Arbroath Smokie hot off the barrel from Iain Spink

It’s likely that this cure was brought here by the Vikings in the 900s. There is not only evidence of Viking artifacts found here, but also Spink is a Viking name. Viking settlers in Poland in the 900s were hot-smoking fish in holes in the ground, and then later in barrels in the 1400s.

About Catherine Brown

Catherine Brown is a food writer, author, teacher and Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (Scot.). Noted for her food columns in The Herald (Glasgow) for over two decades, she was also a presenter, with Derek Cooper, of Scotland’s Larder. She can be visited at

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