That's right, we're talking smoked kippers. These fish are smoked in the original shop established in 1872 at the top of the town. It is only a tiny walk from the main shopping street of the old town and it is well worth it. You can even take a dog leg, if your legs are up to it, and walk the steep steps up to the Abbey. However, for the more loafing individual you can just follow your nose. Unlike the fish and chip smells that pervade the new town you know you are nearing this shop when the smell of oak brash mixes with the light aroma of fish. The only kind of a fish and chip shop that smokes is one that is on fire and the smell there would not be welcoming. You'd think the smell of more fish after the overkill of chippies in the new town would turn your stomach. This scent though is warming, intoxicating and mouth watering. This shop is world famous, it is Fortune's Kippers.
Before you dismiss the idea of kippers as being too full of bones, Fortune's do much more. Whilst there we bought smoked kippers but we also filled our shopping bag with smoked bacon and smoked salmon. All this is smoked on site and you may find it difficult not to eat the smoked salmon on site. We were wolfing it down whilst taking in the views from the top of the town.
The kippers were warmed through with butter for breakfast the next day and were eaten with lashings of homemade toasted bread. Even when we are on holiday, we like making our own bread. The bacon came home with us, vacuum packed and easy to store it was eaten for breakfast. The leftover bacon was included in a macaroni cheese dish with mushrooms. The smokey taste of the fish and bacon is not overbearing, it is light and lingers in the mouth. A couple of days later as I scooped the oak brash out of our log store the smell of that oak reminded me of Fortune's and my mouth watered. There is no better review of food than for a single smell to transport your palate back to a taste, a moment and a view that you will never forget, even if it was raining.
We are now so hooked on the idea of smoking food that we are going to save our own oak brash this year and smoke some of our own produce in autumn. That means we will be knocking together a cold smoker sometime over the summer, weather and skills permitting.