In Angus, Arbroath is world renowned for being the home of the Arbroath Smokie, which is haddock smoked in hardwood over barrels covered with jute sacks. The Smokie has PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) status which means that it can only be called an Arbroath Smokie if it is produced in the traditional manner and within a five mile radius of the town. Many smokehouses can be found at the ‘fit o’ the toon’. Once a bustling port, Arbroath Harbour now lands mainly shellfish including crabs which are sold locally. Further up the coast at Lunan Bay, one of the last wild salmon companies in Scotland catches its top quality fish in environmentally friendly traditional bag nets.

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History of the Arbroath Smokie

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History of the Arbroath Smokie

The origins of the Arbroath Smokie began in the small fishing village of Auchmithie, which lies three miles north of Arbroath.  No one can say for certain where this method for preparing fish first came from, however the generally accepted story is that it came across with Scandinavian settlers, during the time of Viking activity along the coasts of Scotland.  To prepare a traditional Smokie, the fish (haddock) are salted overnight.  They are tied in pairs and left overnight to dry.  They are then hung over a triangular length of wood to smoke over a special barrel containing a hardwood fire.  When the fish are hung over the fire, the top of the barrel is covered with a lid and sealed around the edges with wet jute sacks.  This serves to create a very hot, humid and smoky fire.  The intense heat and thick smoke is essential if the fish are to be cooked, not burned and to have a strong, smoky taste and lovely golden-copper tones.  Typically in less than an hour of smoking, the fish are ready to eat.  

Community Food Fund

The East of Scotland Seafood project is a partnership initiative led by local authorities, business leaders and coastal communities. It is supported by the Community Food Fund, which is financed by The Scottish Government and has been created to promote local food and drink, in line with Scotland's National Food and Drink Policy.