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The most popular way of preserving herring in Britain. Although we might think the process has a long tradition, it was in fact invented in Northumberland in the mid 1800's, based on the method for smoking salmon - which is also "kippered".

Traditional kippers are produced by first splitting the herring, then marinating in a plain solution of salt and water, before smoking over shavings for about 16 hours.

Unfortunately as a nation we are visual shoppers, so shops are crammed with bright yellow artificially-dyed smoked fish - we have used the word "smoked" loosely, for as with bacon, and for the convenience of the producer (certainly not yours) immersing the fish in a smoke-flavoured liquid is becoming more common - so it doesn't see any smoke at all. We can say with certainty that the best fish will never be a bright colour, but a less uniform dull pale gold.

The best kippers are smoked over oak chips in the Isle of Man (these tend to be small), Craster in Northumberland and a few producers in Scotland. See also "Bloaters", "Buckling", "Herring (clupea harengus)", "Red Herring"

Where to buy the best kippers:

John Curtis, Manx Cold Storage Building, Mill Road, Peel, Isle of Man, IM5 1TA

Tel:01624-842715Fax: 01624-843316 (Mail Order Service)

George Devereau & Son, 33 Castle Street, Douglas, Isle of Man, IMI 2EX

Tel: 01624-673257Fax: 01624-843405 (Mail Order Service)

J & M Fraser, Universal Fish Shop, Esplanade, Lerwick, Shetland, ZE1 OLL

Tel: 01595-69230 (Mail Order Service)

The Galloway Smokehouse, Carsluith, Newton Stewart, Dumfries & Galloway DG8 7DN

Tel: 01671-820354 Fax: 01671-820545 (Mail Order System)

Inverawe Smokehouses, Taynuilt, Argyll & The Islands, PA35 1HU

Tel: 01866-822446 Fax: 01866-822247 (Mail Order Service)

K & G McFall, Stanley Place, Harbour Street, Tarbet, PA29 6UD

Tel: 01880-820669 (Mail Order Service)

L. Robson, Haven Hill, Craster, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 3TR

Tel: 01665-576223 Fax: 01665-576044 (Mail Order Service)

Summer Isles Foods, Achiltbuie, Ullapool, Highlands & Islands, IV26 2YG

Tel: 01854-622353 Fax: 01854-622335 (Mail Order Service)

Also see under Kippers on our Mail Order section.

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton French Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards. Small classes.

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kippers - undyed
kippers - undyed