 

Hot Smoked Trout

 The smokie pit is then prepared. A hole is dug in the ground, and a half whisky barrel is set into it. The base of the barrel is lined with slates to protect it, and a hardwood fire of beech and oak is lit inside. The sticks of fish are then placed over the pit and the hessian cover allows the fire to breathe and maintain the required heat. The number of layers and dampening of the 'cloots' depends on the weather, and may be adjusted throughout the smoking to prevent the fish either smoking too quickly and burning, or smoking too slowly and drying out. The cooking time is usually a minimum of 30 - 40 minutes but only an experienced smokie maker knows exactly when they are ready. The resultant golden brown fish, eaten straight from the barrel is a truly mouth-watering experience that has to be tasted to be believed!

[WULLIE SAYS: I can personally vouch for these - I had one recently at the 2009 Royal Highland show near Edinburgh, where Ian has a stand every year. And last year; and the year before. They have a wonderful flavour all of their own.]

for more info., you can visit Ian's website ...  http://www.arbroathsmokies.net/

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