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Kippers: Craster Kippers

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Craster Kippers: How Kippers are Made
Herring Smoking
Photo © I-Stock
Historically kippers would have been landed in the tiny harbour at Craster and taken directly to the curing sheds. In the sheds the herring would be sorted, some to be salted down in barrels to export throughout Europe, the remaining to be kippered.

Craster kippers are renowned for the consistency in the quality of the kippers they produce using only fat, plump herring which have the correct oil content. The herring are split on a machine capable of splitting 500 kg an hour. Previously this work would have been done by "herring girls" - teams of women who would split and gut the fish ready for processing.

The herring are then placed in a salt and water brine for a predetermined length of time dependent on the weight. Lastly, they are hung on tenter hooks and placed in the smokehouses. Fires made of whitewood shavings and oak sawdust are placed under the herring and left to smoulder for anything up to 16 hours when the kippers are ready.

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