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Arbroath Smokies are smoked haddock fish from the town of Arbroath in the County of Angus in North East Scotland. They are cured in salt for 24 hours prior to smoking. They are then left to dry, a process which the Scots called droothing.
Their distinctive smell and taste comes from the curing process in special smokehouses using wood burners. This part of the process takes up to ninety minutes. This results in their distinctive outer light brown to golden brown colour and they are served with their backbone intact. Inside the fish are lovely and creamy coloured. They are usually smoked and served in pairs.
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Their origins date back to the 1800s a few miles away in the village Auchmithie where a fisherman's catch caught fire in the storeroom. Legend had it that after looking in the remains of the barrels they tried the fish and loved the taste and so Arbroath Smokies recipes evolved. The town offered these fisher folk land in Arbroath, known affectionately as the "fit o' the toon", and use of the harbour, and so smokehouses developed.
Though a less romantic thought about their history is that Scandinavian fishermen introduced them when they came to the area.
They were awarded Protected Geographical Indication status by the European Commission in March 2004.
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