Manx Kippers

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The Manx kipper is a traditional preserved fish product from the Isle of Man, located between mainland England and Northern Ireland. It has a deep bronze color, with a rich smoky and salty flavor thanks to the traditional curing methods. The traditional, age-old process of producing Manx kippers is very simple but takes years of experience to master. The fish are split and smoked for three to four hours, and each batch differs slightly thanks to the size of the fish and their oil content. Manx kippers are usually made with herring, but traditionally can be made from any fish found in great numbers and caught during its spawning period. The herrings were traditionally caught in home waters, but now have to be sourced from farther away.   While the origins of these kippers are unclear, production in the Isle of Man is estimated to have started on the island’s west coast in the 1870s. Some believe kippering in the Isle of Man has its roots in the split­smoked “Finnan Haddie” process, produced in Aberdeenshire in northeast Scotland. Manx kippers can be produced all across the Isle of Man, and currently there are two active producers. Many other kippers in the UK are not properly smoked, but are instead injected with smoke flavor and added colorings. These two factors mean that production of real kippers is in decline, and future generations could soon lose the flavor of real kippers. The Manx kipper is a strong part of the Isle of Man’s rich heritage, but, with only two producers left, the Manx kipper, while still remaining popular, could be in danger of losing out to the more cheaply produced industrial products available in supermarkets.Photo: Booth’s 

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