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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.