Herrings, Bloaters and Kippers ... the small, oily, saltwater herring that most versatile of all fish.
Today, it is often ignored in spite of its delicately flavoured, wholesome flesh and inexpensive price ... fresh herring straight from the harbour, lightly floured, fried in butter and served with a little lemon: nothing better.
But in bygone centuries, thousands of families survived years of famine and poverty on a diet of herrings and potatoes.
|"Red Herring". Cold Smoked Herring|
brined so that their flesh achieves a
Fresh herrings can be served in many different ways, quite apart from the numerous pickling methods to which herrings lend themselves.
Salted herrings were commonplace ... including red herrings which are dried-smoked after salting and still feature strongly in Scottish and Irish cooking.
|Bloaters on yellow paper -|
Van Gogh (1889)
Yarmouth, East Anglia produced the first mild smoke cure in 1835 and named the product bloater (as it swelled in the process) ... According to George Orwell in The Road to Wigan Pier, “The Emperor Charles V is said to have erected a statue to the inventor of bloaters” ...
While further up the east coast in Northumberland at Seahouses ... another smoke cure for a whole ungutted herring was being tested. This became the process for what is known today as the Kipper.
|Kippers for breakfast - or for supper|
At least one stock of Atlantic herring spawns in every month of the year – each spawns at a different time and place ... no wonder they’re such a valuable food source!
Herrings have played a pivotal role in the history of Britain ... as a staple food source – oils, fish to eat or prepare fresh, salted, smoked or pickled ...
That is H for Herring from Aspects of British Cookery
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