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
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