The fabulous Fortune’s Kipper Shop in Whitby has been smoking herrings since 1872 and is now run by the 5th generation, Barry and Derek, with the sixth nipping at their heels – good to know their sons and daughters are keen to keep on kippering!
It’s easy to find, just follow your nose up Henrietta Street –
if you’re lucky the smoke house doors will be open and give you a glimpse
into another era, with split herring hanging in neat rows, the blackened
walls and ceiling coated with centuries of tar and the oak chippings ready
to light for the next consignment.
Good fat herrings are needed for kippering, the oil in the fish keeps them moist. Sadly, Whitby-landed herrings, once the mainstay of the town’s inshore fleet, have long since been overfished and Fortune’s now get their herrings from Iceland. Don’t let that stop you buying a good fat pair though. (EU regulations mean they can no longer post them. You have to be there).
Take your newspaper-wrapped beauties home
and grill them for 10 minutes. Serve with a squirt of lemon juice and a
doorstop of brown bread and butter. There are few finer – and simpler –
things in life; the fish is sweet, moist, oakey-smoky and a pure
distillation of the sea, right there on your plate.
Fortunes, 22 Henrietta Street, Whitby, North Yorkshire T: 01947 601659