Original Smokies From Arbroath
PRODUCER: Original Smokies From Abroath, Angus
PRODUCT: Arbroath Smokies
CATEGORY: From the Sea (Artisan)
WHAT THEY DO
Arbroath smokie producer Iain Spink is the fifth generation of his family to take up the craft and is passionate about sharing the history of the smokie with others.
An Arbroath smokie is a haddock that is hot-smoked in the traditional manner and must come from within an 8km radius of Arbroath. In 2004, Arbroath smokies were awarded Protected Geographical Indication status from the EU, which is designed to protect traditional foods against imitations. The tradition can be traced to the small fishing town Auchmithie, near Arbroath, where smokies were a speciality of the fishwives whose families had travelled from Scandinavia.
Iain, whose surname (Spink) is Norse, puts this heritage at the centre of his practice. For over ten years he has brought his Arbroath Smokie Roadshow to markets and events across Britain to share the Arbroath smokie story through demonstrations and period photographs, as well as to feed the crowds with the golden-hued fish.
Just as it would have been done in the late 1800s, Iain hangs the salted haddock with natural jute twine inside an old wooden whisky barrel and smokes them over hardwood beech or oak logs. The barrels are embedded in the ground and covered with hessian sacking, so it’s down to the smokie-maker’s intuition and experience to determine when the fish are perfectly cooked.
Iain says, “I am utterly passionate about Arbroath smokies and have recently even written a book about them, The Arbroath Smokie Bible.”
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID:
Our Scottish judges were impressed with Iain’s “passion for the product and continuation of an ancient skill”, describing his Arbroath Smokies as “world class”.
VISIT THE WEBSITE: arbroathsmokies.com