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"Little sticks of wood are stuck into the haddock gills, and two by two, tied tail to tail, they are hung on little wooden spits high up in the old fashioned lums."
~ Marian McNeill, The Scots Kitchen, 1929
The village of Auchmithie is the original home of what was once known as the "Auchmithie Smokie", the traditional hot-smoked haddock. Smoked haddock often comes dyed a vivid yellow - allegedly a historical device used to disguise reduced smoking time - although undyed haddock, with its own natural orange tinge, is increasingly popular. Foods have been smoked by humans throughout history. Originally done as a preservative, smoking haddock imparts a unique taste and flavour, instantly recognizable and providing the central ingredient for many traditional omfort food dishes. In the nineteenth century, a number of the community of Auchmithie moved down the coast to settle in the larger town of Arbroath to take advantage of the larger harbour, giving the town's name to the traditionally hot-smoked haddock. 🔥 🐟 🔥
The Arbroath Smokie is said to have originated in the small fishing village of Auchmithie, three miles northeast of Arbroath. Local legend has it a store caught fire one night, destroying barrels of haddock preserved in salt. The following morning, the people found some of the barrels had caught fire, cooking the haddock inside.
However, it is more likely that villagers of Scandinavian descent inherited the 'Smokie making' process from traditional methods passed down through generations.
This tartan celebrates the European protective geographical status awarded to the Arbroath Smokie - one of only a few food products to have been awarded this status.
Tartan colours: red represents the sandstone of Arbroath Abbey where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1320; blue and white represent the sea; the red glow of the smokie barrel and the golden yellow of the delicacy itself.
For a video detailing the history of the Smokie, click the smoking haddock.