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Scrambled Smoked Haddock

This week's column combines a Scottish food success, fishing, politics and the opportunity to hear a great Scottish Folk Group.
Success came in the protection of a great Scottish food delicacy - the Arbroath Smokie. The Smokie has joined the exalted ranks of food and drink such as Champagne, Roquefort cheese and Parma ham in being granted special protection by the European Commission. A two year battle, which was backed by SNP controlled Angus Council, has earned the Arbroath Smokie the right to carry the EC's regional trademark. The blue and yellow stamp means that food and drink can only be produced from a certain georraphical area.This means from now on the name 'Arbroath Smokie' can only describe haddock which have been salted, dried and then smoked in the traditional manner within a five mile radius of Arbroath. Appropriately this covers the fishing village of Auchmithie, two miles north of Arbroath, where, apparently, the Arbroath Smokie originated. The story goes that the Arbroath Smokie was discovered by chance after a cottage fire in the 16th century. A group of fishermen sifting through the remains of the burnt-out cottage found haddock smoked in the fire. Four hundred years later this discovery still delights the palate and the Arbroath Smokie is now protected from 'English imposters' sold in supermarkets. Now when you buy an Arbroath Smokie you will be guaranteed that it is the Real MacKay.
Fishing, in spite of EC regulations, is still important to the Scottish economy, providing essential jobs both on and off-shore. The Scottish National Pary has long offered political support to the Scottish fishing fleet, fishing communities and industry. This Sunday (14 March 2004) , inspired by Scots Independent volunteer Alistair Walker, Bannockburn Branch SNP are providing practical support for the Scottish fishing industry by holding an afternoon Haddie Tea (3pm-6pm) in the Terraces Hotel, Melville Terrace, Stirling. For 10.00 you can enjoy a Haddock High Tea, listen to Bruce Crawford MSP, SNP Business Manager & Group Whip, and sing-a-long with top Scottish Folk Group Cardies Brig.Phone Alistair on 01786 814523 or email Peter at to book your place.
Arbroath Smokies are smoked in pairs, for between 45 and 90 minutes, over a barrel which gives them their distinctive colour and flavour. They are ready to eat when they are golden brown and no visit to Arbroath is complete without a freshly smoked haddie straight from the smoke house. This week's recipe is, of course, haddock based - Scrambled Smoked Haddock  is just the ticket for a Scottish High Tea.
Scrambled Smoked Haddock
Ingredients : 1 large Arbroath Smokie; 3 medium-sized eggs; salt and pepper to taste; 1 oz (25 g) butter; 1/4 pint (125 ml) milk; hot buttered toast as required
Skin haddock. Remove bones and flake fish. Beat up eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Melt butter in small saucepan, add flaked haddock, eggs and milk. Stir until set. Pile on slices of hot buttered toast. Garnish with chopped chives or parsley. Ideal for high tea. 3 or 4 servings.

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