Iain's super smokies win gold – Fishupdate.com

Iain’s super smokies win gold Published:  24 September, 2007

IAIN Spink’s highly acclaimed Original Smokies From Arbroath company has won the top gold medal in the prestigious 2007 Taste of Britain awards.

He was one of a number of specialist seafood producers to pick up accolades in a contest that celebrates the best of British food and drink, although he was the only fish gold winner.

The competition, is hosted by a partnership that includes UK multiple Sainsbury’s and the Daily Telegraph newspaper. They say that British cuisine has seen a remarkable renaissance during the past few years, in which local ingredients play a huge role. But they all have one overriding quality – they remain faithful to British traditions.

Iain Spink is no stranger to praise. His Arbroath Smokies have won many awards in the past. The fifth generation of the family to work in the trade, Ian was described by the judges as an evangelist and a traditionalist producing a ‘great tasting product”. They added that there were few producers who more epitomised the twin British virtues of tradition and innovation than Iain Spink.

The name Arbroath Smokie has been granted Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) under European law and ironically, is one of a number of products and dishes named by Sainsbury’s a few months ago as part of the supermarket’s campaign to persuade the public to eat more traditional British made food. A supermarket survey found that only six per cent of British adults had ever eaten a smokie.

Iain said he hoped his Taste of Britain gold award (won in the Best regional Food Section) would benefit all smokie producers in Arbroath, who were a close-knit community. He is now considering mail order selling, but said he would only do this if he can avoid taking business from his fellow producers.

Other seafood winners in the Tate of Britain awards were the Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group from Bellshill in Lanarkshire for their mussels, and River House Smoked Salmon, which operates a small organic smokehouse on the banks of the Alde estuary, near Woodbridge, Suffolk, which uses Shetland organic salmon. The business grew out of a hobby in Dominic Kilburn’s garden shed and he and his wife Kate still carry out all of the work. The artisan producer Brown and Forrest Smokery also won an award their Wild English Smoked eels. In the premium quality food section, Isle of Skye Smoked salmon and inshore caught Cornish mackerel were listed as two outstanding British foods.

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